New Media Blog 1: What’s Bits and What’s Real Life?

I absolutely agree with the theory by Reeves and Nast that people often confuse media with real life. People yell at their televisions during a football game or at a computer when it’s running slow. People also treat their computers like a person, talking to it whether it be kindly to convince to work better by gently asking it to do what they want done or yelling at it on the top of their lungs spewing profanity for not doing what it’s supposed to do.  However, sometimes when people communicate over the Internet, while they may treat the computer like it’s a living, breathing thing; they say things they wouldn’t say in person or over the phone due to the anonymity of the internet, but they can get away with it online because in some methods such as E-mail, is asynchronous, meaning you can send an e-mail at one time and then the receiver doesn’t have to read it immediately and it will wait for them. The authors of the chapter mentioned this in their “politeness” section.  This section also discusses how to enter and exit an interaction online such as a chat room as well as “netiquette ”

The chapter also discusses the involvement of a user with a computer that asks questions about the user versus one that doesn’t, it states that people are more involved when they are asked questions by their computers. This is one point that I totally disagree with, the dog asking what you want to search or the Paperclip “Clippy” are more of a hindrance than a help in my experience, when ever I would install Office for myself or anyone else, I would disable Clippy because especially for me it just gets in the way of my work instead of helping me.  I’m sure the reason these things came to life, was to make the computer more personal and easier to use, which might be great for basic users but it gets in the way of the more experienced user.  My opinion may be because I am an advanced computer user and don’t need the help and it really got in the way of my work and because of that, I never use it. In fact he few times I tried it, it didn’t help with the tasks I wanted to accomplish.


Although I may disagree with some points in the chapter, overall, the line between real life and media has really blurred recently especially with new media where they can interact with the audience or the consumer of the media.  Another great example of this is Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services that allow users to conference with each other as if they are in the same room with each other talking. This phenomenon is not just with young children, I know many adults that name their computer and refer to it as a person or by name and talk to it as if it were a living, breathing human being sitting in front of them. This is still all just the beginning, in the future teleprecenece will further connect physically distant people and conference them as if they are sitting together in the same room even further blurring the line between real life and  digital life.

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