Favorite Posts

I’ve selected two posts for different reasons. First, I’ve really come to admire Ashley as a writer because of her prose. In one particular post I liked, Ashley depicted the way we use the internet flawlessly through her careful diction, and overall she conveyed the image really well.

“I allow my fingers to maneuver across the keyboard in almost record speed. It suddenly dawned on me that I did not know the exact age of Robert Downey Jr. and the desire to disclose this information was a matter of urgency; ten dollars were on the line that he was not over the age of fifty and I was not about to miss my opportunity to take my misinformed friend’s cash. I slightly tapped the enter key and my question was answered within nanoseconds–  just like that, I was plugged into the vast and ceaseless world of the Internet.”

I admire Ashley’s writing style because I think it’s unique to her, and I like what she does with her writing and diction. Throughout the semester I think she’s produced thought provoking, clear and concise images through her words.

A post which I thought did something beyond its written text was Sam’s poem.

https://e397spring2017.wordpress.com/author/samw3535

Sam’s poem reaches beyond the abilities of plain text because it physically speaks to us. I think assigning a voice to the text shapes the way we interpret it as humans, and overall it has potential to move us a little more than it would if it were conveyed just through plain text. I think both authors did an excellent job.

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Nicole Lemon: A Profile

Nicole Lemon is a biology-chemistry double major studying at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s currently wrapping up her junior year and preparing for a research based internship this summer where she will be working closely with an associate professor of the biomedical department. She plans to go go to medical school post graduation to pursue ambitions to become a neurologist. She would consider herself liberal, and throughout the past few years I’ve watched her grow as an advocate for social justice issues on Facebook and Twitter. I believe the passion and strength of her beliefs causes her to be unable to remain silence on public social platforms.

What influences you to tweet something, or make a Facebook post?

My biggest influence as to why I post on Twitter and Facebook is transparency. This may seem backwards. In using social media you are hiding behind a computer. It isn’t real, some things aren’t clear. But I tweet and post a lot so that I am transparent- so that everyone KNOWS what I am thinking, and everyone knows what i am going through…not necessarily because i need everyone to know but because I am proud of who I am. I like to stand up for what I believe in and I like to be heard. The best way to get the attention of a vast majority these days is through posting on Facebook and tweeting.

What influences you to intervene in an already existing Facebook discussion or Twitter war?

I am influenced to intervene when I agree or disagree strongly. Politics have got me going recently. I also like to comment on things I really like and agree with and stick up for people whom are getting disagreed with. Again, I intervene when I feel like my opinion can contribute and because everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.

Do you believe people are careless with their words online?

I think that when people post dumb things, and don’t expect to be challenged- they deserve to be challenged.

Do you think you are a more established source of knowledge on certain topics via web because of your scientific and well informed background?

Am I a more established source of knowledge? Depends on the topic. I love learning from others just as much as posting on social media. I believe my opinions are important, as everyone’s are,but not always “the right” answer. Sometimes there is no right answer.
On certain topics, such as science topics I do consider myself a more established source at this point in my biochemistry career.

Do you think Facebook is an appropriate forum for people to discuss their beliefs?

I think that Facebook is an appropriate place for beliefs. If you post a belief on Facebook though you should expect to have people disagree with you- its up to the individual if they want to argue or if they simply want to ignore the person who disagrees. Social media is becoming a apart of society, it’s the way society interacts- freedom of religion, for example, should include all public places, including Facebook.

Do you believe Facebook supplies peoples’ ignorance?

Social media has become so huge I think sometimes it hurts us. Relationship problems, job problems, cyber bullying, a lot of things arise from social media. I’m not sure if it’s ignorance.

Writing As A Social Action

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/my-body-is-more-than-sexy

I wrote this article last summer after working at a day camp for children. I’ve always been a advocate for women embracing their bodies versus hiding them, and working in a structured organization with children showed me just how much we sexualize young girls’ bodies.

Honestly, I was afraid when I posted this article, because so many anecdotes had to do with my job. My co-workers didn’t love me (or so it felt) and I was fearful of one of them seeing it on Facebook and exploiting me. But the article reached everybody I wanted, and more. This is the excerpt I posted with it:

Words I have been waiting to say for a long time. For any girl who has been told to “cover up”. For any girl who’s violated the dress code. For any girl who wants to believe in the power of your body: Please read.

I couldn’t have garnered a better reaction on this post. Reactions included:

217 social shares and 1,619 views

“Well done”

“This is amazing”

“Amazing *tag*, thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts.”

Another beautifully written article by my friend Ellie Delany! Everybody please remember that society and the “social norms” that put us down only change if we do. This article is geared towards women, but no matter what gender you identify with, or don’t identify with, embrace yourself and others for all that you/they are and everything you/they want and hope to be. As members of a society that perpetuates judgement and ridicule over love and acceptance–always remember to do the loving thing!!”

“everyone needs to read this” x 2

“perfect exactly thank you”

What I’ve included in bold was my favorite reaction. This is the reason why I write Odyssey articles, despite some stigma of it being a “listicle/click-bait” platform. I write because I want to start conversation. Receiving positive feedback feels great and is rewarding, but there’s a purpose behind the feedback. I want people to embrace these ideals more, and if everybody’s sharing them, maybe somebody on the opposing side will read and understand my perspective.

I wish this article would have reached more males, and if it did, I wish they would have engaged with it a bit more. It’s important for females to realize the power of our bodies, but I would have appreciated feedback and support or mere opinions from the male population.

Overall, I think I hit my objective of reaching an audience. This is something I’ve always felt passionate about, and it’s important to me. I think there are so many misunderstandings and flawed societal implications we impose on women’s bodies. My article was one way I can combat and try to change these things.

Affordances and Public Shaming on the Internet

When looking for connections or contrasts between Danah Boyd’s “It’s Complicated” and Ronson’s “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”, I found that the affordances of technology, specifically social media, Boyd describes enables the public internet shaming Ronson talks about. Boyd discusses four aspects of these affordances, which are “persistence: the durability of online expressions and content, visibility: the potential audience who can bear witness, spreadability,: the ease with which content can be shared and searchability: the ability to find content.” (Boyd 11).

These four contributing factors of affordance make it possible for us to shame one another on a larger public scale than ever before. Due to the durability of online expressions and content, people find trouble retracting statements they mistakenly make, because even when their presence is deleted, the tweet or post lives on. The visibility aspect of affordances is immense; millions of people have access to your personal social media platform with just a click. I also want to pause and raise the question: what does this mean for us as people? I can convey ideas about myself and life easily through social media, and none of them are reflections of my truest self. Can we access depictions of one another so easily that we’re numb to the actual human behind the screen? Completely.

The spreadability social media holds is immense, the websites we actively go on make it incredibly easy for us to “retweet” “share” and “like” things. So when one person finds another’s actions indisputable, and expresses so through social media, it is extremely easy for others to hop on without fully forming their own opinions. This is what enables such public shaming to take place.

All of these affordances contribute to the power of social media, but they not only enable public shaming, but through “liking” and “retweeting”, they almost encourage it.

It’s difficult to pick a Ronson quote that completely conveys the power of the internet, and in turn the ability it gives us to shame one another. The best way to connect to Boyd’s idea of affordances is when Ronson says, “On the Internet we have power in situations where we would otherwise be powerless.” (Ronson 123). It’s anxiety-inducing to think we hold access to the world in the palm of our hand, and I don’t find that to be an exaggeration. The public shaming Ronson describes in his book is the perfect depiction of it. You screw up once, and people will hold it against you forever. But technology is getting in the way of our basic human sympathies. I am not for racist remarks, or plagiarism, but I know people make mistakes and misjudgments. It’s how we grow and understand what’s acceptable and what’s not. Online bullying is a huge thing teenagers face today. It’s difficult to see adults participate just as easily, just because they can. 

Affordances & Constraints

There are affordances and constraints in both videos and text – what’s interesting is to examine how these things influence our perception as an audience. For example, in a video, you hear somebody’s voice and tone which affects the way you perceive the content they’re transferring. In a text, more is left to the imagination. There is no concrete visual image in front of them, so they must develop pictures in their mind based off the words provided. I wouldn’t consider either of them affordances or constraints, but they do offer unique differences to an audience.

One affordance a video has over text is the physicality of a visual image. It’s easier to show somebody how to do something through a video than a text. Instructions through text can be unclear and misleading. The visual aspect of a video, like in Alex’s video How To Build A Cootie Catcher, helps an audience to visually and physically understand what they need to do to accomplish something. On the contrast, I find learning how to do something via text encourages engagement with oneself. You may learn and develop skills more when learning how to do things through text, than you would just mimicking somebody else. This ability may be considered a video’s constraint.

Another affordance video offers is the ability to seamlessly switch and gain differing perspectives. In Allie’s video, What Motives You?, she utilizes voice overs from different people to represent different opinions and perspectives. In a text, it’s difficult to transition perspectives or voices so effortlessly. The audience automatically registers the sounds as a different person speaking, whereas in a text you are usually limited to one choice of point of view. I find it easier to convey things through video. In a text, you have to build a formulation of words that overall flows and makes sense to the reader. There is less control on what the reader sees/imagines.

I’ve found that utilizing text in videos is almost more effective than text alone. When you include text in a video, like Amanda did in her Subtweeting video, the audience is automatically focused on those words and what they mean. This helps the reader judge and establish what information is important. In a text, it’s sometimes hard to establish the focus of the piece and what’s mainly important. In a way, this is an affordance because the creator can demand and control an audience’s attention more. Also, a video has the advantage of mixing text and video, while a text is constrained to text.

Overall, I find there are different abilities of text and video. I find text encourages engagement with yourself, while video encourages and enables engagement with others. In today’s society, I believe the video wins. People don’t want to read. They want to see, be entertained, and register information quickly.