Author Archives: Victoria Edsell

A Ripple Effect

imgresThe readings this week struck me differently than readings from previous weeks. I tend to look at things very optimistically, and when blatant inequality strikes it is hard to process exactly how to feel and or react in a positive way. I kept processing the idea of net neutrality, what exactly could that mean, and how would that change the everyday Internet experience? Should all Internet traffic be treated equally, and why would this be an issue categorized under basic human rights? I understand that this idea would mean that all information would be treated in a free and open manner, but how would categorize what is most important and more fact based; I feel like this would cause cyberspace to become much more complicated. People hope that the internet would be a place of innovation and not business, however as easy as this is to understand and agree, I still don’t know if I would want my information to not be filtered, instead of geared towards my interest, my internet culture. I do not have a solution to this very complicated issue, but I am very interested to see others opinions, and thoughts revolving around this idea of visibility, and how flexibility can be added to this fixed algorithm.


“It’s rare that we get attention of the mainstream media unless there’s blood or something”(29). Attention typically links to action, everyone deserves an opportunity to be visible, and given a space that every persons story or narrative can be shared equally, but that is something I find so beautiful about the Internet, everyone has that opportunity especially because the media is evolving. These media opportunities give every scenario more leverage, which as the author states a chance to humanize. I feel like most movements and situations come from personal narratives, the story of one is shared, and spread in a ripple affect. In the case of Ferguson, I understand how people become upset, however I still cannot believe how quickly this spread. It was expressed in real time, I took the internet by storm. I mean if we did not have the Internet, it would have to be experienced through a different medium, which would have taken so much more time to spread, but because we do have this real time expression these circumstance become much more complicated. In order to reach the mass, the masses have to gain insight, which in this case I can understand would take a couple hours because of the time it takes to share, even still I see as incredible. Again this topic is hard for me to discuss, I do not really face this type of marginalization, however I empathize with the experience of every human, no one should feel lower, or feel like their life experience means less because every person is significant and special. My hopes that soon the world can discover a better way to divide the power of the Internet.


Who are we Generation Y?


Who are we? When I read todays reading I kept thinking this. This research attempts to define us, characterize us as ignorant, dumb, distracted, scattered, and addicted, but I am here to say that is a misunderstanding. I think it is easy to write us off with these adjectives, hell I even see why and how they could develop these terms, but I do not think they see the power within these digital natives, and these article seemed a bit bitter if you ask me. My generation, or Generation Y, have seen and experienced the Birth of the Web, the beauty and curse of anonymity, the labor of Web 2.0, and so much more! As the researchers state, we were born digital; one report mentioned that we are in “ a state of constant distraction powered by multitasking and gadgets that demand our attention”(15). But what does that really mean? Yes, we do have personal computers, smartphones; we now have access to honestly I don’t even know how much information, and right at our finger tips; Shah and Abraham state that we have fallen to wiki culture and that of copying and plagiarism, but I am still left with the question as to how to digest all of this. Here is a group of researchers categorizing, and limiting my people, my classmates, my friends, my siblings, into frame worked subsections, and I assume with a subjective purpose.

This blog is meant to serve as a backfire, or a counter piece to their research and claims. People may call us “screenagers”, but honestly let them say what they will; I think this shift has positively impacted not only our perspectives but also the way the world is seen. Our world is changing with technology, and I don’t see this modern culture dying down anytime soon, if anything there will be more growth and more development, and with that a new approach to the worlds daily tasks, normal issues, clashing cultures, and abstract phenomenons. I hope with todays discussion we will be able to better define ourselves, there is some truth to what they are saying but the identity that they are thrusting onto us makes the works and ideas we have developed, less impactful, I mean I personally would never categorize us as dumb, if anything our world has become so much more complicated, there is much more on our plate, many more people to care about, so many things have now become person issues. I think the beauty of the 90s kids come with the power of our voice, and the way in which we can say things. We have seen the differences, variations in our world, and the deviations in every profile, blog, and website. We thrive in society, and in our communities. I would say we are more self aware, and because of this misunderstood. People write off things that can not understand. This is a new branch of adolescence, we are digital natives, and our voices will make an impact I am sure of it.

Ghetto Gangnam Style

As we discuss race in cyberspace, many sources, hashtags, and videos come to mind. Theresa M. Senft and Safiya Umoja Noble wrote a very insightful article about the touchy, complicated, but substantial concept of race and how it is ideologically understood, and how the notion has progressed within the networked world. As an anthropology major, the concept of race has been addressed many times in lecture and discussion; Senft and Noble discuss how it now refers to nationality, religion, ancestry, class, and biological categories, to say the least we really don’t have any clue on how properly digest these socially constructed divides. It is important to state how this concept shapes individual thinking, and effect how humans are being treated. There is a hope that we are now in a post-racial era, as those differences have become invisible, however this hope is almost impossible. We live in an ocular world: our vision is the center of how we digest and understand the word. Every view is convert, coded, and cultural. If anything I believe our world has become more visual, which highlight the differences by segregating behaviors of those who, as the authors say, are undereducated, under motivated, and underemployed. But what can we do this “othering” that occurs with every glance.


One important source of media that was addressed was the use of videos to embrace a culture. These videos use humor to bring light to issues, and hopefully progress the way we categorize and understand other cultures. I know a gentleman name Todrick Hall, who graduated from my high school, and also directed a play I was involved in. He creates videos that use comedic relief to hopefully defuse “racial” differences. The authors say that many of these videos are made to gain back the misplaced superiority, people want to not be labelled but instead create their own description. This parody music video is one of my favorites, and within days had reached record numbers. The video has transformed the culture from the original video, and was filmed right in LA, with the last shot being filmed in my high schools theatre. It addresses many stereotypes that revolve around black culture. Please enjoy Toddy’s Ghetto Gangman Style! 


The Realm of Self- Denial: Parentals Mythological Constructions of Cyberspace

There is a disconnect when it comes to understanding the life of teenagers. Many parents and elders in today world have adopted this notion of abstinence, which as danah boyd expands the conversations by saying these habits leave no room for conversation. Adolescence is an age where teens hope to explore and develop their ecosphere, regardless of era­, with or without technology. A parent’s natural instinct is to protect, and as boyd states, create a “cocoon” which in a way quarantines their offspring’s natural desires. My beliefs are that these teens, are really adults in training, not nuisances or irritants, they too are seeing how hectic the world is and this is period is the start of something extremely confusing but at the same time liberating. The fog of innocence is clearing, as the haze of every day reality settles in. Adults need to be sharing their experiences with their children. Of course, there are moments when it is appropriate to intervene and address what behaviors need some attention, thought, and conversation, however with during this authoritative shift, actions taken by these parental figures needs to be more than an exhibition of control or a symbol of power. There needs a relationship based on respect, and supportive understanding even when there are disagreements, but because of this desire for full self-discipline; they are simply setting up situations for failure, and outright disconnections in these relationships. The period of adolescences a curious phase where many of life’s significant inquiries are at question; it is a new chapter of self-discovery, and now with a convent gadget used to help solve these pressing questions. With the help of profiles, teens are now able to create and display themselves in a new way that completely self-controlled. I do see how these self-displays could scare a parent, but they are also platforms for understanding. Most fears are framed by mythological ideas, and dramatic worries that revolve around their offspring’s evolving sexual presence. Most anxieties however are constructions, fabricated by the media, and as boyd brings up, reality television shows like To Catch a Predator, or MTVs Catfish: technological users are manipulated by a unknown influence that brings about deception and distrust in home relations. These scenarios for the most part are fabled dramas, which are broadcasted as a story, and often manipulated. Find the space for conversation, that is where truth will be released, and information can be consumed.

Selfie or nah?

dannah boyd adresses in her blog post about the term, “super publics”; the notion of a newly changed public world constructed as a biproduct of a digital social life and its push for a certain information flow. She gets to saying that this new public is an alteration from it’s previous meaning by the infusion of the digital sphere; a place where time has little affect on the present that changes every reload, and audience members are unknown. Everything is understood on a public platform, we are aware of the Internet nature, and it is not something that we fear but appreciate. I do not however take selfies very seriously, but more for comedic relief. Although, I am guilty of my few on fleek selfies that will just sit in my phone as a beauty reminder! This past weekend, one of my favorite beautiful diasters took part in a commercial which was meant to change the way data is consumed. Kim Kardarishian West gave a compelling reason as to why everyone should switch to T-mobile, which was to gaze upon her many selfies of course! Daily life is shifting, there is always more information to access, and unlimited space for expression, broadcasting, and its affect, exposure. I do not however think this a bad thing necessary. Our world suddenly is more aware of anothers gaze, forcing us to behave in a more appropiate manner, because you really dont know who is watching. Photos taken 55 years ago display only one side of life by only capturing celebratory moments, it is kind of an unfair vantage point to look back on situations. Photographs now are able to document everything, because of the convenience of the smartphone. I am wondering now how many other parts of our culture are shifting because of this digital life and this partnership with technology; what ideas and habits has technology instilled in our culture?

I myself have been apart or taken selfies that in my opinion are worth all the shame I get for taking them. Most of these pictures are taken within the confines of snapchat, and are displayed only to a limited friend circle, which is 35 people tops. However, some of this pictures have been taken moved to another form of social media, most of these where only meant for my eyes, but they are too good not to share! The selfies in my photo library are obvious moments that should be documented.

IMG_0211 Selfie with some of my younger siblings. The front facing camera is great in moments where you are the only one with a phone! This one I did add a filter on so I could post it to Instagram.

IMG_0625Selfie with the gals! We were about to in the water but first, Snapchat! #Snorkool

IMG_0494Selfie at the hospital! What a night. Midnight trip to urgent care which turned surgical! This was meant to document this moment of destruction.

The Repost Diary


As I began to read, It’s Complicated, by Danah Boyd, I couldn’t help but reflect my online identity as a teenager. Freshman year of high school marked the prime years of Myspace; the first platform where HTML became an everyday accessory, with the ability to morph a simple background into a personal profile ready for the best friends, class hotties, and fellow classmates, to discover, learn, and explorer users individual style. It was required to have your best friends on your top friends list, which was a grading scale of friendships, aka a major entity of everyday friendships. Although, most of the my personal happenings on this site stayed between friends, there were still instances where my mother believed it crossed the age appropriate boundary. There was one situation that still radiates with me. I was a very naïve user; one evening, I had read a post on my grandmother’s computer located in the back room of her house. The post described a story of a young women who was abused and raped, and if it was not reposted then that same man would come find me and do the same, as if being in closed in wood paneled dark room wasn’t frightening enough, now sitting in my conscious I am sensing a huge man searching to steal me, so naturally I repost. My mother, friends with me on Myspace, found the post to be extremely inappropriate and disgusting, she could not understand why I would share that under my name. Within 24 hours of the repost, Myspace account was deactivated. My mother wanted me to be able to express myself on the Internet, but she believed the site to be having a negative effect on me. At the time, I believed she was just being unfair, she did not understand my fear in the moment, and I had no problem with deleting the post, but it had crossed the line for her as a parent and my superior authority figure.

Thinking back on this now I can see why she responded the way I did, however in my thirteen year old mind, I felt completely misunderstood, like how could she not understand why I was scared? It felt as though I had no option and was almost forced in a way to repost this story placed out there only to scare users just like myself. Boyd discusses some of the social cost of posting, and often times during adolescence these cost can be thrown of balance. It is difficult enough time, but not this platform a platform has been added to further show fellow classmates and friends just how “cool” you are. Although, that repost was not out of coolness, I was afraid, actually afraid of what could happen, what if somehow they could find me over the Internet, I felt extremely vulnerable all because I stumbled upon a wildly terrifying story. It was a very complicated situation, and relates to some of the experiences Boyd uses to show how technology is in some ways redefining, and further muddling the already confusing years of adolescence. Have any of you had a similar experience with a parent or authority figure when you first were given the ropes to social media?

The Technological Echo

Growing up in the age of the Internet has brought many new forms of communication with intricate meanings and relations, in which numerous communities imagine this technology to be the furthering cause of our worlds subjective anxieties and youth exploitations. Nancy K. Bayum describes in Personal Connections in the Digital Age, the connections between technology and society; the Internet works as an agent, or medium method that users entrust both their personal security and business. Often this form reflects the minds, products, and actions of the users. There are many fears that Bayum mentioned when discussing technological determinism, including but not limited to a loss of place, moral decline, relational vulnerability, and anonymity. Although many of these fears can be true and many cause a sort of anxieties in society, these should be looked at on a more on a yin and yang like scale. Cyberspace can become a sphere of togetherness where the dividing boundaries lessen and potential horizons broaden, such as in the case of race, age, and gender. There are many cases of modernity, in which humans fear change, but we are creatures of evolution and adaption, we must not fear progress, we must counterbalance it with education and information. We are given almost unlimited access to the world around us, but the true pressure revolves around how it will be used individually.

IMG_0269 A few weeks back Elite Daily’s Melanie Lee, posted a blog about the effects of this now instant world. There is a push for only the absolute best that then created an attitude where enough is never enough. When the promoted media is accessible to the all, even those who daily walk on eggshells and maybe lack self-stability, the agent could be looked at as a loaded gun just waiting for someone to hit the trigger. Lee describes it as a longing for immediate gratification, in which come would go to great lengths just to receive a form of positive feedback. This technological development has undeniably changed both our society and culture. It is now just a matter of educating the youth and others, to respond and interact with this powerful medium in a healthy way.