An Everyday Nuisance

Nowadays, we are so consumed with social media, it seems as if we are drowning in it. The social media craze began with MySpace and then shifted to Facebook. With new technologies and smart phones, the capabilities that we have are endless. Humans seem to be driven off of communication and competition and those qualities are found within the social media apps of the new generation. I am talking about Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is the same concept as Facebook; users have their home page, a newsfeed, a messaging center, and a place to post their own thoughts and ideas. Instagram is a little different, it offers a new spin on older social media; users, instead of posting words, now post a picture with various filters and are then offered a space to caption their photo – not much is different other than this is a photo based platform instead of text. Instagram keeps users competitive by allowing “likes” and “followers” to be seen by anyone. I found that even within my own group of friends, we all strive to have the most “likes” though they are seemingly meaningless.

After launching in October of 2010, Instagram dominated the app store gaining over 100 million by April of 2012. But what has happened in the 2 years after the Insta-craze? I found that with my phone, I have a routine whenever I wake up which goes like this: I wake up, I check Messages, then Twitter, then Instagram, then I get out of bed and start my day. It has become a daily routine since I don’t know how long. Tom Gunning’s article, “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, SecondNature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of the Century” wonders how things go from innovation into a habitual utility. Gunning asks the question, “What happens in modernity to the initial wonder at a new technology when the novelty has faded into the banality of the everyday?” (Gunning 42). He then offers John Onian’s four stages in which amazement turns into learning as an explanation. These four steps consist of:

1. A striking experience, usually visual, but sometimes aural.

2. A consequent physical paralysis.

3. A reaction which results in something being learned, and may be followed by

4. A new action

These steps accompany almost every technological advancement whether it be something as complex as a new operating system, or something as simple as an app like Instagram, and through these steps, we familiarize ourselves with the technology and it becomes a daily routine. Some groups of people despise Instagram claiming it to be a nuisance and a hindrance to everyday activities. Because of its ease and our familiarity, we tend to use it at the most inappropriate of times and this meme illustrates different people’s perceptions of it and its usage:


Works Cited:

Gunning, Tom. (2003) “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, SecondNature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of the Century”. In D. Thorburn and H. Jenkins (eds), Rethinking Media Change:The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 39-60.


One comment on “An Everyday Nuisance

  1. The first paragraph does a great job of drawing in the reader through language. Overall, the tone of the blog post is nicely positioned so that it’s not too formal, but also not too casual. The text introduces Gunning’s text and Onian’s four stages of amazement, providing context and outlining the main concepts. One thing to consider when editing is to give the reader enough background information to understand the technology without providing details that are irrelevant to your main points. The blog post defines and discusses Twitter, but then leaves Twitter behind in the meme and the later text of the blog. Focusing on Instagram alone might have freed up enough of the word count to go into greater detail with Onian’s four stages of amazement, applying them to Instagram directly. Freeing up the word count would also allow you to Discuss the meme within the text of the blog post and make the meme more relevant to the text, as well as connect the images in the meme to your main ideas.

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