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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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12 Staying Alive on Facebook (Mary Ann Allison)

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CHAPTER 12

Staying Alive on Facebook

Mary Ann Allison

Homesick

The classes I taught at Hofstra University were one hour and 25 minutes. Many of my students told me that even if they are interested and participating in the discussion, they also have an itchy, a little bit worried, a little bit lonely feeling about what’s happening on Facebook while they are away. It is not overpowering, just ever-present.

This is similar to what people say when they are far from home and homesick. Facebook has become a home where many people now live. Of course, the places we live in our heads affect the physical places where we live and vice versa. But that is a thought for a different topic.

What does it mean to live in Facebook, how did it start, and how does this relate to the rest of society?

TV, radio, and landline phones started this new social order

In 1982, Father Walter Ong wrote about a new type of media environment. He was writing about the changes brought by TV, radio, and the landline telephone and he called this new environment secondary orality. He suggested that TV, radio, and the telephone would prompt changes in society and that some of these changes would mean that the newly emerging society would mirror the social structures found in oral societies, before the written and printed word, when...

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