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BLOG 12: What I Learned

The statement I am about to make would have sounded completely ridiculous to me at the beginning of the semester: Twitter has changed my life.  Before taking this class I was reluctant to join Twitter because I thought it was more or less a tool for companies to advertise or for individuals to constantly update what they had for lunch, or who they saw at the mall.  Now, I believe that Twitter is a vital resource for my participation in a deliberative democracy, as mentioned in Republic.com 2.0.  Twitter is a HUGE gateway to so many sources of information and opinion.  It allows me to stay up to date on both international and local news.  It allows me to read insightful features about the environment and education.  In consideration of our discussion of deliberative democracy, I do intentionally follow some people that I probably don’t match up with in terms of ideology.  At the same time, I think it is true that the people that I follow would probably reveal my general political leaning.  I haven’t actually tweeted anything original, I just use Twitter to get information.  Perhaps in the future I will consider offering my thoughts as an enhancement of my role in a deliberative democracy.

The most boring information that was covered in class was probably any discussion about general trends in media use.  It seems that these trends are pretty obvious at this point.  Internet and mobile media use is going up, media sources have identifiable audiences based on ideology, and older media consumers have a different political ideology than younger media consumers.  I don’t think that we spent an excessive amount of time on this and it’s probably important that these basic trends are at least mentioned every once in a while.

Overall, I would say that I learned a great deal about the development of political communication through recent history, how politics is communicated through different mediums and sources, how political communication either harms or helps the democratic process, and how I can improve my media habits to more fully realize my role as a citizen.

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