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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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13 Mobiles (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 13

Mobiles

Cheryl A. Casey

Scratching the surface

Whenever I assign a “media fast” to my students, nearly all of them choose to spend the day doing one of two things (or both): sleeping or hiking. Some students are so truly convinced they won’t survive the day that they sleep through it as much as possible. Other students assume that time spent outdoors, taking a walk or hiking a mountain, is the obvious activity for one looking to avoid communication technology for a day.

This automatic division between nature and technology is fascinating, in part because I just can’t relate to it as “obvious.” Take a walk without my smartphone? Not a chance. I live in a semirural, mountainous community where my border collie, golden retriever, and I hike wooded trails nearly every day. My mobile device is integrated into this activity, no more or less than is my appreciation of the breathtaking surroundings.

My dogs need to run, so they are given the freedom to do so. The border collie knows his borders, and the golden retriever sticks close to her “big brother,” but I feel much better knowing where they are within those borders. My smartphone helps me track them via a GPS device attached to their collars. Another app on my phone logs the route we’re taking. Later, I will show my husband the new path I discovered, traced out in...

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