All posts by mlibbey

Self Assessment

I understand that this was a new class but I was very happy with the way it was taught. I was curious about how this class would make sense for an English major and also how it would be taught. I thought the reading materials were well thought out and helpful in the learning of this course. I feel that I learned a lot from each discussion leader and their presentation. I also appreciated how each student, including myself used their own style in the way they presented.

I was nervous that this course would be difficult to handle this semester due to the volume of writing that I did for my master’s thesis. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the class wasn’t as demanding as I thought and the chapters were very interesting to read. I looked forward to the class discussions each week to help better understand what I read. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s opinion on the readings.

I appreciated the dialogue and opinions that my fellow classmates brought to each class. All of the presentations were insightful and well presented. I think this had a huge impact on my personal learning. Being in an atmosphere where the other students want to learn more and grow from the learning experience only enhanced my experience as a student. Also the topic of new media was an intriguing and informative topic. We all use social media and the world wide web but now we all have a better understanding of its features and how it affects our society.

I am embarrassed to say that the skills I have gained for this course are skills that I should have already acquired. I learned more about twitter and how to create a following and also how to use it to find information and trending topics. I also learned the power of the hashtag. I always just thought that the pound sign and the words that followed were made up. What I learned is that if used correctly the hashtag can be used to spread the word about a movement or event. Hashtags spread advocacy and it allows the user to be an advocate for things that are important to them. I personally think the #feminism hashtag is a great hashtag to look up on twitter every once in awhile. It is a small space on twitter where women tag things they think are amazing for women’s rights. It is very inspirational to check out sometimes.

Since joining this program I have decided that I would love to teach writing at the collegiate level. This Master’s program has taught me so much that with graduation only a week away I feel prepared to graduate. This class has allowed me to speak in front of the class and lead a discussion. I feel that this will help me in the future. By creating questions and asking the class for their opinions I am one step closer to understanding what it is like to teach a class. I have always enjoyed the opportunities I get from being in front of the class and engaging my fellow classmates.

This class taught me new skills, gave me knowledge about new topics, and changed my attitude on certain things. I learned that I should understand that everyone is different and everyone learns and grows in different ways. We all view media and technology differently. I never understood selfies but this class has given me a new appreciation of the cultural phenomenon. I look more closely now at the pictures on instagram and the tweets on twitter. I click on hashtags to try to better understand what they are trying to promote. I also stopped posting so much on facebook. After our discussions on sharing and what is important to the intellectual marketplace that is social media I have decided to only post important events in my life and think twice before I post my opinions.

Before I took this class I was a student who didn’t know much about the issues in new media. Now I understand more about how new media affects society and our everyday lives. As new things emerge everyday we as students and advocate need to learn how to use these tools and how they can help us in this always changing technological world.

Recap of the Semester

What have we learned about media and participatory culture that we didn’t fully understand before this class?

I was taught in my journalism classes as an undergrad that with the technology that we have today that everyone can be a journalist. Statuses and tweets are new ways of spreading news and controversy. Anyone can snap a picture on their smartphone and post it to the internet. Michael Jackson’s death was first found out by a picture taken by a nurse who worked in the ER when he came in to the hospital. Everyone can be a journalist now. But as we move forward with twitter and instagram, media has changed in the sense of participation.

Anyone can be an advocate now. Hashtags and followers allow people to spread a message that means something to them. The ice bucket challenge, #BlackLivesMatter, and anything Trump says spreads throughout cyberspace because of the way these things are shared.

I developed a better understanding of youtube stars as well. Youtube is a great source for clips, music, and all around entertainment. There are people out there who make millions of dollars from sharing their skills, stories, and lives by creating videos online. advocacy and spreading awareness can be done through youtube stars and their followers. Youtube has created a community of users that are constantly connected.

We got on a long conversation about Facebook. It is something we are all a part of but it drives us crazy. Going viral is a trend. We are constantly branding ourselves online. Our pictures, our statuses and the way we present ourselves is important when in the past we only cared about what our close friends and family thought of us. We all have that friend on facebook that starts fights in comment sections or posts idiotic articles or nonsense. We talked about how it drives us crazy.

We all agreed that we learned a lot from learning about participatory culture and new media.


Hashtags and Pop-Culture

Chapters six and seven continue on our discussion of participatory culture. These days there is an awareness being created for everything.


If you haven’t seen the video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake mocking hashtags, then you need to go look it up on youtube now! It is a hilarious parody of our culture and the importance of hashtags but what Jimmy and Justin might not have realized was how important hashtags can be to participatory culture.

A fun fact that I’m not sure everyone knows is the technical name of the #. I love stumping people with this question. What is the technical name for the hashtag. Mostly everyone’s guess is the pound sign. Nope. Octothorpe. Because of the 8 points and the parallel lines this sign is called an octothorpe. There you go, you learn something new everyday.

Hashtags are a modern way of creating awareness for causes. Tweets and pictures on instagram include hashtags to start an online conversation about these causes. The politics of pop culture and whats trending can be difficult to understand. I believe age and geographical location plays a large part on participatory culture. I am personally not a Beyonce fan. (Although I love and respect the attention she brings to feminism) She is constantly trending. Her Super Bowl performance brought her a lot of good and bad press. Lately she has been all over social media due to her “Lemonade” release. My age group has been up in arms due to her lyrics hinting at infidelity in her relationship with Jay-Z. I personally do not care about this revelation but it is trending on all social media sites.

People who are in an older age group might be more interested in the presidential race or international politics. Hashtags target certain age groups and geographical locations. I might not know what the hashtag #JusticeForFlint means if I’m not from Michigan. Also middle America might not know about #RaiseTheWage if they don’t live in a big city where these rallies take place.

The ability that hashtags have is to raise awareness and allow people to feel a part of something. If you have a social media account you are not able to be an activist. You can fight for what you believe in by posting your opinion. Hashtags, memes and getting the word out allows anyone to feel involved.

A friend emailed me an amazing New York Times article about a year ago. The series investigated the nail salon industry. These journalists found out the secrets of the “spa service” industry that wasn’t well known before. The wages these women are paid are below the means to live. Many asian women in New York share small apartments just to get by. The salon owners help them come to America in exchange for a low paying job. Since I read this story I haven’t gotten my nails done in a salon. I am silently boycotting this industry because I do not agree with the practices. I also tried to spread awareness through my social media accounts by sharing the article. I will do it again here, on my blog.

Another example was after I watched the documentary “Blackfish.” This movie which can be found on Netflix moved me so much that I wanted to become involved in saving these amazing animals. A few weeks ago Buzzfeed announced that SeaWorld was going to stop breeding their Orcas and they were no longer going to perform shows in their parks. I was so happy that I posted the article to my instagram.

Participatory culture allows us to feel like activists and bring awareness to the causes that we feel are important. Are people listening? I don’t know, but I hope someone is.


Experimenting with Air-B-N-Me

The past three days have been emotionally draining for me. Personal stuff has gotten in the way of my school work for the past three weeks and I feel as if I haven’t been able to keep up. So when I remembered that we needed to “Loan” some lives and get a sense for the Netprov project I thought that this would be a perfect way for me to destress. I was excited to live someone else’s life for about a minute of two.

I went through the list starting at the top and read all of the ads. I only clicked on the videos that I thought would interest me the most and I was pleasantly surprised that people kept with the improvising concept. I found Martha’s two videos and Debbie’s two videos. Recognizing their usernames I watched their videos first. Martha stayed true to her life at home and shared what it is like to read a magazine in front of the fire and pet her dog while listening to her husband pick the guitar. I laughed at her ad because my boyfriend does the same thing. He will pick a song he wants to learn and he picks the same notes over and over until he gets it. It can get annoying to listen to after a while. But I liked that she brought us in to her life in that way. She also shared a video of her dancing with her husband. I have no idea how she was able to film this but I really felt as if I was dancing.

I experienced Jessica’s freaking search for her next victim in a serial killer’s crime spree. That was fun to think about for a few seconds. I also ventured out and tried a few other lender’s lives. One video was a woman petting a dog and reading a book, the other was a woman cooking for her kids, a guy walking a dog, and the last was someone walking around a library and then sitting down to work on homework. I found that most people were creative with their videos.

Debbie’s two videos were with her granddaughters. She did Ballet with her one granddaughter and I thought it was really genius to use her as a mirror to what Debbie was doing so the loaner felt like they were doing the moves that her granddaughter was doing. The second was more watching then doing, it was her granddaughters on the trampoline having fun and freaking out about bugs haha. My favorite part of this post was the review that someone wrote. It was perfect, this person kept in character and explained how they felt during the experience. The third was a look around a costume shop. I thought this was a cute and creative idea. I enjoy reading all of the responses as much as i like watching the videos.

That is the second part of the netprov is responding to the lenders. The loaners inhabit someone’s life for a few minutes and then they normally would write a review on how they enjoyed or disliked that person’s life. In the spirit of improvisation everyone kept their character and talked about the videos like they actually experienced it. I got involved in this too. I tried to write my review as if I had a visceral experience while watching the video. This part was fun because it allowed me to respond to the video but also be creative in how I enjoyed the “loan.”

I think the Youtube videos allowed this project to flourish. Periscope was a bad choice for this project. Periscope, as a concept is great. Periscope in reality is not. I think the project was a success because everyone involved was able to play a character and keep that consistent character throughout the experience. Improvising is the whole goal of the experiment. Between the profiles, ads (swappertunities) and reviews this project kept up the creativity and interest that I hoped it would. I found some videos to be better than others but the simple fact that people were creating and thinking outside the box was what I think makes this project a success.

The conversation that is happening with the reviews and the responses from the loaners I think this netprov could go on for a while. As long as there is content being uploaded and someone to watch and review this could go on for a while. The site also allowed the users to jump around and search just like Air B N B. It felt authentic. There is so much creativity and ingenuity that can be used for this project and I was very interested to see how each user demonstrated their life through their point of view and a camera.

The Start of Technology in Silicon Valley

I found it very interesting that the tech boom in silicon valley had a slow start. In 2003 so many people flocked to San Francisco with ideas and tech skills, ready to create something new. These people gathered and brainstormed but no one knew what the next big thing would be. This new wave of tech-geeks created a movement known was web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is another name for the start of online social networks. Cue the mentioning of Mark Zuckerberg. It’s true, you can’t talk about social networks without naming Facebook. The movie about the behind the scenes truth of the website is called The Social Network. Although that movie depicts the facts about how Zuckerberg stole the idea, used all of his friends money to start it, then never paid that friend back and eventually alienated everyone that helped him get to where he is now, the movie proves how money drove everyone in silicon valley to want the same payday.

I think Danah describes it best when she says, “The quick and dirty answer is capitalism, but the reality is much more complex. Some people start companies to get rich, but many more start companies with an idea to solve a problem they are experiencing and which they feel is not being addressed adequately by the current set of public and private offerings, whether that problem is finding a date, sharing a video, or finding a house to stay in while on vacation.” Most tech-geeks want to solve a problem or make a situation better by creating a tool that will cater to the user. Air B-N-B is a perfect example. Allowing people to make money by renting their home to others and allowing travelers a comfortable and cheap place to stay. This company solves a problem for travelers and caters to the people who want to make money by renting their homes. Win, win, right? And the creator of the website makes lots of money off of advertising so really, everyone wins.

Mimi describes the big three tech industries for participatory culture as Web 2.0, gaming, and mobile. Gaming was geeks geeking out and it originally started with software but over time has become a type of subculture all on its own. Geeks are now hacking and creating their own games along with the games that are made by the commercial companies. Mobile has taken on its own culture as well. Having the ability to constantly be in contact with everyone in your social network. Texting culture was made popular by teens and is now used by everyone no matter what subculture or age, gender, and race.

Myspace, a site that is no longer as popular as it once was, was a perfect example of the beta style experimenting that was going on in the early stage of the world wide web. Once users figured out that they could hack their profiles to make them as custom as they pleased Myspace watched as every user created their own HTML and coded their profile to their liking. Myspace didn’t want to step in because they wanted to see how far users would go to customize their own page.

Mimi’s explanation of how texting started made me think of a story. My older cousin used to have a pager. She would get a beep and would find a pay phone and call whoever had beeped her. She used to drive me around and take me to the mall and do things that cooler older cousins did with their young less cool cousins. I didn’t understand the point of a pager and I also didn’t know that it had a number and when you called the number you could leave a message that would show up on the pager. She once got a message that just said 143. I read it to her while she was driving and I was confused to only see 3 letters as the message. A telephone number is longer then that. When I asked her what it meant she told me that the message was from her boyfriend. 143 stood for the amount of letters in the sentence I Love You. I thought wow, he can’t call her because she isn’t home so he lets her know he is thinking of her by sending her a message. This must be the first signs of texting before there were even cell phones. I thought this was fascinating when I was little and now texting is as normal as anything else in my everyday life.

This chapter reminds me of another story. After listening to the first season of Serial (twice) I wanted another podcast to listen to. I started listening to a podcast called Startup. It was about a radio broadcaster who had worked for This American Life and wanted to start his own podcasting company. One of the episodes he talks to a venture capitalist about how he should go about finding investors for his company. The venture capitalist told him that he needed to create a brand that didn’t already exist. Come up with an idea that no one has thought of yet and everyone will want to invest in your company. This makes me think of the commercialism of silicon valley. All of those investors just waiting for the geeks to come up with a brilliant idea that they can place their money on and eventually make more money than they give in. Thats the name of the game. Technology is a huge commercial industry that without the start of the internet would have never became as financially profitable as it is today.


Teens and Technology

The term “teenager” was created in the 1940’s after the great depression and the economy boom after World War II. It was used as a marketing term to target an older youth population. This began the idea that teenagers should be treated differently. They aren’t quite children anymore but they are not yet adults.

Many of the quotes from the chapters insisted that parents were terrified of the technology their children were using and they didn’t fully understand. The idea that new technology creates new problems. I agree with this partially. When I first joined Myspace my dad would try to give me advice on how I shouldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know in person and that I shouldn’t be posting things that were too personal.

Bullying also became an issue with the start of the world wide web. AOL Instant Messenger, Myspace, and online forums created a space for bullies to hide behind a computer screen and bully whoever they wanted from the comfort of their own home. This can be a concern for any parent. How do they monitor their child online? How can a parent find out if a child is being bullied? Or how can they find out if their child is the bully? I believe that these are the reasons that parents are worried.

I think this comes down to having conversations about online security and privacy. Martha follows her daughter on Instagram. In real time Martha can see what her daughter posts and what she is broadcasting to the public. Dr. Z says her kids geek out with others online. She advices her kids to “hang out” online by connecting with others in a connected learning community. I believe that by talking with your kids and trying to find out about their networks you can get a good idea of what they are doing online.

“Parents often want to “solve” the problem by making it less visible – by restricting children’s access to social media or pushing for companies to scan for negative content. But this doesn’t actually curtail bullying. It is only a Band-aid on the fear.” I liked this quote because it is true. Parents want to “come to the rescue” for their children. By not allowing them to join social media sites the parents believe they are saving their child. Sometimes this can be more harmful than helpful. Children will never learn how to use technology if they are prevented from using it.

Chapter 3 taught me more about understanding how to engage in technology and new media. HOMAGO, is a new term I learned that I never heard before. Hanging out, is what most teens do while texting or spending time in person. They are gossiping, talking about social interactions or pop culture. Messing around most likely is related to learning and connecting with other learners. Youtube tutorials, coding, and video games usually allow kids to learn while they are messing around and making connections. Geeking out is even more involved. Kids check out blogs, youtube videos, and online forums to either share their experience and skills or learn a new skill and connect with people who already mastered the skill for the task.

Vlogging has become the way teens gather information on pop culture and the latest news and trends. Youtube is the new source for collection information. Vlogging is in a way a return to oral tradition. TV shows, awards shows, cultural news, and any types of entertainment can now be broken down on youtube videos. Youtube bloggers now give commentary to clips or videos and allow their opinions or expertise on these topics.

Another thing about vlogging that I found fascinating is youtube stars who are entertainers. Singers like Karmin and Justin Bieber started on youtube by singing covers. They produced their own videos and sang popular songs in their own original way to get noticed. Once they got enough followers they would start to make videos of their own original songs in hopes to get signed. You tubers interact with their followers and they ask for suggestions in the comment sections.

I remember when Youtube started. No one knew what it was and what its potential really was. Years later youtube is a sensation and has created jobs for vloggers and created enough content to suffice any user.


Selfie Nation Unite


The idea of the filter. Instagram is a perfect example of this. The app comes preloaded with filters to mute, highlight, brighten, and focus. These filters can make your photo appear better than you took it originally. But what is the main focus of a filter? To show something that isn’t real. We all use filters everyday. I put on makeup to filter my uneven and acne scarred skin. We use filters in conversations so we don’t seem rude or different. There are many different types of filters we encounter in our everyday lives. What do they all have in common? We use them to create a false sense of reality.


What about technology’s filters. Just like a coffee filter stops the ground beans from getting in to your hot mug of coffee a spam filter stops all of those annoying unwanted emails from landing in your inbox. Twitter filters your thoughts by only giving you 140 characters to type out a thought. Reddit and Yelp filter out comments based on which ones they think are the most important or most helpful.


Photo filters are a way to change our perception of something. We see our faces in the mirror everyday. But when we take a selfie and use a filter it changes our perception of ourselves and allows us to appreciate it in a new way. Filters aren’t just for likes or comments. Filters allow us to see everyday things in a new light.


This idea of filters is fascinating to me. I realized that I used a filter while in conversation with particular people. I have used Instagram filters to make colors pop or brighten an image. I just didn’t realize how much technology filters us. I also didn’t realize how filters were used to improve our everyday lives. Getting your message across in 140 characters is a filter that allows us to edit and only say the most important things. Filters are everywhere and most of the time they are very useful.


The experimental Instagram before smartphones:

Artists are usually the type of people who think of things before everyone else. Szuc’s art exhibition of polaroid pictures taken everyday for 15 years is amazing. She let down her walls and allowed herself to be vulnerable to take selfies before the word was entered in to the English dictionary. She took pictures of her everyday life and of what she thought was interesting. She was following the design of Instagram before smartphones were invented. I think this is such a smart project. She wanted to see time lapse and this is the only way she knew how to do it.


Years later, Youtube is created and now young people are creating time lapse videos. Photos taken of themselves over the course of a few years were made in to videos and went viral. No one before had seen such progression of time with photos. Progression videos became a phenomenon on youtube and many users found new and interesting ways to document the passing of time.


This chapter explains that profile pictures are a representation of one’s true self. I agree and disagree with this statement. I believe that most people put up a picture that they believe is the truest representation of themselves. A picture on vacation or smiling with friends. Others want to look better or different for their online profile so they doctor a selfie by using different camera angles, mood lighting and filters. This can create the illusion one wants their image to have. I agree that most people want to show their true selves online. I in particular have a picture of me and my boyfriend. At first glance you would think that I chose that photo because it is my favorite or that I really like showing of my relationship. Neither of those things are true. Yes, I am happy with my boyfriend but I don’t believe that I need him to be my profile picture to brag about how good I think we both look. I had a picture of just me on one of my recent vacations as my profile picture. The non stop messages I would get from men I have never met got so annoying that I knew the only way it would stop was if I put up a picture with me and my boyfriend in it. Now, is that the truest form of myself? Who is to judge? I just chose it to stop the messages from strangers. I still get a few from time to time but its much less than before.


This chapter explained why selfies can be important. I have never looked at selfies in this light before. I am not a fan of selfies. I don’t take them, I don’t post them, and I don’t need the confidence boost from likes or comments. That doesn’t mean that I don’t see why other people take them and post them. Selfies are a culturally excepted phenomenon now. Selfies have become part of some peoples identification. I can’t stand the attention the Kardashians get but Kim has made a name based on her notorious selfies. I guess I can’t hate her for knowing how to brand herself and remain popular.

Self Segregation- White vs. Everyone Else


First off I would like to point out how well this article was written. The polls, the graphs, and the analysis was well done and well written. This was how I was taught to write an article in my journalism classes. There is a hint of bias but the article is full of facts and figures and that is why I am impressed.

The first thing I thought about was this new show I am addicted to lately, it’s called American Crime. It airs on Tuesdays on FX. This season they are portraying the People vs. OJ Simpson trial. Growing up I learned about the trial but I never understood the social significance of the time and the verdict. History tends to repeat itself and in this article Brown vs. Ferguson is discussed. OJ was sentenced as not guilty by a jury during a time of racism and prejudice. The LA police had a problem with racial outbursts and beatings. During the time of the Brown case Ferguson was up in arms and it was a replay of the OJ Simpson case. White police officers were accused of racism and hate crimes. Who is to say who is wrong here? I leave that up to the judicial system.

The main subject of this article is that the Ferguson case brought up a good conversation topic. White people have strictly white networks. Minorities seem to have a more diverse networking system and they work closely with other minorities and white people. White people tend to only network with other white people, thus making their “circle” less diverse.

Now, this can be based on a lot of different factors. Geography, social status, income, and education. If you live in a predominantly white town you will mostly have an inner circle of white people. If you live in a more culturally diverse town your network might be more diverse. Many factors can contribute to this, but the main issue is how these networks relay information. By traveling beyond our close circles whites can begin to understand how others think and process information.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t think this problem exists, because it does. I for one have never got stopped by the police for anything other than speeding. I have never been arrested or had an officer of the law hold a gun up to me. I will never understand the injustice of a hooded sweatshirt and a misunderstanding can cause. But as the article suggests I will never understand these things because I am white. It isn’t my fault let alone anyone else fault. But there is a race issue across the country and I am not sure what can be done about it. But I will never pretend that it doesn’t exist.


White Flight:

Kat, the 14 year old white student was me in high school. I never identified as a racist but due to my educational level and after school activities I spent most of my time with white people. Rahway high school is extremely diverse but I took mostly honors and AP classes. This meant that the classes were mostly white with a few minorities. I dated an African American male, but he too identified as white and he had no other “black friends.” As I look back now I always thought that it wasn’t by choice but that it was because of my class schedule. But I see that this wasn’t quite true. I had opportunities such as lunch or gym time to socialize with everyone else, but I found that I stuck to my “white friends” because we had gotten close from having classes together.

I actually didn’t know about this cultural divide between myspace and Facebook. I find this interesting because I used to have a myspace and the reason I left the site was because so many of my friends had left the site that there was no point to me having a profile anymore. I followed the bandwagon and created a Facebook account like everyone else did. That’s the way high school works, everyone follows trends. You can’t be left out, you have to keep up with the “popular thing to do.”

I also learned something in high school that this article made me remember. There are different shades of white and black. I was from Rahway so white people in Westfield or Clark never saw me as “white enough.” I wasn’t a cheerleader and I didn’t date a lacrosse player. My house was smaller than my friends homes from these towns and my parents didn’t make a lot of money. But in Rahway I was considered white. My boyfriend in high school was also seen as not “black enough.” He didn’t have many black friends, he dated a white girl, and he had an after school job at the mall. But when we went out to eat in clark or walked around Westfield after going to the movies he was seen as black. Its a fascinating concept. That where your geographical location is determines if you are a minority or not. I learned this fact when I was younger and the older I get I see all of the time that nothing has changed. We as white people might segregate ourselves but we also asa human race segregate each other just as much.


Selfie Culture

Part I: The Digital Humanities and Selfie Culture. As Ms. Posner puts it, the content and lessons of a course it what makes it a true learning experience. This is a great idea, that technology is moving forward and more learning techniques must be geared towards social norms for millennial students. Throughout history every generation has been defined by the changes that have happened during certain decades. The millennial generation has see significant change when it comes to technology and the older generations find it hard to keep up. As educators, teachers must keep up with the changes to better educate these generations. I think these “selfie courses” will prove to be good for future students.

I recently visited France. In Paris I walked through the famous Louvre museum. On almost every wall there were famous and historical “selfies.” Back then kings, rich men, and political figures wanted portraits of themselves painted by a local artist. They hung these portraits in their homes. The palace of Versailles, which is outside of Paris, is one of the largest and most extravagant palaces that still exists. In almost every room King Louis the 14th had a portrait of himself. He believed that this proved his wealth. In the main ballroom he had sitting on a mantel a bust of him, sculpted when he was only 22 years old. Talk about selfie culture in the middle ages. Rich and powerful men had portraits painted for their wives as well. There were no pictures back then so the portraits were hung to show the power and wealth of a family. Although our selfies are very different now I believe that they have similarities. We like to use selfies to document how we look at a certain time. We also use selfies to communicate things. Back then it was a way to prove wealth and power. It is still the same today. The wealth and the powerful get the most “likes” or “followers” due to their popularity, wealth, or status. Selfies have various uses these days but they are just like they were back then.

In Part 2: Internet identity and selfie practices representation was one of the topics that struck me as most important. Selfies can be used now to represent a person and their product. I recently had a friend send a selfie to me. She looked great, she had lost a lot of weight, she looked healthy and happy. I asked her how. She tagged me on a “selfie” on instagram. The girls name is Katy Hearn. Well I had never heard of this girl before so I started looking through her page. The girl is a personal trainer. Her selfies are pictures of her body parts to show how toned and strong she is. She posts selfies of her at the gym. She also posts videos demonstrating different workouts. I was hooked. I ordered her guides through her website and now I am on week three of her workouts and I feel so much stronger. Without a selfie culture, how would this girl have been able to represent herself and sell her product?  Selfie culture is now responsible for entrepreneurs to represent themselves through social media.

Part 3: Networked Spaces, Slut Shaming and Putting Selfies in Dialogue with Theory, this talked about the downside of selfie culture. Amanda Todd, a 15 year old girl, committed suicide, as a result of bullying. Her bullying began when nude photos of her were found online. She was in 7th grade. These kids are growing up in a culture where selfies are part of the conversation. Instagram, twitter and Facebook make it seem normal to post whatever we want. These children don’t understand the repercussions of posting a selfie, especially a nude selfie. Bullying is one of cyberspace’s biggest issues. When selfies are so easy to gain access to girls tend to make fun of each other. Amanda’s bullying was a result of her posting nude photos and the other girls found out. What these kids don’t understand is that selfies become part of the dialogue and once a photo is out there, it can’t be taken back.

Part 4: Diversity, NetProv and Service Learning brought up the question of, what is a selfie. When I think of a selfie I think of Ellen Degeneres at the Oscars a few years ago. Her selfie that was taken with a couple of hollywood’s biggest stars crashed twitter. But what is the significance of a selfie? “there were a lot of preconceptions among students about what counted as a selfie. They — like many people — had reduced selfies to merely the behavior of stereotypical young women who were excessively vain and self-centered. Once we opened up selfies, we followed up on Jill’s work in two directions: one was opening up the many forms of image-sharing online including Snapchat; the other direction was to look at the history of self-representation, not just portraiture but semiotic self-representation of all kinds that was fundamental to human culture. This could include writing, such as autobiography, letter writing, and journaling.”

Marino makes an excellent point that selfies have come a long way. Since the beginning of time there were people who wanted to be noticed. These people wrote letters, wrote autobiographies about their lives and journaled about their day to day. A selfie can be seen as a picture journal. If a picture is worth a thousand words then what does your selfie say?

NetSmart Chapters 5 & 6

First off I want to say how I enjoyed our conversation with Howard. He is an intelligent mind who is interested in new media and where he thinks technology is headed. It was nice to pick his brain because I have enjoyed his views while reading NetSmart.

Chapter 5 starts off with networks. Rheingold talks about how we are surrounded by networks all of the time. “I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.” He goes on to explain that many studies have been done on this very subject. I like to believe that these studies were don’t to prove that it really is a “small world.”

Networks are formed by people. The web allowed more networks to form because now people have a way to group based on common interests. Hence Ebay’s success. We are no longer the “information society.” Due to the access to networks on the web we should now be considered the “network society.”



An example of this is Facebook. Facebook, based on your friends and interests, can figure out people you may know. They can suggest groups for you to join. Facebook has now used technology to track networks and allow you to create new networks or add to existing ones by meeting new people. “As social media have emerged as a widespread platform for human interaction, the invisible ties that link each of us to others have become more visible and machine readable.”

I believe that networks can benefit us. Now with the internet we have access to millions of networks all over the world that are just a click away. But I think it is important to remember what networks are helpful and productive for us to join.

Chapter 6 talks about Remix Culture. This isn’t the first time I have heard about this. In Writing in the Workplace we did a whole section on remixes. I was really fascinated by some of the videos I watched and some of the things I read. Almost everything is a remix. Original material is hard to find these days. The quote “imitation is the best form of flattery” is the best way to describe a remix. Someone saw something that they liked or found worked and decided to use that as inspiration. My favorite example of a remix is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. I am a Hitchcock fan, so much that I took a course as an undergrad that analyzed his films. Not many people my age have seen this movie and I wanted my boyfriend to see it. When he saw the shower scene and heard the music he realized how many times that idea had been copied and he started bringing up all of the movies he could think of. Hitchcock was the original and since then so many directors have followed his lead by using the death in the shower scene or the iconic music.

Now with the technology we all have the ability to use we can remix anything. Photoshop, garage band, iMovie. All of these types of software can be used to remix almost anything. Look at instagram and the filters and effects that can be used. We are a culture that finds the original boring. Songs come out on the radio and weeks later there are countless remixes that can be found on youtube. Its all about remixing.

Dr. Zamora asked us a few questions at the end of her blog post and I want to take a few minutes to answer them.

-What do you want to learn in New Media Studies?  I would like to take away a deeper understanding of the cultural side of media. How does media effect us and how can we learn from new media to enrich our own lives. These are the questions I would like to answer.

-What skills and knowledge do you hope to take from this course?   It would be great to learn how to market myself better on twitter. I also really learned from the CRAP detector and conduct better research in the future.

-What forms of learning would integrate most effectively with your own interests and goals at this point in your academic journey? All of the things I have learned so far, CRAP detection, web literacy, and how we can learn from online networks, all of these subjects are going to help me in the future whether it be for my own learning or if I become an educator. I would love to incorporate blogging, web literacy, and the CRAP test in to the classroom.