Cross media learning: from a book to an online tribe – Miracle Morning

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On: September 22, 2019
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Media Context

Mass media isolates the producer from the content receiver (Porta 801). For example, a book is understood as a traditional and passive media that the writer tells a story and the reader just consumes it without participation. How the book “Miracle Morning” can be the driver of a social movement on the web 2.0? Isn’t it controversial how a book can become an object of study in the new media field?

Book cover: Miracle Morning.
Source: Miraclemorning.com

This printed/written work symbolizes a new phenomenon of cross-media movement, which readers turn into content producers about the topic. Today, it can be said that the author of Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod, did not write a book, but created a tribe, a living organism that could only come to life because of social networks, once his audience has created communities with hundreds of thousands of people who connect daily to each other, transforming the method of the book into a lifestyle to pursuit.

This object of study serves as a proof that the distinction between content producer and consumer no longer exists. It is not only about the evolution of new media, but also about how to connect this spectrum with traditional media, creating convergent content experiences. The user seeks information and engages in different channels if there is identification with the purpose behind it (Sandvik; Kjetil; Thorhauge; and Valtysson, 2016).

Case: Miracle Morning

The book Miracle Morning is based on the premise that how you start your day largely determines the quality of your day, your work, and your life. It suggests a morning ritual for achieving an abundant life in every way: professional, spiritual, and relational. The method is named S.A.V.E.R.S., and each letter represents an activity for the beginning of the day, in order: silence (meditation), affirmation (speak out loud positive sentences), visualization (imagine, in details, what you want to achieve), exercise, reading and scribing (writing / journaling). The author advises practicing all habits for about 10 minutes each, thus creating an hour long process. Finally, the theory indicates that is preferable to starts the routine around 5:00 am (Elrod, 2016).

This book, which has also become a movie, can fit into the “self-knowledge and personal development” market segment. Thus, audiences looking for this source of content are not just looking for “hedonic” entertainment, related to pure fun, relaxation, and escapism from reality. In fact, these audiences are searching for life’s meaning, truths, and purposes — motivations that we characterize “eudaimonic”. This
classification is still generally associated with deeper materials that attempt to arouse a sense of fulfillment, including needs such as autonomy and competency (Oliver; Raney 1001).

An Online Tribe to Change Behavior

The top three social networks in 2018, according to the number of active users, audience, and content engagement are, in order: Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram (Reijmersdal; Aguiar, 2018). The Miracle Morning movement was identified on these platforms through: a Facebook group “The Miracle Morning Routine Community” – with more than 220.000 members; the hashtag #miraclemorning on Instagram – with more than 250.000 posts; YouTube channels / videos with the book´s title. According to these sources, users report their questions, share experiences and feedbacks related to their morning routines: motivating, connecting, and learning from each other. Thus, it can be understood that the use of social media for tribe creation can not only be a way for people to connect to a common interest, but also serves as a huge driver for self-awareness and triggering for new behaviors to this specific target, through knowledge sharing.

“The Miracle Morning Community” on Facebook. Source: Facebook
Search of #miraclemorning on Instagram. Source: Instagram
Search of Miracle Morning on Youtube. Source: Youtube

We need the feeling of belonging and we want to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people to: connect, grow and engage with something new (Godin, 2015). Being part of a community on the social network is a big part of how we see ourselves. Getting involved in digital groups then motivates us to self expression, social maintenance / new connections and information exchange (Song; Lee; Kim 13). Unlike what we commonly associate, bottom-up social movements are not necessarily about political or economic positions. But in this case, they can serve as social movements for a potential pedagogical approach to informal learning – building a new habit in search of self-knowledge, in this context (Dabbagh; Kitsantas 4).

Motivational comment in the “The Miracle Morning Community”on Facebook. Source: Facebook
Share experience about Miracle Morning on Youtube. Source: Youtube

Particularly for those participating in the Miracle Morning cross-media social movement, it is important to emphasize the theory of fixed mindset versus mindset of growth. There are two distinct ways of thinking based on whether people believe traits are fixed or changeable (Dweck 2). Individuals who exhibit ‘fixed mindsets’ are likely to believe that they cannot be improved while individuals who exhibit ‘growth mindsets’ believe that they can be improved through their efforts and that is why they are interested in self-improvement and tend to search for social networks and relationships that help them to develop certain desired skills (Song; Lee; Kim 5). Thus, Miracle Morning is suitable for growth mindset individuals, once a digital tribe is a new technological movement designed to connect and amplify the work in groups of people that are just waiting to be transformed, influenced, and energized (Godin, 2015).

Conclusion

Through the case study of the book Miracle Morning, we observed the convergence between traditional and new media, which the agent prosumer (term used to designate the fusion between producer and consumer of information) contributes to the creation of an online tribe for new practices of communication / networking / learning methods. It is not about platforms and the affordances themselves, it is much more than that. It is about the fusion between non-human – technology – and human elements, and the emerging social behaviors of this new media spectrum (Butcher, 2013). Lastly, this text can help us to reflect on consequences of participatory culture on new ways of learning and teaching: more informal, self-taught, scalable, being social networks no longer just a hedonic entertainment.

References

Dabbagh, Nada, and Anastasia Kitsantas. “Personal Learning Environments, social media, and self-regulated learning: A natural formula for connecting formal and informal learning.” The Internet and higher education 15.1 (2012): 3-8.

Domingues Aguiar, Tatiana, and Eva van Reijmersdal. Influencer marketing. AmsterdamStichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Commerciële Communicatie, SWOCC9789076802763, 2018.

Dweck, Carol S. “Mindsets and math/science achievement.” (2008) 2-17

Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits that Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM. Hachette UK, 2016.

Godin, Seth. We are All Weird: The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal. Penguin UK, 2015.

“I tried the ‘The Miracle Morning’ productivity routine for a month. Here’s what happened.” Accessed September 21, 2019. https://mastersofmedia.hum.uva.nl/blog/2019/09/22/the-wisdom-of-wysa-mental-health-apps-the-ai-friend-who-is-always-there/

Oliver, M.B. & Raney, A.A. “Entertainment as pleasurable and meaningful: Identifying hedonic and eudaimonic motivations for entertainment communication” (2011) 984-1004

Porta, Donatella Della. “Communication in Movement” (2011): 801-819

Sandvik, Kjetil, Anne Mette Thorhauge, and Bjarki Valtysson. The Media and the Mundane: Communication Across Media in Everyday Life. Nordicom, 2016.

Song, Young-A., So Young Lee, and Yoojung Kim. “Does mindset matter for using social networking sites?: understanding motivations for and uses of Instagram with growth versus fixed mindset.” International Journal of Advertising 38.6 (2019): 1-19.

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