Reimagining Social Media

OPTION 1

Reimagining Social Media

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The design social media and other communication technologies have implications for personal relationships. Although social media are used to connect with other people, the economic incentives of these companies lead to designs that favor attention, clicks, and advertisements. In this assignment, you will have the opportunity to rethink the design of one aspect of any communication technology to improve the usefulness for personal relationships.

Step 1: Brainstorming session. Being this process by brainstorming a series of problems related to personal relationships and technology that exist on in social media, mobile phones, VR, etc. You need to come up with at least 10 potential problems.

Step 2: Analyze the design. Pick the 3 problems that you are most interested in from Step 1. Create a list of the design elements on one platform that encourage/discourage this type of behavior. Think deeply about the design decisions that were made by the platform developers, and how they trigger certain behaviors or prevent others. Critical thinking about social media platforms or mobile applications is a must here.

Step 3: Develop a design. Based on Step 1 and 2, you will need to come up with a potential solution for altering social media to address 1 problem you have identified. You need to reimagine what social interactions look like on social media, similar to DiFranzo et al. (2018)’s paper. The sky is the limit for these designs. I encourage you to innovate and push the boundaries of social media, mobile phones, VR, AR, algorithms, robotics, etc. However, the designs need to be justifiable through academic research findings or theory.

Step 4: Write a paper. This paper should be 4-to-5 pages in length. The organization of your paper will be as follows:

Problem. Based on theory and research findings covered in this class, 1) describe the problem of personal relationships and technology you have identified (Step 1), and 2) how the current design of media is contributes to this problem (Step 2) .
Solution. Describe the design idea you are proposing to address this problem (Step 3). Justify why this design solve the problem that you have identified through academic research and theory on problem.
Implications. Address what you think this change would mean for personal relationships and technology and elaborate some (1) ethical issues with implementing these designs, (2) economic implications, and (3) new problems implementing this design might create.
You are required to cite at least 2 academic papers from our class reading list in APA 6th (or 7th) edition. Do not use outside sources.

You will turn in:

A 4 to 5-page essay that analyzes and reimagines a social media platform to address the identified problem

OPTION 2

The Social Dilemma

This assignment allows you to critique popular discourse around the effects of social media and other communication technologies and develop your own original article about that popular discourse.

Step 1: Watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. This documentary is approximately 1.5 hours long. While you watch the documentary, take notes on the claims made about social media for identity, social relationships, empathy, and any other topics we covered in this class. If you have already watched the documentary, you will need to re-watch it to be successful on this assignment. If you do not have access to a Netflix account, let Sam know.

Step 2: Connect to research. Go through your notes and figure out the main themes and claims made about personal relationships and technology in the film. Connect those claims to the various readings from the semester.

Step 3: Write a paper. You will write a review of this documentary that analyses the validity of the claims made about personal relationships and technology, based on what you have learned in this class. This review should NOT be a summary of the main points of movie. Your analysis should have a clear thesis about the arguments made by The Social Dilemma about personal relationships and technology. You can agree, disagree, or somewhere in the middle with the claims made in this documentary. Each paragraph should have a main point, and all terms from the course should be defined in your own words.

You may spend a few sentences introducing the documentary, but most of your essay should make a well-developed, original argument about the information presented in The Social Dilemma. Integrate examples, stories, and quotes from the documentary and empirical research on the topic of personal relationships and technology to write a review of the documentary.

You are required to cite at least 4 academic papers from our class reading list in APA 6th (or 7th) edition. Do not use outside sources or newspaper articles.

You will turn in:

A 4 to 5-page essay that analyzes the quality of the documentary The Social Dilemma. For more information on Reimagining Social Media checkout this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

Reimagining Social Media

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