Week 11 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab/Post Lab

Question: Many social media platforms are considered sociotechnical systems that people use on a daily basis. How might these platforms take over a student’s life over time?

I believe this question will help my research based on the survey results because many of the questions involve social media and it will help me determine how common it is that students use technology and its effect on those students. It will also show me whether or not students actually use these sociotechnical systems too much.

Pivot Table:

Based on my pivot table, a lot of students tend to use social media on a daily basis, although, I was surprised by how many people use it on an hourly basis. Additionally, most people seem to agree that social media platforms create more problems than they solve for students on campus, which correlates to my question above. On the other hand, most students still use social media very often, regardless of how it affects their lives.

This data is valuable to me because I can start to see a trend towards students who agree that social media is problematic and continue to use it. It’s interesting to think about what it would be like if social media didn’t exist in our time because it did not exist back in the 19th century, so a lot has changed since then. My interviewee Sebastian brought to light that social media is great for communication and networking, but also agreed that it is not beneficial for everything that it’s used for.

Reading Response

1. Rap Genius- “built a feature called ‘group annotations’ right into the browser – and it worked great – all users could comment on any page and discussions quickly ensued,” (Andreessen).

2. Rap Genius- “generalize out to many other categories of text… annotate the world,” (Andreessen).

3. PrarieNet- “A Free-Net was a new way for people to communicate with each other online, using the power of the Internet. Many people had realized what a wonderful communications medium their computer was, and had started to rely on the Internet’s many features for all kinds of things.” (Newby).

4. PrarieNet-“Many lives were changed for the better, by using Prairienet to communicate across time and space with other people of similar interests.”

5. Mosaic-“Today we can shut down the browser and admire the HTTP code traffic. We can see every request and response taking place between our computers and many others,”(Canales).

Mosaic was the first widely used point-and-click interface to the internet that changed the lives of many people, especially at the University of Illinois. Before the development of Mosaic, most users could only access the internet with a command-line computer interface, but through new innovative interfaces, we can “gain access to a portal, cross a threshold, or simply peer into a different space while at a safe distance,” (Canales 153). If I were in the room in the early 1990s working with Andreesen, Bina, and other young researchers on Mosaic, I would make sure that Mosaic would be credited with being the application that made the web available to the general public.

1 thought on “Week 11 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response”

  1. Hey Jason,

    I like your question about the impact of social media on the lives of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students as one of the components of a sociotechnical system create an interesting interaction between the software, hardware, and data.

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