The big step for me this semester was taking an in-depth look at the means of production behind all media. Before this class, I think I paid too much attention to the ways people use technologies for interaction and social purposes, but this semester made me think about issues of control and waning human agency. In the past, when I thought about media and control, it was never in relation to the theories that came out of the 1930s and 1940s, in the wake of Fascism and when capitalism was becoming such a powerful force in the lives of individuals. I made a lot of connections. In the discussions on Ning, some of us would joke that “the media are taking over” since some of the readings did suggest a kind of brain washing. But, I think the readings were valuable because they presented a largely non-American perspective, and it’s possible that what seems like “brain-washing” to Americans is more realistic for non-Americans who experienced a different history and saw how powerful forces make and use media. (In fact, I don’t think there were any American theories except for some things in CTMS.)
Logistically, this class was a challenge for me initially because of the schedule, but it became easier when the schedule changed after spring break. I would not take another online class again, because of my difficulty writing and the insane amount of time I had to spend each week writing.