Ruba’s Project Proposal/Idea

There is no denying that with the use of web-based and mobile technologies, new media has turned communication to an interactive/rich dialogue which resulted in permanent impacts spanning across multiple industries such as Media, Education, Health, Politics and more.

For my project, I would like to examine these influences and their implications in one or more (o even all) of the following areas:

Politics: Investigating the possible key role digital media has played in sparking/accelerating some of the uprisings we’ve witnessed recently in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Having been born and raised in Damascus, Syria from 1975- 1992, I have a burning desire to look at the 2011 series of uprisings which occurred in the region, and assess the role digital media has played if any in igniting the revolutions first in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and ending with the ongoing struggle in Syria. For decades, people in the Arab World have given up the slightest hope of ever-living in a democratic, free environment, where the most basic human rights are barely protected. Sadly, we’ve all surrendered to injustice of Arab leaders and their administrations which are infested with corruption and fraud. Not of fear for ourselves, but of fear that people we love will be hurt as a consequence. How significant could the role of digital media have been given that the majority of the population in these countries have not used a computer before or don’t know what a smart phone can do? In Egypt for example, adult literacy levels are only 58% nearly and 20% are living below the poverty line!

Education: Examining the balance between benefits and risks of digital media in shaping adolescents’ attitudes toward learning and the possible impact it may have over their academic success.

Like anything else, regardless of the many benefits new technology has to offer to our youth, it comes at a price. With the unlimited access to the Internet these days, students are fortunate to have the key to valuable educational material and sources from across the globe. Finding answers never been easier, and the opportunity for continued education (be it for working parents, at-home moms, disabled kids/adults, etc.) has increasingly become popular. On the other hand, young students these days are often using the Internet to copy/forge homework, term papers, etc. and call it their own not to mention the invasion of privacy and the distraction the World Wide Web can cause! In this scenario, I would love to take a look at how the digital culture we live in today has enriched or hindered the academic experience and learning potential of our youth.

Commerce: calling out specific examples and case studies of small and private businesses to inspect how digital media may have enhanced or hurt their bottom line.

Business are all rushing and racing to prove their online presence. Some say, if you are not online, then your business doesn’t really exist. Others argue a different point of view; that not all investments in digital media is paying off!  I think it would interesting to observe this kind of dynamic and pull inferences on what it means for businesses if they choose to opt in or out of full participation in new communication technology.

Authenticity: Understand whether or not digital media has encouraged openness among corporations/ leaders or on the flip side of things, it imposed pressure on them to become open or claim openness.

With new digital media and overwhelming popularity of social networking, consumers/constituents are not hesitating to voice their opinions and feelings about products they consume, leaders they follow, etc.  I would love to look at how companies and leaders across various industries are dealing with the new two-way dialogue, and how they are coping with the new pressures and demands of their customer/people. What does this mean for their competitive edge and level of openness, and how does all of this play into their authenticity as leaders in their field/industry.


1 Comment

  1. […] –  Ruba’s Project Proposal – digital tech & political dissent (see Alex, 2006), […]

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