Media Theory

Putting media under our own microscope
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Met criteria

|   Reason on how the six aptitudes of Daniel Pink affects (the design of) media in the digital age by means of an essay

My essay addressed why the Story aptitude is becoming an essential element in today's society. I've collaborated with someone who wrote about Symphony and made a lecture proving my essay's point. That's why I think I've made sufficient argumentation on how well that aptitude affects media in a digital age.

|   Have a vision on how media is affecting the digital age and apply this vision to a design challenge

The phoneless-challenge and extended self describe my vision on the current digital age. Thanks to these insights, we've discussed what role the conversational agent gets within the design challenge.

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A day without my phone

I've attempted to complete something very frustrating and boring at the same time. Multiple times actually 😅

My video reflection shows my contemplating thoughts during the challenge. I must say: this challenge has been an eye-opener for me because I didn't know how important my phone is before I put it away. Because all paper/analog household items and organizers, like an address book, agenda, camera, alarm, and mail, are now dematerialized and reembodied within my phone.

The extended self

Belk's research wasn't an eye-opener for me because I'm already aware of what is happening between the physical world and the digital world. However, his research supported me to describe my personal experiences with technology towards others. I observed many people who are struggling with those physical and digital world dimensions. So Belk's article helped to classify my personal experiences into dimensions, which is useful information for the design challenge.

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To know what a conversational agent can be like, I've got to talk to Sara for about a week (my bot from We've tried to get to know each other and maybe become friends. Please bear in mind that I've watched the movie 'Her' (2013) beforehand, so I had high expectations from 😉

I've documented the journey carefully and highlighted some interesting aspects of her behavior. My opinion is that chatbots aren't able to replace human interactions (looking at Belk's insights about media). It wasn't possible to have a humanlike conversation with Sara. Moreover, it was really weird that she wasn't able to maintain her own personality and keeps on generating new interests at a fast rate.

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Mini Saga

This assignment is about making a mini-saga that is about 100 words long. While writing, I've noticed it's quite hard to keep the saga at 100 words maximum because I have so much to write about 😝

Looking at this afterwards made me realize that summarizing an initial idea or story can be very difficult. After all, no one is interested in listening/reading extended stories.

Read Saga

Impactful Story Essay (& lecture)

Why is the story an essential element of today's society? How does it contribute to behavioural change? And what would be a fitting way to improve a story? Looking back at the assignment, this essay was pretty fun to write.

I wanted to write about something that wasn't discussed during the Story Creation course, which makes formulating the essay's main question pretty hard. I stumbled across Steve Denning's TED-Talk about his interesting view on storytelling, which inspired me to continue writing. Of course, I've improved my essay thanks to the teacher's feedback (it's part of my essay chapter).

The assignment of making a lecture about the essay (in 1 hour) is also included.

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Reflection on this course

Media Theory was an engaging course where I've learned to reflect and reason what is happening in this digital age. This reflection channels towards ethical questions which I've never answered, like "Why does it feel like everything needs to be digitized nowadays?", "What is all that fuzz about [technical term] and do I need to know what it is?" and "How can conversational agents apply in today's society?".

When I'm helping other people with computer problems, I get the first two questions a lot. They are wondering why more and more physical stuff disappears and appear in a digital form. Before this course, I couldn't precisely answer this question propperly because I'm used to this way of living. Now with Belk's research about the extended self, I can split digitalization into those dimensions and give better answers to those ethical questions.

This course had me also thinking about my way of working within IT (as a programmer). I'm mostly developing new digital solutions that fit the stakeholder's criteria and nothing else, which means I'm not critical enough to think about the impact the app has when it's finished. Pink's aptitudes inspired me that digital solutions (like a new app) can hold more meaning. That's why the last question, "How can conversational agents apply in today's society?", help me realize that not every solution is always a proper one.

That's precisely what I thought during the design challenge: "Not every solution is a proper one". We've discussed the potentiality of a conversational agent and what value it can add to our target audience. It is noticeable that we've changed the concept multiple times because the conversational agent had different purposes at all concepts.

I enjoyed all the classes we've done during this course. The topics discussed are on-point and got my excitement. It is a pity that we didn't have more lectures during the minor because I found them the most informative. Fortunately, the research I examined was extremely interesting as well.