How and when do media become digital? What does digitization afford and what is lost as television and cinema become digitized? As lots of things around us turn digital, have we started telling stories, sharing experiences, and replaying memories differently? What has happened to television and life after “New Media”? How have television audiences been transformed by algorithmic cultures of Netflix and Amazon?
Social media platforms such as Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook have blurred the lines between public and private spaces, and ushered in a heightened sense of immediacy to mediations of everyday life. When BuzzFeed (an aggregator of hilarious memes) starts doing serious journalism, in what ways does it transform the production and evaluation of news? How have (social) media transformed socialities as ephemeral snaps and swiped intimacies become part of the "new" digital/phone cultures? This is an introductory survey/exploratory course and we discuss a wide variety of media technologies and phenomena that include: cloud computing, Internet of Things, hacking, trolls, “FAKE NEWS,” distribution platforms, optical fiber cables, surveillance tactics, social media, and race in cyberspace. We also examine emerging mobile phone cultures in the Global South and the environmental impact of digitization. Course activities include Tumblr blog posts and Instagram curations. The course assignments consist of in-class mid-term and a take home end-term of long answer-type questions.