[8/13/18] – Technology and Medium in Today’s Mass Communication

Technology is changing faster than ever, and each day there is a new medium—a new way in which information flows and communication is transmitted on a global scale. Each of these mediums are socially constructed, but more than this, social construction also occurs from and through ever-shifting medium and technology.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Technology and Medium in Today’s Mass Communication


  • How can the US recover after the negative, partisan presidential election of 2016? Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the morals that form the basis of our political choices. In conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, he describes the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America — and provides a vision for how the country might move forward.
  • Craig outlines the ways in which we can change the face of business with the use of technology, business development and trending methods of engagement. He demonstrates that it is entirely possible to unite sectors with common themes and bring people together. Technology plays a major part in daily life and we will only get more integrated as time goes on.




Writing:  Make a list of all the communication mediums and technologies you use in a normal day. How do you use these mediums? How much? How is your use of communication technology different today from 1, 5, or 10 years ago? Thinking back on the changes that have occurred—how do you think technology and new mediums will shape mass communication in the future?

Debate: Starting with the Vox article about dehumanizing speech on Twitter, consider the nature of free speech on Twitter and beyond. Should internet sites allow total free speech? Some limiting? Where should lines be drawn?

Poll: Consider your daily use of different communication mediums. Yesterday, which of these did you use? Pick all that apply, and instructors will tally the results.

  • Telephone
  • Texting
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Reddit
  • Radio
  • Newspaper
  • A news website

Short Answer: How is your self-identity constructed on the internet? Do certain websites help you define “you”?

Current Events Quiz

1. Maggie Habermas believes Twitter is changing in what way(s)?

  • It’s getting better at reporting the news.
  • The information on it is having more errors.
  • The discourse there is becoming more respectful.
  • It is becoming less “hip.”

2. According to the article “Amusing Ourselves to Trump,” the author relates technology and change under the Trump presidency to the work of:

  •  Marshall McLuhan.
  • Donna Haraway.
  • Neil Postman.
  • Kenneth Burke.

3. Twitter recently received great backlash for its decision to:

  • Allow radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on the site.
  • Remove all mention of the word “Fascism.”
  • Purchase Tesla.
  • Publish the tweets of Kanye West in a larger font than other users.

4. Research on North Korea, partly using satellite imagery lead one of our articles to conclude North Korea is:

  • Building more basketball courts for Dennis Rodman.
  • Working to facilitate greater connection to the global internet.
  • Building more nuclear devices to deter South Korea.
  • Forming new relations with burgeoning South American power, Brazil.

5. In expressing his views on mass communication, Donald Trump recently emphasized:

  • That it is biased towards Democrats.
  • That it is biased towards Republicans.
  • That it should involve more tanning products.
  • The “live” nature of media.

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