DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 11: Course Wrap-Up and Case Study



So I know I wrote last week’s blog post with a depressing air of finality, but I Just couldn’t let you guys not see the fruits of my labor.

For the past six weeks, each of us taking Intro to Dig Comm has been working on a case study. We got to pick our own topics, so every presentation that was given last night (during our last class – sob!) was insanely interesting. When people research a topic they’re passionate about, the interest shows, and this project gave us a lot of freedom to look into some really cool things.

Basically, what we had to do was pick a company or brand who used digital media in an interesting way, and explain how and why the campaign worked. Some of my favorite presentations were about Disney, Marvel, and Coca-Cola – name brands we interact with every day, who are leading in innovation and changing the digital media game as we know it.

But my project was a little different. Rather than analyze an entire company who upped their social media presence over the course of a few campaigns, I decided to try something else. For my case study, I looked at the 2016 film Deadpool, which, as you might have heard, raked in over $600 million dollars so far despite having a budget of just $58 million – a budget that Ryan Reynolds himself, the star, quipped was usually just the ‘cocaine budget’ for other Superhero films.

Deadpool smashed records nationwide, even breaking 50 Shades of Grey’s box office opening weekend record. For 20th Century Fox and Marvel, it was a winner from the moment it premiered, and they didn’t even have to spend millions of dollars on flashy trailers and expensive TV commercial spots to make it happen.

So how did they make it happen? Innovative social media marketing and viral content creation.

In my paper, I analyze the campaign used to sell Deadpool to consumers in a way that’s meant to be neutral but probably comes off as more praising – I really, really, really loved the film, okay?

Here’s a link to my paper. If you haven’t seen the film, GO SEE IT NOW. Hopefully my case study will still interest you if you haven’t, but I promise you won’t regret it.


As for the semester’s end, I don’t think there’s anything more I can say that I didn’t squeeze into my blog last week or tweet about, but, just because I don’t think it can be said enough: I had a great time in class this semester. To date, Intro to Dig Comm has been one of the best classes I’ve taken (undergrad included, since it’s my first grad school class!).

This course has been such a great start to my graduate school experience. I can’t wait to finally meet everyone at the Immersion on Friday (and I’m sorry for rushing through my presentation. I was really excited).

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 10 Reflection: What’s in Store for the Future

I can’t believe the semester is over already. The last ten weeks absolutely flew by, and I’m not sure how I can condense everything I’ve learned and all my thoughts on so many complex topics into a blog post, but I’m going to try.


This week’s lecture was centered around the future of communications and how everything we’ve been studying is going to continue to progress over time. I sat down this weekend and gave each topic we studied a lot of thought and considered what the future for each might be in turn. Across the board, there were some obvious similarities – more of what we have now. More wearables, more customization, more interaction, more of the same but easier, faster, and more convenient – everything we’ve come to expect out of our technology.

At the same time, I look at the current state of technology – for example, Apple products – and I wonder how much more can be done. The iPad has proven to be the most overhyped electronic device in recent years. It is mostly just a larger iPhone. The Apple Watch has had its criticisms too, and the Amazon Echo, Google’s Cortana, and, of course, Siri, are not each without their faults. So, when it comes to the future of communication, what would make consumers happy?

Looking at the criticisms of “smart personal assistants,” people seem to want a completely artificially-intelligent robot PA, a la Her, but when things that fit this bill are created, they are received by mixed reviews. We mentioned this creation during the live session (her name is Sophia) and, while some people thought this idea held promise and was potentially very cool) most of us were horrified as soon as we heard that she has cameras in her eyes that will recognize a person’s face. Maybe it’s movies that have made us so fearful of artificial intelligence, but, personally, I just don’t feel ready for something like Sophia to become mainstream.

So where is the field of communications headed? This is a broad question, and when it comes to looking towards the future of things like mobile devices, interactivity, virtual reality and customization, how can anyone really predict where an ever-changing field like communications might be in a month or two, much less ten years? New technological developments happen every day. Popularity of certain mediums wanes and waxes. Facebook is the new MySpace, and in another year or two, Twitter will probably have completely eclipsed Facebook. Given that social networks are just a small fraction of communication as a whole, and this example is one tiny afterthought to a very complex discussion, how can I begin to tackle the future of an entire industry in one measly blog post?

I look forward to seeing how things will evolve in the field. There’s not much I can say about the future of communication technology that we didn’t cover during the live session. My classmates are an intelligent bunch, and we were largely in agreement about my earlier point that we will see more convenience, faster, and with the added (and cooler) bonus of things like holograms and virtual reality. So rather than harp on about points we’ve already discussed at length, I’ll use this time to reflect on the class in general and how I felt about my first semester as a Communications@Syracuse student.

In the course evaluation for this class, I wrote that this course was a good Intro course without feeling too Intro-y. This course provided a great background to the program and what we were going to learn, while still teaching me something new every week. I was a Communications major in undergrad, but I know that not everyone else was. This course catered to those who needed the extra help without making students like me bored with the content and feeling like we were slowly going over the basics every week.

Maybe our section was just blessed with a great group of students, but the live sessions were my favorite part of this course. In my undergraduate classes, I never felt like I received a diverse range of perspectives, because so many of the students in my classes were people similar to me. My undergrad classmates were from the same part of the country, had the same upbringing, and all looked the same. No two people have the exact same life experience, but for the most part, we were similar. So far, I feel as though I have been exposed to lots of different professions, people, and parts of the country, which has made for a robust discussion throughout the semester.

Wrapping up this course is bittersweet. I’ll miss our Monday night talks as much as I’ll miss watching The Bachelor right after them, but the takeaway I’ve gotten from this course – mainly, the fresh perspective I now have on the industry and my deeper understanding of the topics we’ve studied – balances out the sadness of the course’s end.

Thanks for everything, Intro to Dig. Comm. I can’t wait to meet you all next week!

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 9 Reflection: The Business of Persuasion


Finally! The class I’ve been waiting for all semester: public relations and advertising.

I’ve known that I wanted to work in public relations since I was a freshman in high school, and in the field of communications even longer than that. I remembered thinking how glamorous the field seemed – on TV (most notably the show that got me hooked, The Spin Crowd) it seemed that public relations mostly involved hanging out with celebrities and attending red carpet events.

Fast forward eight or so years, and now I’m here: a professional intern whose day mostly consists of pitching reporters, compiling media lists, and attending a grand total of zero fantastic parties.

That’s not to say that the industry isn’t everything I thought it’d be – it is, and more. I absolutely love working in the field and can’t imagine myself with any other career. Who doesn’t want to think creatively, work with cool brands, and tell stories all day long? I get paid to do something I already do all day – lurk social media news feeds and talk about trending topics. At my job, I’m in charge of monitoring for celebrity feuds in case the opportunity for newsjacking presents itself. For someone who loves pop culture and eagerly devours trashy tabloids, this is a dream come true.

But I digress. This isn’t an autobiographical post about how I got my job and how much I love it. This is meant to be about this week’s class, during which we mostly talked about advertising and I hogged the quick Intro to PR we snuck in at the end.

Still, public relations is a pretty big part of a brand’s day-to-day concerns nowadays, maybe even more than advertising is. Both are insanely important when it comes to garnering brand recognition, loyalty, and consumer sales – if in different ways. The fact of the matter is that both fields are constantly evolving, adapting to new technologies and practices in ways that other industries, such as print media, are having a harder time doing.

Which brings me to our discussion in class, which was mostly based around how digital technology and new media has changed advertising. We discussed targeted ads (based on my opinion on data mining, I’m sure you can guess how I feel about those) and whether digital media has made advertising more effective. I felt there wasn’t much more to be said on the topic than what was covered in the synchronous content – of course digital media has made advertising more effective. For proof, look no further than this week’s TopShop example.

TopShop’s translation of the hottest London Fashion Week items into strategically placed live Twitter billboards was a stroke of marketing genius. For those of you who forget, TopShop pulled pieces from its own clothing line that mimicked trends that were straight off the runway from London Fashion Week. These outfits were projected on digital billboards, all within ten miles of a TopShop retail store. Consumers were encouraged to engage with a brand hashtag, and those who did were sent a personalized list of clothing items to shop from. You think targeted advertising is creepy? I see your opinion, and raise you TopShop’s Top Trends initiative.

Who doesn’t want something like online shopping, where thousands of outfits and hundreds of sizes, styles, and colors can finally be sorted from a confusing mess into a personalized experience, hand tailored to their own interests? Are you really so concerned about your privacy that you would forgo something this convenient?

I sound incredibly “millennial” right now, don’t I?

Regardless, I am in favor of targeted ads. I am even in favor of native ads. As I mentioned during the live session, I find native ads less intrusive than full page pop-ups or pop-unders, and, after years and years spent online, I am able to spot them and ignore them seamlessly. Do I consider them dishonest? Not really. As long as they are labeled, I don’t feel that it is the company’s problem if a consumer misses the label at-a-glance or is confused by it. Native advertising is smart, and effective. Like targeted advertising, it just makes sense, especially with the way digital media is changing virtually every industry out there.

Advertising and public relations have adapted to these changes in ways that I feel are not too out-there or extreme. Other industries have yet to catch up, and, sure, there are places within advertising and PR that aren’t perfected yet, but I think most would agree that these two industries have found a way to keep up with younger, more digital generations in ways that are, for the most part, effective and quietly, impressively seamless.

I like working in public relations. I like using digital media on a daily basis and I really do feel that it has kept me more current than some of my other peers who never studied communications. Both industries have their merits and are insanely important, not just to an ever-changing digital landscape, but to brands, companies, other fields of study, and consumers.

It’s our job to tell the stories. We have to make them make sense, and we have to make them relatable. Understanding the way digital communication is changing is an important part of that.

I know I say this every week, but I really enjoyed this week’s class discussion. Maybe it was because I got to talk more about something I’m knowledgeable in, but I found this week’s live session engaging and interesting – and thought-provocative. Gaining another perspective on a field I consider myself an expert in was, for lack of a better word, cool. It’s always nice to see something you think you know completely through a different set of eyes.

Moving forward, I look forward to hearing people’s semester wrap-ups now that Intro to Digital Communications is (unbelievably) almost over. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more on this topic as people present their case studies, and I can’t wait to see some real-life examples to supplement our abstract discussion on how digital media has changed two hugely important industries.

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 8 Reflection: In the defense of Citizen Journalism


This week’s class was largely discussion based, and we had an interesting and complex talk about citizen journalism. My views on citizen journalism have always been complex. Of course I agree that paid journalists are paid because they are dedicated professionals, and I have always felt that journalists deserve our respect for the work they do, but I don’t think that feeling this way means I have to discredit citizen journalism.

The fact of the matter is that citizen journalism is insanely important. During the live session, it seemed (at least to me) that most of my classmates could sort of concede to that point, but, for the most part, they felt that citizen journalism is not as important as ‘real’ journalism. In my opinion, it’s a fine line. I agree that citizen journalists might not be as passionate as some professionals. I agree that citizen journalists might not vet their sources like professional journalists (hopefully) do. And yet, at the same time, we should all be aware that when we talk about professional journalists in such high regard, not all professional journalists deserve it.

To disregard citizen journalists so blatantly just doesn’t sit well with me. To say that citizen journalists cannot have the same amount of passion and professionalism that a professional journalist has even seems classist – many chefs have never been to culinary school. Yet there is little discrimination among professionals in the kitchen. Not everyone can afford to go to school. So why are citizen journalists considered lesser than their “educated” counterparts?

Maybe the issue is that people are reluctant to accept the way journalism is changing. Though it seems obvious that journalism is moving online, there will probably always be people who don’t “trust” the news unless it comes from a seasoned New York Times columnist. Yet, as a media student, I am well aware of the way that any news can be manipulated. The ease of digital manipulation is another criticism to citizen journalism – even though this isn’t something new to the industry. News channels and publications have always considered the interest of their network and the higher-ups when planning a story. Facts have always been omitted – sometimes the wrong news even gets reported to further a network’s interests. What is it about citizen journalism that makes people think there will be more deceit than we’re already used to?

But my main defense of citizen journalism is that, so often, it tells a side of the story that the media is obscuring. A quick Google search for “what the media won’t show you in Ferguson” brings literally hundreds of thousands of results. Many articles are filled with images of community love and togetherness that did not fit the mainstream media’s narrative of riots and chaos. Yet, in a situation like what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year, isn’t it incredibly important that this side of the story is shown?

Citizen journalists are able to tell these stories because they only answer to one person: themselves. Citizen journalists fact-check the media and call them out when they make mistakes. Citizen journalists do what “professionals” are unable to do, and I don’t think that ordinary people would act this way if they weren’t passionate about the truths they were trying to tell. And for those who argue that it is impossible to trust what citizen journalists say, I ask you to remember all the times that “professional” journalists have lied to us in the past.

All media should be consumed with a grain of salt and a heavy dose of cynicism. Yet when I log onto Twitter and check the hashtags of protests, political rallies, and events, I am more likely to believe a tweet from a “regular” person than a journalist. Advocacy journalism has been so heavily biased recently that I, and many others, look to bloggers, tweeters, and other strangers on social media for accurate information. There is something about these people on Twitter that is innately honest – I almost feel as though I’m reading a tweet from a friend. There are very few journalists that I trust this way.

Maybe that’s the journalists’ fault.


What I’m trying to say is that I don’t feel we should discredit citizen journalists so easily. “Professional” journalists have certainly made mistakes, yet no one looks at journalism they way they look at politics – as a dishonest industry. Citizen journalists should be granted the same respect – at least until they prove they are not deserving of it.

I enjoyed this week’s class discussion. As always, I liked listening to others’ perspectives on issues that are important to me. But I was surprised that, really, only myself and one other student argued in favor of citizen journalism. After doing some more research on the topic when it came time to write this blog, I realized that a majority of people are actually against citizen journalism; I am not in the minority just in class.

Maybe people need to be more open to change, or more critical of both sides of the issue and more aware of the gray area between respecting professionals and commending the work of amateurs. Citizen journalists have done some great things. This isn’t to discount the incredible work professional journalists have done over the years – I don’t see why applauding either side has to be at the detriment to the other. Why does there even have to be sides?

If nothing else, I hope this blog inspired those who feel one way about the issue to consider the other side’s point of view. It’s what an unbiased journalist would want.

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 7 Reflection: Data, Data, and more Data


This week’s class discussion on big data was particularly awesome. I’ve enjoyed splitting into groups during class, as exploring my classmates’ perspectives in smaller groups has been interesting. With the amount of time we’ve gotten to talk, I’ve really gotten to learn others’ thoughts on the issues and why they feel that way – what experiences they’ve had to lead them to feel that way. My feelings on big data (data mining in general) are pretty clear cut (I don’t really care how much data is collected on me or what it’s used for) so it’s been cool to see how others think and why they think it.

Maybe I’m so unconcerned about data mining because I’m unmarried, not a homeowner, have no children, and my credit is in pretty good shape. Maybe I’m so open about my online life because my online life is boring. Maybe I would be more concerned about my privacy if I had something to hide – so I don’t. I call my bank to tell them when I’m going on vacation because I don’t want my debit card frozen when I get to a new area. I post my location on Instagram because people don’t really stalk other people on social media, do they? I make friends online and I’m forthcoming with things like my Facebook, my SnapChat username, and even my email address because, honestly, what’s going to happen?

During the live session, I stated that I don’t care what data is collected if it makes my life easier. I feel fairly strongly about this. For example – I frequently sell old clothes on eBay. To do this, you have to set up a PayPal account. To receive your money from PayPal, you have to either request a check by mail (which takes a long time, and might not even be an option soon enough) or input your banking information, including your checking account and routing number, and a form of identity verification, such as your social security number. I didn’t think twice about providing PayPal with this information. Now my money is directly deposited into my checking account. My employer also has this information – my paychecks are directly deposited. Syracuse even has this information – I pay my tuition online.

Am I worried about getting hacked? Not really. Should I be? Probably. If there’s one thing we’ve seen in the news lately, it’s that hacking is very real and apparently very easy (probably even easier now that I’ve told the Internet what information I have out there). And yet, in all this time that I’ve been building my online presence, my debit card was only replaced once. That’s pretty good, considering I’ve had a debit card since I wa about fourteen.

So how safe is the internet, really? What information is being collected from us, and for what purpose? This was something we explored during the live session. But it was hard for us to come up with answers. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of more than a handful of things institutions like the banks might want from me, and coming up with reasons why they might want that information was even harder. Do they just want to know? Is it a matter of being nosy, or determining demographics and statistical information? I’m still not sure I understand it entirely, even after the live discussion this week.

Moving forward, I think it’s time I look more into this issue. I distinctly remember, during our private group, that Tracey remarked how us surprised she was that us fresh-out-of-college kids don’t seem to care what data of ours is out there. She seemed particularly surprised. Maybe my cavalier attitude is worrying. Maybe I should be more aware of what’s going on, and more concerned about where my data is and who’s accessing it. But the truth of the matter is that I just don’t know enough about the process to be concerned. Maybe the uncertainty should worry me! There are a lot of maybes. The only thing I know for sure, is that I should do some research and educate myself more on this topic.

What we covered in the live session this week and in the asynchronous material was great – it definitely provided me with a background on the issue and some preliminary information on the topic. But if I really want to understand who’s accessing my data and what they’re doing with it, I need to learn more. Big data isn’t something that just applies to companies and people with mortgages and children – this issue is very relevant to me, and this week made me realize that I need to care more about it.

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 5 Reflection: Free Culture, Free Speech, and Monetizing the Internet


This week, we explored a variety of topics pertaining to internet use. Much of what we discussed expanded upon our previous discussion on “Who owns the internet?” with the added delving into of what each person can and can’t say on the internet. During the live session, my classmates and I presented on several different aspects of online ethics. I really enjoyed this part of the discussion, because as we have started to see over the past few weeks, when it comes to the internet and online culture, the laws are lagging and there is often a whole new set of rules.

After answering a prompt about our opinions on free culture, I did some more research on the topic, independently of anything we were assigned for class. I had been under the impression that “free” culture meant not charging for the viewing and distributing of art and other like-minded materials, such as movies and music. In actuality, “free culture” adopted the term “free” to liken itself to free speech. The idea of a “free” culture is more about the free-flowing exchange of unrestricted information than pirated music, which I was surprised to learn.

However, in America, there’s already things like open-source software and hacker culture – things that are fairly free to begin with. Yet there are still those who argue against this freedom. Sure, these critics are mostly large, important copyright lawyers and those who profit off of restricted access, but there are also smaller artists and upcoming producers who support the idea of a free culture, yet need the profits that come with restricted access to make a living producing their art.

So is there any validity to the idea that copyright law is ruining art? Particularly, in music, I can think of a few examples that might support this. Copyright has made remix culture and certain forms of expression particularly difficult. Additionally, it has really hurt the ‘average’ fan in a lot of ways. What about the poor couple who lost their wedding vows, speeches, and entire wedding audio all because their first dance was set to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’? Just because an artist is greedy and their lawyers want to capitalize on fan popularity (see: how the original owner of the ‘Harlem Shake’ song made millions with YouTube and Content ID) doesn’t mean that fans should be discouraged from showing their appreciation with remixed art forms. Isn’t setting your wedding dance to a Taylor Swift song part of being a fan? Isn’t participating in remix culture part of what being a fan is all about?

This week’s material was troubling for me because, while I can see both sides of the issue, I am largely in favor of a free culture – with dual use of the word “free.” I believe that art should be less restricted, and I believe that art should be free of charge. For example, I have little respect for musicians who choose to keep their music off streaming services – don’t people who can’t afford the extra luxury of buying an album deserve to listen to music, too?

Yes, artists deserved to get paid for the content they produce, and, yes, there should be laws in place so that artists cannot be copied and thus lose profits to someone else’s copy, but there has to be a better way. In interviews, actors and musicians are quick to say that they produce art for their fans and because it is fulfilling – not for the money. Of course, many artists who make these statements are those that can probably afford to lose a few dollars due to a pirated CD – especially when album sales don’t really matter anymore.

But what about their fans who have student loans, car payments, and rent, and thus simply can’t spare a few extra dollars to see a movie in theaters or buy an entire album – or even a song or two on iTunes? To ignore the very real income inequality among supporters of music and movies is, I think, insensitive. At the same time, to ignore struggling artists who produce independent films and need ticket sales to be validated is also insensitive. I’ve thought a lot about this issue, and examined the many complicated aspects of it from both sides, and I’m still no closer to a solution or an answer than I was before Week 5’s Live Session.

Going forward, I welcome the input of my other classmates. I can’t be the only one who has struggled with this idea of a “free culture” and how it intersects with more complex issues, like systemic poverty and income inequality, so it would be valuable to see some other opinions on the issues. Furthermore, I feel as though I’ve debated a few relatively complex ideas in this blog post, and yet I didn’t even venture outside of American policy. Other countries have far more restrictive rules, so how could the idea of a “free culture” ever possibly work on a global scale?

DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 4 Reflection: Digital Overloads and the Digital Divide


This week’s class was, fittingly, split into two very obvious portions. For the first half of the session, we talked about our digital consumption diaries. Across the board, my classmates admitted to spending a majority of their day connected to digital technology. Many of us work in front of computers all day, and most of us found that when we weren’t in front of a computer, we were on our smartphones or watching television.

Personally, I crunched the numbers, and digital technology use made up for an alarming 15.41 hours of my day – that’s 64.20%. I am dependent on my technology for virtually every moment that I am awake. In fact, on a typical work day, from the moment I wake up until I break for lunch, there is not a single moment that I am not connected to digital technology in some way. My dependence on my smart devices can sometimes make me forget that there are people in the world who aren’t connected, which was why I was so surprised to find that 15% of Americans are actually not online at all.

Of course, that number is substantially higher when expanded outside of America. As we discussed in class, about 5 billion people worldwide still do not have internet access. As someone who relies on the internet and her digital devices pretty much around the clock, I was completely surprised to learn this. Many non-internet users cite reasons such as irrelevance or difficulty when asked why they are not online, but there are also larger reasons why many people globally cannot connect. Things like income level, access to education, physical disabilities, and language barriers can all get in the way of someone who wants to get online. These various global and social factors all contribute to the widening digital divide we have begun to see – also known as the huge gap between those who have internet access and those who don’t.

During this week’s class, we split into groups to try and brainstorm solutions to narrow the digital divide, via a mock conference topic agenda. The topic that I found most interesting was providing access to physically disabled users, as only 38% of disabled Americans report using the internet. In class, my group brainstormed ways to make the internet more disabled-friendly. Since there seem to be tools to help people with limited mobility eat, get dressed, and otherwise function autonomously, why is there such a discrepancy when it comes to tools that might make computers and digital technology easier for them to handle?

There is a very serious lack of disabled-friendly technology. Given how helpful digital technology has proven to be, and, how all the benefits we’ve discussed in class might positively impact so many non-internet users, creating this technology seems – at least to me – a priority. Additionally, I was shocked to learn that many Americans who are not online are offline by choice.

34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it. This seems particularly crazy to me, as I can name dozens of benefits of being connected, and, during the live sessions, my classmates repeatedly point out even more benefits I may have overlooked. The fact of the matter is that the world couldn’t function without digital technology – America especially. Everything, from hospitals to libraries, now functions online. Smartphones are capable of more now than ever before, and digital technology is well on its way to ruling even the longest holdouts – like parking meters and small businesses.

So when we talk about the digital divide, it’s important to discuss more than the glaringly obvious. Yes, there are parts of the world where the internet is not affordable, and yes, there are people whose education levels or income hinder them from getting online. But there are also the aspects that most people (or at least me) forget to consider: things like disability and a lack of interest. Solving these problems are a little harder. There’s not much that can be done aside from creating a dialogue and getting people talking about these issues. The internet and digital technology have allowed for all of us to become connected, so why not use these tools to help further the connection? Let’s start an open dialogue on the benefits of the internet, both so we can educate those who don’t see the appeal, and quiet some people who feel the internet is more of a hinderance than a blessing.

I guess what I really liked about this week was the sharp contrast I observed between our discussion of our consumption diaries and the digital divide. For someone like me, who is always connected, it was jarring to switch gears and focus on so many who aren’t connected. If nothing else, it’s always important to check your privilege and remember that there are some people who don’t have access to the same things you do for any number of reasons. Additionally, brainstorming potential solutions was fun, and a cool way to think of how we might one day get involved in a real, global communications issue.

In the coming weeks, I look forward to exploring this topic more in-depth. Outside of the digital divide, I am curious to learn other global implications and changes that have come about as a result of our growing obsession with digital technology and the internet.