By Erica Dunigan
Staff reporter

Throughout the years technology has brought media to the forefront. It started out with a simple telephone, and a box with a keyboard. If a person were to go back in time and talk to Alexander Graham or Konrad Zuse, and tell them how the telephone or computer has taken technology to a new height, I don’t think they would be able to believe it.

Look at the stats of how many students in college text, connect to the internet, check the news, or even go shopping online. MediaPost states that a college student spends 57 percent of their time communicating with their friends and family through texting, and 36 percent of their time emailing teachers and other students.

That doesn’t even include the internet. MarketingCharts.com stated that 33 percent of college students spend more than 10 hours per week online, and 19.6 percent spend more than 20 hours per week on the internet. The most shocking part was only 16.6 percent spend more than 10 hours per week watching TV, but nobody needs TV when a person can access it on the internet on their computer and phone.

Most students already own a phone before coming to college, and it seems with the latest phones coming out, Smartphones for example, that a student wouldn’t need a computer. With these advances in technology, especially in phones, it seems like computers are becoming obsolete because a person can have everything at their fingertips at anytime they want. But for students, laptops come in handy for school work more than phones do.

Each student is given a laptop when they come to school, which makes it seem like that is what their connection to media is. Many of them may not have access to a Smartphone or the internet back home, but now, having a laptop and access to Wi-Fi all over campus, it’s a given that it would become a habit each day of checking emails, news, blogs, keeping up with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, and shopping online.

For many it’s something new and exciting that they may not have at home, and therefore their media habits may change while being at school.

It seems too that instant messaging has became the biggest and most popular online activity for college students, which is then followed by online games, reading entertainment, and also listening to internet radio, an example is Pandora or a student’s hometown radio station, which can be accessed on their website.

Then comes the question if a person can download apps on their phone, or access the news through internet, is their need for the news on TV or a printed paper?

People that use Smartphone’s can now access applications. They can access the news via internet, or access the news through apps on their phones. So, instead of waiting for the news to be printed or aired, they automatically access it through their phone, breaking news through text messaging, Twitter, and web sites on the internet.

It’s hard trying to take time out of the day to pick up a paper to read, or take time to watch the news, when a student or person can access it anytime they want, from anywhere they are.

After breaking this all day it seems like a college student schedule would go like this:
• During the morning they would wake up and check emails and Facebook.
• Grab breakfast and get ready for class.
• Go to classes for the day, while checking emails variously, catching up on news, Facebooking (not during class), and watching YouTube clips.
• Finish off the day doing homework, Facebooking, catching up on missed episodes, and occasionally twitting and playing the infamous Farmville on Facebook.

Then the question remains, has a person media habits changed with the latest trends out there today?

Maybe it has, or maybe it hasn’t. If technology keeps evolving, then more avenues will be open for media to be spread. These avenues then will increase in value for others enjoyment.

Erica Dunigan is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at erica.dunigan@sckans.edu.

Put In Perspective

RJ Schack, physical education senior

My media habits have changed in many ways since being at college. Before college I did not have Facebook or use an e-mail that often. I was even one of those slow guys who took hours when typing on the computer.

Now that I am here at college I check my e-mail daily because I receive so many from all different organizations. If I was to go without checking my email for two days I would have over 30 e-mails at least.

Facebook I am on a lot. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. It helps me get to know people here in college a little more because it puts a face to a name. Also, if I am in the same class with someone on Facebook I can talk to them and get information that way a lot faster than in person.

At Southwestern we use technology for class such as Blackboard or Self-Service. I use Blackboard for three of my classes and if I do not complete my work on Blackboard on time, I will not get credit for class.

Overall, my media habits have changed enormously over my last four years here. I can type faster now and do so much more.

Kaley Rodriguez, elementary education junior

Media has changed my habits by how I live my life every day. I find myself waking up in the morning checking my phone for the updates on the social networks of Twitter and Facebook. Throughout the day, I am on my laptop or phone checking emails and the news to find out what is happening in the world.

I am working hard this year for recruitment for Leadership and myself searching for prospective students on Facebook to get to them interested in our program. For many of my organizations and clubs on campus, I find myself creating groups, statues, and events to inform others of our successes and events.

I don’t think I could go a day without using some type of media. It is always at my fingertips and to not use it seems wasteful.