I felt that doing a whole class about “wasting time on the internet” ironically proved to be meaningful to me. Even though we were using multiple ways to communicate with each other, I found myself actually paying attention. Of course, there were a few instances where I would browse through my Twitter or Facebook feed, but I feel like that is to be expected. I think this is because I had so many ways of paying attention. The multiple forms of communication left me switching back and forth between them all. I did not really have time to be distracted by other websites. When it is a class where the professor is lecturing and there are the occasional discussions from students, I find myself spacing out. I feel that this is because I never felt the pressure to add deep, intellectual thoughts to the discussion. When I am in a class and everyone is contributing their thoughts, I tend to feel that my contribution will not sound as smart and my peers will look down on me. However, with this assignment I found myself actually wanting to participate in the discussions and I used Twitter, the chat room, and email to discuss my thoughts. It was a much more relaxed, non-pressured environment. I definitely participated more in this activity than I do during an actual class lecture. I liked that there was general talk about the class and the occasional question about the readings or videos playing on the screen, but there was also times where the assignment turned into a fun and humorous environment such as linking each other to Buzzfeed articles. Whenever there were questions about the readings or videos, I feel that everyone became engaged and tried to answer them. When there was talk about Buzzfeed and other social media, we all related that to questions of, “Why is this interesting?” or “Why do people use this and are more comfortable with this”, so I definitely feel that we made it more of a learning environment, rather than just “wasting time”.
For one of the readings, there was the Ngai article on “Stuplimity”. In this article there was a passage that stuck out to me because of the video being played during class: “As Stein acknowledges, “Listening to repeating is often irritating, listening to repeating can be dulling””. When the video was being played throughout the class, I did not find it to be irritating or dulling. At times, I actually found myself looking up and reading some of the words. It was only until someone mentioned that the video was repeating that I actually noticed it. I think the “irritating” or “dulling” aspect depends on your mood at the time. What I got from the article is that “Stuplimity” has to do with emotions, such as boredom and shock. I think that reading this article tied in with our “wasting time” assignment because we, ourselves, were suppose to feel some kind of stuplimity during the class period.