When I first heard of our assignment of going a full week without Facebook, I didn’t really have that strong of a reaction. I don’t have a laptop so I rarely ever even go on Facebook on an actual computer. (Also not in the computer labs because you get yelled at by the Librarians, and I also feel like everyone can see me!) I did have the app on my phone but for some reason it stopped working so I deleted it. I would go on quite frequently on my phone through the internet. I wouldn’t really go on for any specific reason; I didn’t update my statuses or comment on anything, it was more of a habit. Before doing something, or a way to procrastinate or occupy my time, I would go on real quick and see what was new. I wasn’t that much of an addict, so I thought this assignment would be a piece of cake me.
I cheated on the very first day, not intentionally, but I was on for a good twenty minutes before I realized I wasn’t supposed to be. I got caught up at looking at someone’s pictures and got a notification on my status, the one that said how I wasn’t going to be on Face Book for a week. Shit. I got off after that and had to make a conscious effort not to go on again.
I actually enjoyed this assignment in a way. Yes, I did miss Facebook and I missed staying “up to date” with things that were going on around me, but it was nice. I use Facebook as a way to stay connected with certain people, but the people that I’m closest with and the ones I most enjoy, are the ones who I text. Yeah there are people who are my Facebook friends that I don’t text but still like to hear from, but this almost made me focus on the most important people in my life and the ones that matter the most to me. I wasn’t bombarded with all the useless information that people post, I wasn’t consumed with stalking people that I don’t like or who I’m secretly in love with. I wasn’t worried when looking at other peoples pictures that they were having more fun than I was. I wasn’t consumed with finding out who was hanging out with whom and who was doing what. Although I’m not consumed as much with these worries as I once was, there is always a twinge of slight jealously, or a twinge of regret when I see things that people posted. Maybe that’s just me and how I am and how I chose to use Facebook. Maybe if I used it more like own personal outlet, like the way I use texting, I would feel the same way, I would feel so disconnected and separated. I think it’s the way we use the medium that shapes the way we feel about it.
The only other time that this became a pain was when I knew my friends went to a concert and I wanted to see the pictures or when I found out something about someone I knew and I wanted to check it out. It was certain things I heard about that made me want to use it. But for the most part I actually really enjoyed it. I don’t really want to go back on! It’s nice not feeling obligated to comment on things or communicating with certain people.
In Dick Hardts video he discusses the idea of identity. What is identity? I, like he stated in the beginning of his presentation, always viewed identity as being who you are. Your identity is who you are, but what does that all really mean? There are different categories that your identity can fall into almost, the one you create, and the one others create for you. Your identity consists of what your name is, how old you are, where you live, where you went to school, where you were born, etc. But what about the identity you shape for yourself? Your interests, your opinions, even the choices you make, isn’t that all a part of identity? Can’t you identify with certain groups and organizations, doesn’t that equal your identity?
Identity online is different though, you can make all that up if you wanted to. You can create your own version of yourself, the one you want others to see, you can change the things about yourself that you can’t change in real life. When you’re born into this world you are given a name, a sex, and a number, which can’t be changed. Well I suppose technically you can, you can change your name and your gender, but you were still created by your parents and given a number that is the foundation of your identity. You can only change so much about your appearance in real life, but this new form of technology and “space” allows you to create yourself in entirely different light. You can choose what you want to expose and what you don’t. You can decide who you want to be and where you live and what you “look like”. And you can do this over and over again and have tons of new “identities” on different sites and different spaces.
This new opportunity creates an identity crisis. When in these virtual spaces you don’t know who, or what you’re talking to. You have no proof, no reassurance that the person you’re speaking with is actually who they say they are. There’s no way to verify, no way to identify the person behind the screen. Which can be scary, but some people need that escape and this is a way for them to do so. Your identity shapes you but you also shape your identity.
Deb Roys video The birth of a word was completely mind boggling. It is absolutely insane but absolutely unbelievable. The transformation from gaga to water was incredible; I can’t believe someone had this idea to track the progress of the spoken word. You see videos where they speed up time with pictures but to do this with sound takes this idea to a whole new level. This opens up a whole new window on how people are able to study speech and the evolution of language. The concept in general is such a unique idea and to actually go through with it is something entirely different. To begin on this journey of tracking all of your activity and language comes a great deal of invasion and exposure but what you get out of it is more than worth it. I think it is amazing how he we are able to witness how the context of language connects to events and how it relates to public media. Mass media obviously has an enormous impact on the world around you but knowing how it impacts your speech is something that I never had even thought of. The conversations that come off of what you see and how you incorporate them into your conversations creates a whole different area for language to emerge. I was completely lost as to how he was able to get all of this data and what it all really meant, but he does, and it’s incredible research and information. Without the advancement of technology this study would not have been possible at all. Voice recordings are a new space of writing that you don’t really think about. Ah it’s crazy!
The kind of people who would use this writing space would include everybody. Paper is one of the original writing spaces and it is a writing space everyone has used before typewriters, computers and smartphones came along. Paper is a writing space that invites anyone to use it; all you need is a sheet of paper and pen/pencil to write down your thoughts. The downfall is writing on paper is slower. To write in this space is comfortable because we grew up writing in this space. It can be a little sloppy depending on your handwriting. I wouldn’t say that writing on paper is foreign because when writing the pen/pencil just flows with the paper. We are familiar with it because it is not new to us. Writing on paper is also very romantic you can write love letters or writing something special on a card. Writing on paper is very affordable from writing on other spaces because it is very easy to use almost everyone can do it. All you need is paper and pen/pencil. You can take it anywhere and you do not have to worry about charging your computer or need to be somewhere where there is internet access. There is not a constraint for writing on paper unless you don’t have a pen and paper. Although if you are writing a lengthy paper it might have an affect if you are under a time constraint since writing usually takes longer than writing on a computer. When writing on paper the composing space is permanently on the paper if you are writing with a pen. If you are using a pencil you can erase the text but it looks sloppy and you can still see the text faintly. How using paper impacts on the environment by killing trees to make paper.
I absolutely loved this video! When I first saw that it was close to an hour I thought that there was no way that I would be able to sit through the entire thing and actually be interested. I was so wrong though, this video was so interesting and informative and it changed my view completely. The whole study of culture on YouTube is so fascinating who would have thought that you would be studying culture on a website. I am never one to really go on the computer that often, (unless for Facebook or Pintrest and to write papers) but I just don’t really go on, so I lack experience and knowledge of a lot of things that most people, especially my age, are familiar with. I used to think that YouTube was just a site for people to post stupid videos or just use this tool as a way to well, act like a tool. After his video I was completely blown away. There are so many uses for YouTube, and obviously the internet in general; I can’t believe I’ve been so naïve. The web is not only about the spread of information but for connecting people together and allowing them to collaborate between time and space. It was amazing also to see how quickly a person or an idea can spread so quickly. Even hearing about Michael Wesches personal story was so inspiring and just insane. His teaching are based solely on this new “space” and the ways we use it and why and how. It was fascinating to realize how you can almost form a whole new identity on the internet and how you are able to spread your word by yourself. You don’t need producers or money to spread your ideas, you just need internet connection and you, and you’re set.
Throughout that video I experienced so many conflicting thoughts and emotions. I personally am not a fan of videogames, probably because I suck at them, but I don’t enjoy them, I don’t like feeling like I’m in a different universe, I like to be present here in the real world. My boyfriend likes to play videogames, he’s not obsessed but he does definitely enjoy them. He constantly plays fifa and is becoming addicted to mine craft. I never understood why someone would spend all their time playing in an alternative universe that has no impact on the world around you. My boyfriend constantly shows me the things he’s created, and frankly I do not care at all, I would prefer him to make things in real life that are cool and are actually useful. Recently though he said something that changed my perspective a little bit. One of his roommates wanted to watch something on TV and my boyfriend said that he wanted to play his videogame; he actually wanted to do something. Which In turn I said that his statement was completely ridiculous because he’s not “doing anything” he’s just sitting on his ass doing nothing. He replied with “yes I’m sitting on my ass but I’m doing something, I’m engaged in the game I’m making something, I’m doing something.”
I never thought of that before. In Mine craft you’re creating different things; it’s actually a way of expressing yourself. It’s not my personal way of expression nor is it something that I would want to “waste” my time with. But isn’t watching TV, and aimlessly searching the web just as bad?
Although it was hard for me to relate to the video, I did find it interesting. I can see how some people find this alternate space absolutely amazing, for me, not so much. I couldn’t believe how the guy had driven more miles in his video game world then in actual real life. Although videogames can be something to be enjoyed I don’t think it’s healthy to become that “obsessed” watching TV is enjoyable, eating food, going on Facebook, etc. Is all enjoyable but all in moderation. You need balance as with anything in life. I would prefer to see the world with my own eyes, I’d much rather drive across the country then do it virtually. But what exactly is so different with doing it this way? Isn’t it just preference? If someone would find it more enjoyable to do it this way then who is to say that’s wrong?