Class, Mon, 3/13

Media Feed/ Questions About Concept in 60 or iMovie

Last Thoughts on boyd

  • Fastwrite 1: Find a tweet about boyd on #e397dr that you’d like to bring into our discussion today. Make a note of what the author says and what you want to say in response or extension.
  • Fastwrite 2: Reread boyd on the “rhetoric of digital natives” (197). Do you agree that this rhetoric is “dangerous”? Why or why not?
  • Fastwrite 3: Reread boyd on the “teens creating networked publics” (201). In your experience, does this happen or not?

To Do

  1. Wed, 3/15, and Fri, 3/17: No class! (I will be attending a conference.)
  2. Fri, 3/17, 4:00 pm: Post a link to your Concept in 60 to this site.
  3. Mon, 3/20, class: View as many of the Concepts in 60 as you can. Comment on the Concepts in 60 produced by members of your group.

Class, Wed, 3/08

Media Feeds/Concepts in 60/ Questions

Mission Statments/Profile Statements

Fastwrite: Drawing on the advice that Fenton and Lee offer about writing Mission Statements (pp. 22–25), write a profile statement for your WordPress, Twitter, and/or Facebook account.

Using Twitter to Respond to boyd

Read the series of tweets that Nicole, Molly, and Graham have posted in response to boyd. Pick one that you’d like to add to with a tweet (or retweet, or reply) of your own. Be ready to talk about what interests you about what your classmate has to say about boyd.

To Do

  1. Thurs, 3/09, 10:oo AM: Post your Twitter response to boyd.
  2. Fri, 3/10: We will hold class in Room B of the Student Multimedia Resource Center in the basement of Morris Library. Bring your laptop with one or two minutes of video on it that you would like to play around with in class. (This does not have to be video that you are thinking about using for your Concept in 60, but it might be helpful  if it is.)

Writing: Tweeting boyd

In the next week or two, I’d like you to focus most of your creative energy on your Concept in 60 video. But I don’t want to lose track of danah boyd, whose It’s Complicated we all seem so far to have enjoyed reading and discussing.

And so, for your writing assignment this week, I’d like you to post at least five connected tweets that together form (or at least suggest) some sort of response to (or argument about) the second half of boyd’s book. You might want to quote, or summarize, or comment. or link to other relevant texts. I can also imagine two (or more) of you staging a kind of dialogue on Twitter about It’s Complicated, responding to each other’s tweets.

The form is open. Experiment. Have fun. My aim is to lighten your writing workload this week  a little bit (5 x 140 characters = 700 characters = maybe 150 total words?), while still asking you to continue to think seriously about boyd.

Please remember to use our class hashtage, #e397dr. And you might think about inviting danah boyd into the conversation. She tweets @zephoria.



Class, Fri, 3/03

Notes From Our Discussion of boyd

Responding to Comments/Media Feeds

Using Audio in Digital Writing

With thanks to SamJames, and Devon

  1. What makes an audio track an effective part of a digital piece?
  2. What are some good strategies for linking to (or embedding) audio files?

Fenton and Lee, Chapter 2

Fastwrite: Drawing on F&L’s advice about writing Mission Statements, write a profile statement for your WordPress, Twitter, or Facebook account.

Moment of Zen

Danah Boyd Interview, HuffPost Live, 4/05 2014

To Do

  1. Mon, 3/06, class: Finish reading It’s Complicated. Tweet a passage before class that you’d like us to talk about together.
  2. Wed, 3/08, and Fri, 3/10: We will hold class in Room B of the Student Multimedia Resource Center in the basement of Morris Library.

The Evolution of Me

Goodbye Carr, hello Boyd. After Carr’s 257 pages of constant criticism on technology and the many negative effects it has not only on our social interaction, but on our actual brain connections, Boyd’s polar opposite mindset feels as if I can finally come up for air. I have never truly resonated so much with a book until now. Honestly, at times, I find her analysis of teens and their uses of technology to be creepingly accurate. It’s almost as if she has opened a window to my brain, and can see everything I think and feel. Boyd is finally the one adult that seems to understand the processes I go through everyday regarding what I post, who I post to, and even when to post.

In the first few chapters of her book, Boyd talks about identity expression and steganography. In her discussion of identity expression, Boyd explains how teens use social media as a way to find themselves and transition from childhood to adulthood. Because of the various networks the internet has to offer, many teens find themselves having to create different personas and identities on each site. Myself, included. When I first opened an account on Facebook, I used it as a way to connect with friends old and new.  Just as Boyd describes, I used to add my best friends as part of my “family” and constantly post on their walls just to say hello. Now, 9 years after creating a profile, my use of Facebook is limited to reposting Buzzfeed videos and checking the pages of the clubs I’m involved in. I don’t see Facebook as a means to follow the lives of my friends anymore, because a lot of people my age no longer use Facebook as vigorously as before. My current identity expression is most seen on my Instagram. There, I purposely plan what pictures I post and how they are presented, hoping to make an impression on people. To me, Instagram is sort of like my brand. It advertises my life, relationships, and hobbies. Anyone could get a clear sense of who I am and what I like to do, just by scrolling through my feed.

I specifically resonated with Boyd’s introduction to steganography in the digital age: subtweeting. We’ve all done it or have seen someone do it. And boy does it suck when you’re the person who is being subtweeted about. Or at least, you think the subtweet was about you…was it? I can’t tell you how many times I have read my friends’ subtweets and wondered whether they were talking about me. The crazy thing is, I will still wonder even when nothing has happened between me and that friend for a subtweet to be initiated. Any time that I have tried to subtweet, it always ends up back firing on me. If I am upset with someone and I subtweet them, I am always contacted by random people asking if I’m okay. Or worse, the person I subtweeted confronts me about it. This has happened so often, that I have stopped all subtweeting in general, afraid of someone reading my tweets and posts out of context. Boyd points out this very issue in Chapter 1. She talks about how all posts can be taken out of context, because the writer or “poster” doesn’t intend for their message to be read by everyone. They only have a distinct audience in mind.

As I continue to read her work, I am sure more of my own experiences will match many of the examples that she provides as evidence to her points. I look forward to reading more on her refreshing view of teens and technology. Her optimistic viewpoint certainly decreases the fear I once had about technology ruining our lives. (Thanks a lot, Carr)

Go On… Without….. Me

My cousin is a 25 year old studying physics in California. Her way of life is extraordinary in that she seems to be very contrarian to popular ways of living. She goes on nature expeditions with her fiancé where they immerse themselves in nature over a few weeks. She values the lives of animals and also her own health: therefore she chose to become a vegan. Her commitment to the diet was a little dangerous. She cracked a rib from the weight loss. But she is undeniably passionate about her lifestyle choices and she is one of the sanest, happiest persons I know. I am always looking forward to her next shocking lifestyle change that has our family asking if she’s quite right in the head.

Her most recent change was no less startling. She has gotten rid of her iPhone in favor of a small, ancient, dinosaur-looking, fossilized object that people of ancient times I believe called a cell phone. And that’s all it is. It can’t do anything but make calls. When the troglodytes come to destroy our technology I believe they will not be able to discern her phone from a rock. Anyway, the point is that she is a believer in REAL human contact and in making the most of her time. She tells me that her old phone was a distraction, unnecessary, and above all killing her humanity. Reading Boyd is killing my humanity. When I read Boyd I see a TON of issues and few solutions. Kids struggling with identity, with self-expression, with privacy. I think the solution here isn’t hard to see. Just get rid of it! Put it down! Or at the least refine how you use it! Is it really that complicated?

Sure, some people might need it for work or for networking for their business profile, I gotcha. But when Boyd talks about how teens are constantly updating their statuses  or  getting into privacy issues (95) I can’t help but feel like social media users have fabricated some nifty problems for themselves out of thin air.

So anyway I’ve realized I’m not so different from my cousin. I used to use Facebook as a means of chatting or posting updates waaaaaaay back in 7th grade. I don’t think I’ve posted a Facebook status in about 5 or 6 years. And to be honest, I would say it feels great not to, and I’m sure it does, but I’ve forgotten what it feels like to post. My profile picture has never changed: I’ve had the same once since middle school started. Boyd has helped me as has my cousin: when life’s getting a bit to complex, or a little sad: go to the roots of humanity! Unplug! Keep it simple silly! If I haven’t been convincing enough: Louis C.K. to take it home.

Confused Parents

In her book, It’s Complicated, danah boyd attempts to provide an alternative narrative to the ideas of internet addiction in teens and young adults. Rather than being an addiction to the technology itself, it is another, more modern method of keeping in touch with friends. The reason that youths are often on social media is because it is the easiest way of interacting with their friends, often far easier that collaborating to meet up in person. Boyd notes that most of the teens she interviewed claimed that they would much rather meet with their friends in person, but conflicting schedules, time restraints, and limited freedom imposed by parents forced them to meet on various social media sites, like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.

One impact that the internet has on society is the increased flow of information. Stories that may have gone unnoticed by the general public can be known all over the country, all over the world, in a matter of minutes. People can quickly learn all the good (like manatees no longer being endangered) and all the bad (like young people getting kidnapped). The lives of teenagers are also more visible, making it seem as if things like underage alcohol consumption are more prevalent. As a result of all these things, parents are more restricting of their children’s actions than they have been in previous generations. Teens, unable to meet in person, are forced to meet online.

The internet implies a certain level of permanence and open visibility. There are measures that can be taken to increase privacy on various sites and remove your history there, but these processes are often difficult and most people don’t know about them. As a result, one person can be seen all over the world, not just in the present but also in the past, their history traced through pictures and posts that can easily be taken out of context. This visibility has made parents nervous about the internet, fearing that their children will find negative influences and draw negative attention. So their wanting to monitor and restrict behavior has extended to the internet. Some parents want to be involved with their teen’s online lives, making comments and “lurking,” making teens feel as if they are not outside their parents influence and are still unable to truly express themselves. They use steganography, or a sort of coded language, to restrict who can understand what they are saying. And these changes in communication make parents become even more nervous, a never ending cycle. Boyd continues to stress that youth lifestyle is pretty much the same, only more visible.