Attack of the Social Media Zombies

Social media is an important aspect to getting news out to the public. The author of the article dictates his experiment of creating a dialog of Baltimore and what it’s going through. He discusses the aspects of what social media does and creates a dialog for people based on the poster and the replier of news. He states the multiple aspects of it from placing important news worthy news about drugs and crime to food and leisure. This use of social media is important because it is used as a study for what the public wants for demographic studies. This will allow companies to package that information and use it in their companies strategies. Moreover he states the differences of multiple monsters of media old and new media, with social media becoming huge.

This is connected to anthropology because it describes what is possible for generating ethnographic fieldwork. Moreover the use of social media allows the understanding of a specific place and will make meaning toward an individual or a group or a location. Furthermore this article shows the interconnection and viral spread of news to and from people. Thus understanding hierarchical structures of the influencers and influenced we apparently become zombies melding to one another and accessing each others information. Which further emphasises the kinship relationship.

Modern Technology and Ethnography

It seems like every day that the next big thing is being revealed, and all this new technology has a lot to offer a discipline as diverse in its research methods as Anthropology. Rachelle Annechino shares her opinion on these tools in her blog entry, “Bring Some Colored Markers”.

The smartphone has started to revolutionize fieldwork by replacing many of the traditional materials- why bother carrying around a camera, a tape recorder, and a pad of paper when you can get all of those things in the palm of your hand? However, smartphones are not ubiquitous throughout the world- if one is researching a poorer or more rural community, the smartphone morphs into something that can build walls between the ethnographer and the culture they are trying to document. Possession of the gadget marks one as an outsider, and people may be uncomfortable with that, making them less willing to open up.

Uncomfortableness is one of the main reasons Annechino dismisses another modern ethnography tool, the Livescribe pen, a type of smartpen.  The internal mic in this product is disrupted by the noises of it writing, making the recording less helpful upon playback. The company has a solution to this problem, which comes in the form of a ‘headset’ – a device resembling earbuds that the person being recorded wears over their shoulders. However, Annechino believes that this seemingly innocuous headset could make an interviewee more tense, thus decreasing the amount of information the subject is willing to disclose.

As much as the world of technology has to offer, she ends noting that anthropologists shouldn’t be too quick to go paperless. In many instances, traditional materials like pen and paper are the most convenient things to use. She also expresses a desire to try and draw with her subjects. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and making art is a remarkable way to express emotions that one might not even know how to put into sentences.


Effects of the Economy on Technology Usage

As everyone is aware, the economy is not in the favor of the majority of people. Only a small percentage has access to all of their needs and wants, while the rest of us have to make sacrifices and work hard. New technology is able to help the sacrifices not have as huge an impact as before. One of the new technologies are the applications (a.k.a. apps) that people are able to get on their some computers and mobile devices, such as smartphones.

These apps allow people to save time, so they can work more, and save money. There are apps that allow people to meet others that are interested in being in a relationship. This allows people to save time by skipping the search in person and, instead, getting matched by an online source. People are also able to save money by getting apps that take the role of a person. In her piece titled App-ography: A critical perspective on medical and health apps, Deborah Lupton talks about how apps are being used not only in the medical world, but also by people in their own home. Doctors and nurses have started using apps quite a bit with their work, however other people also have access to these apps. Most of the time, people use health and fitness apps to track their weight or learn to exercises to keep them in shape. These apps take the place of the trainers at the gym or a nutritionist, therefore saving the person money.

If the economy was in better shape, these apps might not be as popular or important. When the people do not have access to resources they want or need, they will try and create ways to get to them. In this case, people are able to create and use apps.

App-ography and the Socioeconomic Perspective

A multitude of apps have been developed for various aspects of the medical field and therefore, people have begun to study it. In App-ography, Sociology Professor Deborah Lupton has begun to study the affect that medicinal apps for smartphones have on medical corporations. She notes that, “A growing number of medical schools are now offering at least part of their education via apps and require their students to own a tablet computer. ” These apps enhance the circulation by giving easy access to learning on the go.
Although not much anthropological research has been done on this new requirement, it is obvious that there is a socioeconomic cut off from medical knowledge. Without the money to purchase a app-compatible device, the student is effectively unable to engage with the entirety of the curriculum. While health care has been synonymous with citizenry, now it is seen as incomplete without adequate funds. In areas where populations are in lower-economic standing, the effectiveness of medical programs there will be lost due to the lack of app-compatible products. Using socioeconomic,s anthropologists can study what areas are worst hit with a lack of finances and then perhaps create a solution so that every medical student there can afford a app-compatible product.

Unique Brains

Brains hold each of our stories. Our pasts. Our identities. They hold our secrets that our friends might not keep. They know our dreams and our tortures. Each person has a different way of thinking. This is based on where they have grown up and their culture. A person that was raised in New York City would view the world differently than someone from Kenya. It has also been studied that each brain is unique. Which helps explain why everyone is different. Even another New Yorker would think differently than the person previously mentioned from New York because of the different wiring in their brains. Every single person in the entire world is wired differently. Human brains work so differently from computers that we can think of them as “alien technology“. Brains are so powerful that each of them is different for more than seven billion people.

Does the wiring between the New Yorkers differ less than the wiring between a New Yorker and the person in Kenya? We now know that each brain is wired differently, but do they differ a greater amount with people in a different culture? It would make sense because they practice the same traditions, live in the same environment, and have similar experiences. Similar wiring is probably also past down through DNA, so for the most part it would stay in a certain region. I would consider this different than parents teaching their children certain biases or lessons because those are not internal wiring, those are taught through experience.

Our brains hold everything we have learned and everything we know. Our brains are us.