The Usual Suspects…

Hey~

Sorry I couldn’t join everyone in class this week. Unfortunately, I’ve been very sick lately and apparently it’s getting worse before it gets better. I would not have been my usual pleasant presence had I been in class in-person this week.

Anyway, I am sorry I missed getting to discuss different ideas for the field guide with everyone. I’m sure that would’ve been fun and constructive ^.^

As far as that subject goes, btw, I am thinking of focusing on digital identity (duh). Specifically, I want to look into how social media platforms may be encouraging us to perform our lives rather than live them. It’s kind of a fringe topic to what I’ve been researching for my thesis and I think it’s something interesting to consider. The topic is also something Alex Saum has been exploring in her E-poetry projects. I think there are plenty of ways in which new digital platforms encourage us to be more authentic, rather than less. But, I also know that there are a lot of people who rely on social media to create a life and personality for them which I don’t believe is healthy. This section of the field guide, then, would cover the issue of living one’s life vs. performing it as well as, perhaps, exercising moderation in using social media platforms. Again, while I definitely believe in the abilities of digital interfaces to extend who we are, I also understand that these sites can be addictive and overwhelming. It is important to remember that you are still you after the screen goes dark.

Another topic I’m interested in is also related to my thesis and may veer too far off from what the field guide’s intention is. In the course of doing research for my thesis, I learned more about shitposting and meme culture and I just don’t think the current definition of it in Know Your Meme is accurate. At least, I think it’s outdated and should be updated to include more of the actual purview of shitposting and memes. The current basically identifies both mediums as a kind of interruption to otherwise sensical discourse. In this way, it sort of brushes these very prevalent online mediums off to the side. I think it would be interesting to come up with an updated definition of shitposting and provide sources that support this updated definition and explore new forms of digital content as part of meaningful online discussions. More, I think it’s important to define and validate these new forms of communication as they are becoming a part of our mainstream discourse. It’s all part of the cultural milieu.

So, anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about. I hope one of these ideas is viable. If not, I guess I’m open to suggestions. I wanted to pick a topic I am personally invested in and that concerns me. While these topics may not be the most flashy or be the most “pressing”, I do think they have their own merit and speak to the culture around new media and its usage. It’s important to open dialogue on these subjects, at the very least.

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~Till next time~

Getting Closer to the Finale

Right off the bat, let me start by offering the link to the article because I’m sure that I’ll forget to do so before I publish this post (I often do). Here it is: http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2016/01/the-straw-man-of-digital-dualism/

It’s the link to the article that I mentioned in my previous blog post, which is titled The Straw Man of Digital Dualism and written by John Suler. I’m personally bringing it up because digital dualism is my chosen theme for our final project but I’d strongly suggest everyone to give it a read. It’s quite interesting.

The article starts by defining digital dualism as “the belief that online and offline are separate and distinct realms” and that people tend to have dual personalities as a result. In other words, the online personalities of people are considered quite different from the real ones. There is certainly some truth to it. The author mentions some other researchers who oppose that notion (apparently called anti-digital-dualists) and attempts to refute their position by asserting their ignorance of how virtual reality differs from our own reality. The analogy that follows, which is “difference between our minds when awake and when immersed in fantasy or dreams”, captures the viewpoint of the claim that people consciously (or unconsciously) create alternative personalities of themselves online; an idolized reflection that lives in ether. It could be either for escape or mere curiosity of the possibility. As the author suggests that the online world “allows people to express hidden and often unconscious aspects of identity in ways not easily afforded in the face-to-face world”.

There are so many questions that relates to this particular topic, such as “Who dictates the idolized form of a person?” or “Does the mob mentality play any role in shaping someone’s online personality?”, that I find intriguing. There is so much stuff to examine, but that’s my short analysis for the time being; it’s just a first step after all. I had not selected my particular theme before creating the fictional character or coming up with a story for the Field Guide project. However, when this concept of digital dualism was introduced during our last class, I knew that I had found the perfect theme for the project. I’ll definitely need to find a few more resources in upcoming weeks, but this given article was a great start to delve into it. I’d definitely give it a 9.5/10 usefulness score (if we’re still doing that).

The Alchemist and the Ones Submerged

Yes! We’ve finally gotten to the good stuff. Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing analysis-type pieces for the blog, I was yearning for a more creative/experimental type of activity in the class. That was one of the promises that I was missing since the class was originally pitched as a follow-up (of sorts) to the Electronic Literature. If I had known that the Field Guide project was going to fall right into that experimental type of activity, I would’ve shown a lot more enthusiasm whenever I mentioned it in my previous blog posts; there is the “I’m looking forward to it…”, and then there is the “I cannot wait for it!”.

The Field Guide project apparently consists of creating a fictional character with a Twitter account that helps me solve/analyze a specific topic related to the social media —a (pretend) mentor, if you will. The part that got me excited the most is obviously the character creation. Last week, when everyone else was working on the GIF activity in the class, I was fortunate enough to work on that character creation thing instead… because my computer had died —basically ran out of battery because of the streaming. You can see some sketches that I did on my notebook below.

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The idea of using a seal as the character came from one of my earlier blog posts in which I used the figurative way of describing the internet as a “digital sea”. I figured that I could take that metaphorical approach a step further and possibly use various sea-creatures as representation of certain personalities on the internet, particularly the type of social media users (e.g., the trolls in comment sections as piranhas in “digital sea”). Below is the final form of the main character.

FGCharSeal

So, the story that I’m planning on is about that character, currently named Porter Phoca, closing up his Alchemist Laboratory in order to go on a journey to examine those sea-creatures I’ve mentioned above. He’ll keep in touch with me, as an ongoing story of sorts, and attempt to analyze their “behaviors”. The theme of the story is digital dualism, which is described as “the belief that online and offline are separate and distinct realms” in the article titled The Straw Man of Digital Dualism by John Suler. I’ll probably go more in-depth in my upcoming Field Guide post about that theme but you can probably imagine where I’m actually going with this; people becoming “sea-creatures” inside that “digital sea”. Are they the alternative personalities, or merely the same ones that believe otherwise? It’ll be interesting to study/play with potential answers —I personally do not have one as of now. I have to say that I’m really excited to be working on this project. I even have an interesting sort of ending in mind for this WIP “story”. Though, I prefer not to spoil it for the time being. Hopefully, the result will end up as interesting as it sounds… or looks in my head, I guess.

It’s time to go on a journey!

FGCharSeal2

A Month of Making!

Hello once again! Another week, another blog!

It’s safe to say that after last class I had some major anxiety once I saw what the rest of the semester will look like. Last class started the “beginning” point of creating our own Alchemist, what to do with the Field Guide, and trying to figure out what to for the final project. A lot is going on, but I had to take a step back and just:

Image result for a different world gif
A Different World 

With that being said, let’s get started! Xnirran S. has become my beautifully created Digital Alchemist. As per my previous, she is, “Very happy-go-lucky person and always seeing the positive side to everything. Not into social media except Pinterest where she shares images with me here and there. That is how we communicate.” However, she has informed me that she would like to join the Twitter community so she could share more than DIY and workout schedules but to share ideas, thoughts, memes, gifs, images, and more! So with the use of Twitter and Pinterest, we have agreed that that is how we will communicate. (Also, here is my Response to the Make Assignment). She also finished her first Hypothes.is assignment with the article Intentional Cognitive Friction by Mariana.

We looked at a YouTube video called “This Panda is Dancing-Time Well Spent.” I’ll be honest, I felt guilty watching this video because I saw my “bad” habits all throughout the video. I put bad in quotation marks because I feel like most people in today’s society has the same habits. Whether you are on social media or not, you still may spend a lot of time on Netflix and YouTube when you really should be sleeping. (Not judging because I do it too). While watching this video, I thought to myself, wow. 80% of my time has gone to things like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and not writing as much or listening to music. What happened? When something is put in front of you that’s going to soak up your attention, it’s not your fault. There is certainly an ongoing challenge of what to do with our time. We have the same amount of time that our parents did, but I feel like we have less time when it comes to the simple living because of things like social media and the never-ending Netflix episodes. I do make sure that when I am out with my family that I use my phone as little as possible. (Except when it comes to silly Snapchat filters with my nieces and nephew).

Reflecting on these thoughts, I think this video showed that it’s okay to use your phone in moderation. I think we have to come to a conclusion and reality that these issues of lack of attention or the “attention economy” will grow instead of diminishing. At the end of the video, it said, “Imagine where technology is built on our values and not our screen time.” I don’t want my screen time to determine who I am or what I do with my life. Definitely an eye-opener and a great video to watch! (Spoil alert: His potential wife walked right by him while he was swiping for his wife on a match dating app and it made me scream in my head saying LOOK UP FROM YOUR PHONE! But you’ll see what I’m talking about in the video, which you watch below!

Field Guide…How do ya feel? 

We brainstormed in groups about potential topics for our Field Guide final project. That was a great way to really unfold everything we’ve been looking at in class. After narrowing down my topics I decided to pick: Women who are not of color posing as women of color on Instagram. An example would be a Caucasian woman posing as an African American woman by changing her outer appearance. (Hair, facial features, skin tone, etc.) I feel as if not many people are aware that this is going on. This was recent as well so it’s very relevant. I call this Catfishing with race. I am excited to get started.

For next week, be on the lookout for more about Xnirran S.!

Until next time! ✌🏾

But before you go, don’t forget to check out my DDAS! (One of which were mine! 307)

#DDA305

#DDA307

Previous Blog!

Gotta Love the GIF

 

 

It’s Crunch Time! {Fieldguide}

Warning: You will see nothing but 80s and 90s Sitcom GIFS on my blogs for the rest of the semester, and I am not sorry.😊  Let’s get started!

I officially have a topic!

Image result for living single gif

During our last week’s brainstorming class, I was trying to figure out something that I wanted to look more into that applies to the Field Guide parameters, educational, and something that genuinely concerns me. At first, I started thinking about GIFS. The way GIFS are embedded in our culture and taking the internet by storm I think is innovative and creative. The main question I had was:

  1. Eventually, are GIFS going to dehumanize our senses and emotional reactions in the real world? (Laughing, crying, being happy or sad, etc.) or is it simple fun across the internet and among friends and people will know what fake and real reactions are?

Then I started to think about Catfishing, which is using photographs to form a fake identity (persona) for their own gain, fame, money, identity theft, etc. We had a Studio Visit with Alec Couros about the dangers of Catfishing in today’s society. Anyone can take a photo of you from Facebook and can create a fake identity. It’s the new wave of stealing credit cards. (Which still happens). But for the new generations and the current generation of using social media, they would rather steal identity for more followers on Instagram. So then I thought of this question:

2. I wonder how many people know about what’s happening on Instagram where women who are not of color are posing as women of color? For those who may not have heard because it’s been swept under the rug or you’re not familiar with Instagram, this is actually happening. If you’re not sure what I mean, here are a few examples:

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This is Catfishing with race, and it needs to be discussed. This cultural appropriation and extremely offensive. As a woman of color when I see these images, I am disturbed, but I also feel bad (a little) for them because these girls don’t understand that being a person of color goes beyond changing your looks. It’s something deeper and something you are born with that you can’t switch off and on whenever you want. Furthermore, when a young girl of color who scrolls through their Instagram feed, what would they think or how would they feel when they discover that who they saw on Instagram is fake. As far as my Digital Alchemist goes, she feels the same way. That’s why she decided to create a Twitter account to discuss important issues such as these.

I could go in-depth more on this blog post about this topic, but I will save it for next week!

See ya later!

Check out my previous post!

Going In Full Speed (GIFS) {Fieldguide}