What does my degree mean to me?

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Volunteer writer, Gabby Smith, brings you a little insight to what her degree means to herself.

 

My degree in media means studying the most rapidly evolving part of the modern world, it means questioning whether the hold that media has over such a large proportion of our lives is a good thing, and it means being a little nostalgic about how far the world of media has come. In the last ten years, we’ve seen the incredible rise of YouTube, blogging and social media.

The extent of social media when I was younger was the MSN chat rooms you immediately went on after school to say important things to your mates like ‘wuu2’ and ‘lol’. But now, Instagram and Snapchat mean we are awash with pictures 24/7, there is a constant need to let everyone know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and is it ‘#goals’? Nobody knew 10 years ago when we were all playing Nintendogs and trying desperately to keep that Tamagotchi alive, that social media would sky-rocket into thousands of apps all of which you feel a need to keep up with.

Don’t get me wrong, I upload to Instagram, retweet and send filtered Snapchats as much as the next girl and I believe that social media has brought with it many benefits. Instant communication and endless knowledge available instantly have all been ground-breaking benefits. It’s the ever-increasing disadvantages that seem to be letting the side down. From the more comical hindrances like the fact read receipt has you paranoid about whether you’re being ignored, to the more serious issues of cyber-bullying, social media certainly seems to be doing more damage than good at the moment.

The unpopular and perhaps unusual opinion of someone studying a media degree, is that I’m not sure social media is a good thing. Can it be good to have something that almost the entire population is bound by? I know for sure that I’m more productive when my phone isn’t by my side because before you know it, you’ve lost 47 minutes scrolling through various people’s lunches or cute dogs and its added nothing to your life.

However, my curiosity is based around where it goes now. Many have said that it will slow down, that the rate at which the social media empire is growing will plateau. So, what I want to know is if the media will always have this hold on people or whether the novelty will eventually wear off. There is little we can do to slow down the ever-changing world of the media, but would I quite like to go back to Nokia bricks, the Nintendos and well, the more unplugged version of the world sometimes? Definitely. But, then again what would we do without Spotify, group chats and the iPhone reminder app because, oh my is that thing a life saver.

As I look towards the future, and jobs in the media, it seems that of all the careers, this is one of the most uncertain ones. There’s no telling where traditional media will go, will magazines and newspapers be completely digital in ten years or will we hold on to a more diverse media? Nobody foresaw lucrative jobs vlogging on YouTube, and nobody foresaw the rapid decline of the magazine industry. So, I guess you could say that my degree is about keeping up with the most rapidly changing sector of our society, feeding my curiosity about where the next years will take us in the media and it means achieving the goal of having a degree that will let me be a part of this change.

 

Featured image by: Sofia Azcona.

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About Author

Label Editor for 2018-19; nominated for best volunteer writing at the 2018 Media Awards; a dog person.

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