Final Thoughts: So hard to say goodbye

Last Thursday was basically the culmination of COMM 602. During this session we discussed our final thoughts on the future of communications. I listened to my classmates discuss all they’ve learned from this course and the various technologies they believe will be relevant in the future. Our last class was so awesome! All I could think about was the fact I wasn’t even in class for the discussion. *record scratch*

I was absent from class that day. However due to the technologies available to us I was able to view the entire class session online and feel like I was still a part of the discussions. During my second week reflection I wrote “attending class virtually from the comfort of my own home would not have been possible if not for digital convergence”. In the past I would’ve had to beg my classmates for notes or a quick rundown of what was discussed in my absence.

The topic of digital convergence set the tone for what our whole course was about. If it weren’t for the merging of various technologies, we wouldn’t live in a society where some much of our daily task are simplified due to smartphones, tablets and Internet. All of these devices allow us to be mobile while still completing everyday task that previously required us to be more stationary. Digital convergence has allowed us to multitask.

So how what does the future of communication look like? My classmates (and myself separately) discussed some hot topics that we believe will become the “norm”. Some of the topics we discussed were: second screen experience, drones and the digital divide. My classmate, Warren believes second screen experience is “where communication is going”. He really likes to immerse himself in what’s going on around him and believe second screen is going to be a bigger part of the social media experience.

I agree 100%. I didn’t realize how many television shows utilize the second screen experience. In recent months I’ve realized so many of my favorite shows like: Braxton Family Values, Are You the One and So You Think You Can Dance utilizing second screen for viewer interaction. I don’t usually use Twitter for live tweeting but I definitely use Facebook for the same experience. Especially for really popular events like the Emmys, Golden Globes and #PopeInDC. The second screen experience is definitely the things of the future.

We also discussed drones. Of course being a privacyphobe (I made that up), I did not see any benefits of drones. When I heard that Amazon (my secret lover) and Domino’s pizza have toyed with the idea of using drones for delivery I thought about how ridiculous that sounds. Amazon has one of the most amazing shipping times ever! I would think with the risk of drones getting lost, never to see the light of day again, that it would decrease their customer service rating. I just don’t see the benefits.

Then my classmate, Bill, made me view drones from a business perspective. In his job in newspaper he’s had first-hand experience with drones. Bill stated some of the benefits of drones are the “convenient and cost effectiveness”. Previously the company would have to hire a pilot, charter a plane and hire a photographer to take photos of scenes from the sky. He also stated “drones allow you to not be in the way but still be able to provide content to their readers”.

The discussion about drones got my classmate, Jessica’s wheels turning and she posed the question about whether drones would further increase the digital divide. Due to the fact that many people would not have Internet access. My classmate, Bob, then proceeded to blow my mind by stating that companies are testing drones that “deliver Internet to places that otherwise may not have accessibility to content”. *record scratch again* I did not know that Facebook is testing a drone to allow Internet access to those in rural areas. (Check out the article here ).

One thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed about COMM 602 is the interaction with my classmates and Professor Strahler. They constantly make me think outside of my traditional thinking and bring topics to my attention that I wasn’t previously knowledgeable of. I’ve learned so much! I find myself having conversations and various “ah ha” moments on social media, outside of the classroom setting, about topics we’ve discussed. I previously thought only Multimedia Storytelling ruled my life. In actuality so does COMM 602 and I can deal with that.

Peace and Blessings,

Nikki

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