Gameboys, LOL-ing, and YouTube

By Mona Malacane

Another year, another new batch of brains to pick! We gathered in Studio 5, name tags and all, for the annual exchange of “oh my gosh, it’s so good to see you!” and “how are you liking Bloomington so far?” Shaking off the summer brain can be hard but having to coherently recite your research interests in 60 seconds or less multiple times in one day certainly helps. We learned about more than just the new students’ research interests at this year’s gathering, however: a handful of them are single, some like spending time outdoors, and a few share a passion for gaming. As the inquisitive scholars of media that we are, we decided to ask our new graduate colleagues some of their media habits to learn if we share eccentricities. What better way to get to know someone than to ask them weird questions, right?

The gathering in Studio 5

The gathering in Studio 5

We have all been sucked into the YouTube vortex of related videos and procrastination. You pick your poison— cats, babies, fail videos, spoofs, music videos—and before you know it, you have wasted an hour and hopefully burned 20 calories laughing. But if you could only choose one video category to watch on YouTube for the rest of your life (gasp!), which would you choose? Rather unexpectedly, funny cat videos seemed to be at the bottom of the new grad students’ list. Instead they would opt for comedy videos, movie trailers, news, and music videos.

As we all know, we use media from the time we roll out of bed till we set our cell phone alarms at night. We are quick to google and even quicker to whip out our phones to text someone to fill an awkward moment. So we asked those new among us which media device they could not live without. It seems that laptops have become portable appendages and watching TV on a TV is a thing of the past. However, when you ponder about this a little further… Have you ever seen a graduate student who did not own a laptop? To quote the movie Grease, grad students and laptops go together like rama lama lama, ke ding a de dinga a dong. Thankfully, IMHO and FWIW, I do not have to SMH when I get on my own laptop to read their Facebook statuses, because many of them either do not use twitspeak acronyms or they opt for the good ol’ LOL.

Last year we asked what they would have liked to bring to Bloomington from their homes but this year we wondered what media they were most nostalgic about from their youth. Hands down, Gameboys win over pagers, Tamigotchis, and AOL messenger. Even though I do not consider myself a “gamer” in any stretch of the word, I have to admit that I get a little excited when I see an old teal Gameboy Color at a garage sale.

Last but not least, we posed the following hypothetical situation: You have the opportunity to spend time with Edward Snowden, Sigmund Freud, and Angelina Jolie. But there is one condition… While you can spend time with all of them, you need to choose one mode (Skype, in-person, or Facebook chat) for each. Possibly because of his temporary asylum in Russia, the new grad students would rather Skype with Snowden or Facebook chat with him. Just be forewarned that there is a good possibility that more than one satellite pointed in your direction…

Survey Graph

They would prefer to be psychoanalyzed by Freud via Facebook rather than on Skype, but there are a brave few who would meet him in person. I would love to pick their brains about that decision. Finally, the modus oporandi preferred to meet Angelina Jolie is in person, with Skyping a close second. Gotta get that picture on Instagram!

Whether you LOL, game, instant message, or want your dreams analyzed by Freud, we don’t judge! If you have moved to B-town from far away, or you graduated from IU in the not so distant past, I think I speak for all the grad students when I say that we welcome you and look forward to learning more about you.

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