Reflection on Two Essays

Date: 12/6/2015

Internet Research Essay:

There are two factors I’ve noticed in researching this topic that both complicate and narrow what I’m looking for:

  1. Internet Behavior does not always = Actual emotional internal state, which can be difficult to measure in a study.
  2. The difference between someone’s behavior displaying in how they use the internet versus the effect the internet is having on them… what I’m looking for isn’t entirely one or the other, but rather a split perspective on both.

While I have found some research relevant to what I’m looking for, these two factors are challenging me to plan ahead with what I’m arguing specifically in this essay. For example, a study may explore the emotional state of someone googling depression symptoms and advice, but it might be difficult to compare their internet behavior with their emotional state if there isn’t a lot of information on the latter.

It’s likely that the final essay will stay on this topic, but that the specific argument details will change multiple times before it’s over.

Graphic Design Essay:

I am currently not having any trouble with this essay. The only question I would have before I continue, is how I should balance the research with the more personal reflection on my experience at Sircle Media. While the format for that might not be very strict, I’d like to decide on the way I write that part of the paper so that it doesn’t feel like a distraction.

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Reflection #22

Date: 11/22/2015

Current project: Political research

I just finished the last research project and I feel pretty satisfied with it turned out. I wish I would have had more time to go more into issues with privacy and the public being aware, but the angle for this project was sufficient enough for what I set out to do.

It feels strange being done with them. These six projects have helped structure my semesters, and it went by so quickly that I feel like I was just creating the civil war project last week. What I think it helped me learn was not just various topics of interest, like the legal or historical that I wanted to learn about anyway in terms of credible information on the internet, but also my own research gathering skills and my ability to focus in on something really specific. I’ve always been pretty indecisive about picking topics for school assignments, and I think this helped remedy that to some extent. Though, it certainly helped that I got to pick six, instead of just one across the entire semester.

For the final paper, I’ll have to reflect on something that I feel will really be on topic with what I’ve done so far. It will likely be something more “psychological”, or based on an individual’s impulses and use of the internet, which could extend across most of the topics I’ve chosen. I’ll have to let this project settle in being done before I’m able to tell for certain.

Reflection #21

Date: 11/20/2015

Current project: Political research project

I felt very uncertain about this topic at first because of the angle. I wanted to do something different from the previous ones, but not something so radically different it didn’t have anything to do with my studies so far. Once I chose politics, I briefly struggled with finding something that was similar but different enough. I feel like I’m finding that balance now.

I focused on how politicians gather data, as opposed to how someone can learn about politics on the internet, which would have been the normal angle to do this from.  It would also be difficult to do because politics are so deeply imbued into pretty much every part of the internet.

Doing it from this perspective is probably just as potentially educational anyway, because learning how corporations and campaigns use your personal information informs you and makes you reflect on your own habits. We’ll see how it turns out when it’s finished.

Reflection #20

Date: 11/15/2015

Current research project: final research project

After doing some digging, I think there may be a balance I might be able to strike in terms of the topics I discussed last time. The political research one, and how political campaigns also use political research. That’s already a rich topic and I don’t doubt I would be able to tether it to a single presentation.

However, this makes me more uncertain about the final paper. Perhaps I should focus on what’s best for the project instead of worrying about the paper, and take care of it after the fact. If anything, I think I’ll actually focus much more on how government agencies and campaigns use internet research for politics instead of striking a balance, if I still feel uncertain later on. I hadn’t considered politics when I set out for the final project, but tackling it from that angle makes sense as a way to switch things up. So instead of focusing on which political websites are trust worthy (which would be by far the greyest grey topic I could tackle) I’ll focus on how that information is used by others.

Reflection #19

Date: 11/13/2015

Current project: final research project

I’m having some trouble finding information on my vague, unspecific topic. I’ve pulled up a lot of results as to how people get different political information online, or political news, local and international news, but not in how research is used for any of those things.

I may switch topics, because I feel it’s still pretty up in the air at this point. I could also measure it by how political campaigns use internet research to further their goals, which may very relevant in light of recent events. Or it could be how the internet is used by government agencies, focusing on a specific area or reason. But I would like to not repeat the general model that’s been formed by the last few projects; I’m more interested in seeing how it’s used by others despite, or possibly against, in cases of security, politics, the media industry, etc. an individual’s interests or self interest.

That could end up being my final paper as well. I’m currently undecided whether or not my paper should be around a similar topic or a more psychological sort of approach as to what role the internet fills in our daily lives. So this project should offer some perspective.