Author Archives: prisahdev

Twitter and Activism

This week’s readings discussed online activism and whether or not this movement helps activism or not. Even though this is not directly related I felt that this reading reminded me of an article that I read earlier this week about how the Twitter president is now being threatened by ISIS because he has been blocking groups associated with the group.

I thought this was an interesting concept because maybe in a way this falls in the middle ground of actually taking action while not really doing anything in the real world like how people believe true activism is. By blocking their groups that support ISIS and not allowing them to post on twitter he has sent them a message that they are now responding to. Also related, Anonymous has decided to take action against ISIS and take down hundreds of accounts. Because they are regulating the internet and almost taking a virtual stand against these groups, would this be considered cyber activism instead of slacktivism?

I am not sure what category this fits in, or whether this fits in at all–but it came to mind when reading the articles about Twitter.

Here is the link about Twitter and Isis:

Here is a discussion about Anonymous and Isis:

week 8

In the article for this week, Digital Natives with a Cause?, Nishant Shah and Sunil Abraham discuss this idea of the term “digital native”. The typical “digital native” is kind of this category that is shed in a negative light. The population considered to be “digital natives” are people whose youth has been significantly governed and changed by the internet, so children born around the 1980s. This group of people is described to have poor interpersonal and social skills, self-centered, and ignorant. All these qualities they believe stem from the overuse of the internet. These are some of the main qualities that were highlighted in the article, however they are generalizing these.

I think these ideas really related to some of our discussion talks, and about how parents feel that their children are losing some of their qualities from overuse of the internet. I found a CNN article that describes just this, where it is directed to parents and discussing whether children who would be considered “Digital Natives” are using the internet too much and whether it is dangerous for their development.

CNN bring up the ideas that the teen years are a time for exploration and experimentation and that the internet might hinder that because it is so public, but it also describes how it could be useful if used in the right way.

I feel that the internet and youth has this negative light around it, and this idea almost that children who use it too early are ending up later in life to be more “robotic” in a sense. But we still have yet to see the “Digital Natives” really grow into adults, and whether any of these hypothesis are true. I feel like these concerns will remain to stay until the “Digital Natives” generation has grown into their mid-20s and people can see really what “effects” the internet has had on youth.

“If Black People Said the Stuff White People Say”

After reading this weeks in Senft Noble’s Race and Social Media, it reminded me of a youtube video where race roles are reversed. In the article they discuss how racist acts in the media are highlighted in a way to not include the rest of the society and how almost the rest of society is not racist only the person who performed that act.

However, I feel like there are small comments everyday that occur that maybe people don’t realize that they are saying that are somewhat racist.

This video illustrates that in itself, by having black people say typically phrases they would hear but reverse and saying them to their white friends.

I thought this video was humorous but also illustrated a good point that a lot of the time there are comments made everyday that highlight race and while they may not seem outright racist maybe to others they do.

In a way I was also thinking does this show that there is racism a well towards white people, because of they way they are portraying them to act towards their friends…anyways just a thought I had

Yik Yak & Cyberbullying

In chapter 5 of Danah Boyd’s book, she focuses on the act of “cyber-bullying”. She researches this topic by interviewing several teenagers as well as news reports of famous cyber-bullying cases. She discusses how adults can perceive cyber-bullying as more extreme than it is, but the nuances between friends and classmates must be considered to truly decide whether its pranking or gossip or actual bullying.

I think the notion of the fine line that lies between cyber-bullying and joking can be seen on Yik Yak. Yik Yak is a social media app that allows people to post anonymously to a feed that is geolocation-centric, usually popular around college students today. Most students who I know believe that Yik Yak is funny, although there are posts they may consider to be out of line and label as “cyber-bullying”. However recently, in the past year, there have been several news articles discussing how Yik Yak is a forum for cyber-bullying. Newscasters use screen shots of different Yik Yak feeds, and while to some adults some of these may seem really horrible and cruel, to most students they are just dumb jabs at others. I thought this was interesting because it illustrates Boyd’s idea of adults viewing a window of online interaction and making assumptions about how students interact with each other and what is considered funny or not in the community.

While I do definitely agree that some Yik Yaks can be considered bullying and extreme, I feel like most are pretty harmless and jokes between friends or groups on campus.

I feel that Yik Yak could be determined whether it is cyber-bullying or not based on the geo-location and feed that is appearing. In some locations such as high schools, I have seen it be used as cyber-bullying where people are being called out by name and gossiped about on this forum, and at other places I have seen it used more in a joking manner–talking about classes/midterms or just school in general. I guess this is a controversial topic because there have been such a variety of postings on this forum.

I feel that this app highlights the differences between jesting and cyber-bullying throughout different comments and feeds, and that it was interesting to examine after reading Boyd’s chapter this week.


Filtering Our Reality Through Instagram

I enjoyed Jill Rettberg’s chapter on “Filtered Reality” where she examines the word “filter” and relates it to our algorithmic culture, studying technological and cultural filters and what it depicts about modern society’s culture today. She explains how filtering in technology has become a way to “remove certain content [and] alter or distort texts, images, and data” (20).

She explains how Instagram represents a type of filter that adds to the image – through color enhancements, blurring, and other effects. She argues that people subconsciously apply filters that they believe will meet the cultural expectations and norms. She quotes Marwick’s idea that social media favors those who are effective neoliberal subjects, the person who “attends to fashion, is focused on self-improvement, and purchases goods and services to achieve ‘self-realization’” (24).

This quote reminded me of a comical buzzfeed article, “A Day in the Life of a Girl on Instagram Vs. Real Life”. Where it shows typical Instagram posts one would see of an “Outfit of the Day” on Instagram vs. real life. They make fun of many of the typical photos we see, morning coffee, breakfast, lazy Sunday, hangover, working out, etc. This buzzfeed article really embodies what Rettberg claims is occurring on social media especially on Instagram.

All the photos from the Buzzfeed article are enhanced photos with color, crop, placement, and they portray a more luxurious exciting and trendy lifestyle than what may be actually happening. Then the actual life photos are portrayed, showing the disparity between the photos. People who are “instafamous” always have images that are edited with different filters and cropped and placed—following the idea that they are in fact “fashionable” and most of the time they are also focused on “self-improving”. I found it amusing how well the chapter related to the Buzzfeed article, supporting Rettberg’s ideas on social media, filtering, and society.

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The Use of “Addiction” in Reference to Social Media

In Danah Boyd’s Its Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, the author examines youth and online use, further exploring topics such as identity, privacy, and addiction. One of the chapters that stood out to me this week was the chapter about internet addiction, “What Make Teens So Obsessed with Social Media?”.

In this chapter, Boyd describes the history of “addiction”, the word itself, and how it has evolved over the years. Boyd explains how years ago “addiction” used to describe an interest or hobby such as gardening, then the meaning of the word began to change to alcohol and substance abuse, and then to impulse-control disorders.

She then explains how nowadays, someone who is “addicted” is described to engage “in a practice in ways that society sees as putting more socially acceptable aspects of their lives in jeopardy” (177). With this definition, parents now label their children as “addicted” to the internet because they may choose to be in an online chat room or lose sleep to be active online.

When reading this chapter, I kept being reminded of an image I had seen before of different social media site names that were written on syringes. This image shows the contrast of what has been seen as “addiction” in the past and how teenagers are being labeled as “addicted” now. When one usually would see a syringe that is displayed in the image, it is associated with serious drug addiction—however in this image, it is being associated with Facebook, Youtube, and Tumblr. I feel like this image is striking because it really shows how blown out of proportion this “youth addicted to social media/internet” has become. I do understand that it can be described as addiction in some cases and that the image is dramatized on purpose, however comparing social media websites to drug abuse like that image does seems unnecessary and over the top. I feel that this image really illustrates the complications that come with constantly labeling youth as “addicted” to social media.

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