R is for Radio

| April 12, 2014

1. On Tuesday before class I was listening to the Yankees-Orioles game on the radio. I was in the middle of writing and I didn’t want to turn on a TV, so the game came over the airwaves into my old-school radio and filled the room.

2. The radio once had a time, in the era of Fireside Chats, in which it was the center of the living room. The technology of the radio brought people together from throughout the country. But it also served as a gathering place within the home. The radio was not a personal object, it was a social technology.

3. Our current ‘social’ technology (by which I mean technology that allows us to plug into the social media realm) seems to be the antithesis of the classic radio. With our handheld devices we are easily tuned out from those around us. We access the world of social media and attempt to deny our presence to those in close proximity to our bodies.

4. The Yankees got trounced by the way, losing 14-5.

5. I don’t want to sound like the person who despises social media. I am on Facebook and I enjoy the fact that I am able to communicate to people across social media platforms. But sometimes I wonder what the effect social media (and technology that is made specifically for it) might have on the use of our bodies and the spaces we inhabit.

6. It is odd to me that new cars are still coming out of the factory with AM/FM radios installed.

7. I quote myself from above, “I am on Facebook.” “On” is a weird relationship one has with Facebook, but that is the word most commonly used. What if people started saying, “I am in Facebook”? This would be more disturbing but possibly more accurate.

8. The sound fills the living room, not concentrated on me personally. The radio that emits these sounds is inherently social. My wife would rather it not be.