Digital Media Theory, from the get-go, was one of the modules that we take on my course that I was really looking forward to. You get to focus on topics surrounding social media, and I felt that was one of my personal strengths and enjoyments.
I also liked the way that the module, being about topics such as this, remained contemporary. The content that we were learning about felt relevant, as opposed to outdated, which made it more interesting for me to write about.
The assessment of the class itself was interesting too. You had an essay but you also had four blog posts to produce. Each one of the blog posts had to relate to content from one of the weeks that you didn’t choose to write your final essay about. I liked the way that the assessment encompassed a broader variety of what we learned, instead of just assessing us on one area. I also like it when classes don’t solely rely on an essay mark as the final grade, giving students more of a chance to get creative.
We got to cover so many interesting topics including Lovink’s Sad By Design: how social media platforms and sadness link, as well as about the formation of the #MeToo movement and the power of a hashtag. The hashtag and #MeToo weeks were supplemented with TedTalks to watch prior to classes instead of only reading, which I thought were awesome! TedTalks are something that I watch anyway and find genuinely insightful. I would 100% recommend that you look for TedTalks relevant to your classes; they’re a great source of information as well as a slightly different addition to a more 'mainstream' bibliography.
My final essay was about a microcelebrity on Instagram. For the essay I had to analyse their profile and talk about what techniques they appear to be using to gain followers and drive engagement. I then had to mention if, in their consumerism, they could be seen as being empowered and liberated. Many influencers on social media market owning certain products as life changing and liberating, but are they truly liberating themselves through turning into a walking product placement? It was intriguing to delve into deep analysis on an individual profile.
As for my four blog posts, I wrote about #MeToo, social media sadness, a meme and becoming 'Instafamous'. The Instafamous task was by far my favourite blog post to produce. It involved replicating a post made by someone online and producing a write-up about the process.
If you’re due to be taking Digital Media Theory as a module in the near future, consider yourself lucky! This was one of my favourite classes and it really helped me understand how we use social media for business and pleasure in the digital age – a skill I am confident will transfer into other parts of my life and career.
Ciéra studies media at ARU in Cambridge. Find out more about this, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.