Blog Post 6 – A Day Without Internet

For this week’s post we were asked to document one day without using the internet.  This is something that my dad, who isn’t a huge technology fan, has challenged me to do numerous times, wondering if I’d be capable of going a whole day without my phone.  I always insisted that I would be fine, however after thinking about how often I use and depend on my phone and the internet, I wasn’t so sure.  The majority of my college work is online, and my part time job involves a lot of computer work.  Trying to find a day where I could actually be internet free was difficult.

facebook application icon
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Eventually, I decided that yesterday, the 7th of December, would be my “internet free day”.  I woke up after my alarm, dismissed my notifications and turned my WiFi and mobile data off.  Determined to prove my dad wrong, I felt quite motivated and started off my day with a walk with my dog.20181005_114845.jpg

Following that, I came home and had lunch with my parents.  I decided to clean my room, and during the process came across an old book that I hadn’t finished.  I continued to read this until about 4pm when I suddenly felt very bored.  Without the internet, I couldn’t contact my friends, scroll through my social medias, or access any college work.  I spent the rest of the evening drawing, organizing my journal and watching TV with my family, before heading to bed at around half ten.

Although it was difficult, I managed a whole day without using the internet.  While I did feel bored and struggled to keep myself occupied, it did make me realise how much I depend on the Internet and just how much I do use it on a daily basis.

blur display electronics hand
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Blog Post 5 – Black Mirror: An Entire History of You – Review

An Entire History of You is the final episode of Black Mirror’s first season.  Set some time in the future, this episode focuses on a married couple, Liam and Ffion, who both have a “grain” implanted into their head.  This “grain” means allows for their memories to be recorded and revisited and played right in front of their eyes or on a screen.  When these memories are replayed, the user’s eyes glaze over and they become lifeless, almost looking demonic.

Image result for an entire history of you

At the beginning of this episode, we see Liam replaying a business meeting which didn’t go very well in his head over and over, analysing every aspect of it.  Later on, at a dinner party, Liam becomes suspicious of his wife Ffion’s relationship with fellow guest Jonas and learns that they were in a relationship some years before.  That night we see Liam replaying moments from the dinner party again, scrutinising Jonas and Ffion’s behaviour.

This analytical behaviour is seen again throughout the episode.  We see Liam demand Jonas to delete all memory of Ffion, and we see the heartbreaking moment where Liam notices a memory of an intimate encounter between Jonas and Ffion around the time Ffion became pregnant with their daughter; leaving Liam unsure whether he was his child’s real father or not.

Image result for an entire history of you black mirror

The episode finishes with Liam tearing his “grain” from his head, despite warnings that it could lead to blindness or brain damage.

Image result for an entire history of you

While this episode was based in the future and features not yet invented  technology, there are many aspects of the episodes which are not far from real life.  Websites like TimeHop allow users to go back and see old posts they’ve posted on Twitter or Facebook, with Facebook and Snapchat also have an “On This Day..” feature which displays posts from a particular day in the past.  As well as this, Snapchat, which is often used for capturing memories “in the moment”, also has a “Memories” feature, which saves your photos and videos that you capture in a chronological order.

Image result for facebook memories

While these features are nostalgic and allow us to reminisce on happy times, it is not a far cry from Black Mirror’s The Entire History of You.  These “memories” and dwelling on the past can damage our relationships with those around us, and have ill effects on our own well being. Given our current appetite for sharing carefully selected chunks of our personal lives on the Internet, the idea of people in the future recording and sharing memories isn’t too much of a stretch, and the way the episode depicts it is quite convincing, and extremely ominous.

Blog Post 4 – Anonymity

 

person wearing scream mask and black dress shirt while facing computer table during daytime
Photo by Andri on Pexels.com

 

Anonymity is a major characteristic when it comes to online communication. Whilst hiding behind a mask of anonymity gives us a platform to express ourselves without fear of judgement, encouraging greater openness and honesty.  However, this level of fearlessness and honesty can go too far, resulting in the likes of trolling and cyber bullying.

Trolling occurs when users give unsolicited comments on a particular topic whether it be from an anonymous Twitter account, on someones photo or video or in relation to anything else posted online. While some examples of trolling are passed off as a joke, most comments are inappropriate, controversial,  and offensive, and are usually posted to get a reaction from the audience.

Image result for trolling

Photo Credit: www.medium.com

Perhaps a more sinister side to trolling and anonymity is cyberbullying.  In recent years, there has been a massive increase in reports of children being bullied online. Teenagers are increasingly turning to pseudonymity to abuse others, so that the targeted victim may or may not know who is harassing them.  Because of this, users feel like they can say whatever they want without the fear of being caught.  While they are under a veil of anonymity, they often forget that the victim is human too, which leads to a desensitisation of the harsh words they are sharing.

Image result for ask fm cyberbullying statistics

Photo Credit: www.digitalparenting.ie

Ask.fm, a popular question and answer website, became popular within young teenages in 2012.  Users set up an account and other users can send them questions either under a user name, or using the anonymous setting.  Ask.fm became increasingly associated with a number of teenage suicides, due to threats being made under their anonymous settings.

 

While anonymity can be beneficial for those who need a sense of confidence when expressing opinions, it is clear that it has more sinister side effects, especially among younger users who may not have the emotional capability to deal with it or right the education to use  it safely.

man in black and white polo shirt beside writing board
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Blog Post 3 – My Networked Self

The Networked Self is something that effects anyone who is a user of any social media.  Perhaps without realising, we all use different forms of social media in different ways when we express our identities.  How we view how other people use various social media can also have a huge influence on how we present ourselves. I never thought much about how I behave differently depending on what social network I’m using, which is something I found quite interesting.

Instagram

Of all the types of social networks that I use, I definitely use Instagram the most.  Although I’m not a very frequent poster (a photo every few weeks), I tend to be quite particular about what I post.  Like most who use Instagram, I only post the “good” parts of my life; for example if I’ve just been on holiday or been out with friends.  This is all information that I am happy to share on a larger scale, among the 500 or so followers that I have, who I definitely don’t know on a very personal level.

Snapchat

If I’m not on Instagram, I’m probably using Snapchat.  My Snapchat is on a much smaller scale, having about 30 or so “friends”, most of which are close friends or people I went to school with.  I don’t post much on Snapchat publicly, but when I’m talking to people on it i’m much less particular about what I post, perhaps showing my more natural or relaxed side of things.  I feel more comfortable on Snapchat as I have a much smaller “audience” and it is at a much more personal scale.

 

Upon examining these two social networks, it made me realise the different networks of people I have around me at all times.  When I have a larger network like on Instagram, I’m more specific with what I share.  With smaller networks, like Snapchat, or individual messaging like WhatsApp, I feel less conscious of what I’m sharing, as its on a much smaller, more private and personal scale.

 

Does your network determine how and what you share?

Blog Post 2 – An Introduction

Welcome To My Blog!

My name is Lana, I’m 20 years old, and I’m currently in my final year in UCD studying Sociology and Information and Social Computing. Information and Social Computing was not something than initially caught my eye, however after a difficult start to my first college year, and dropping a particularly rough subject ( *ahem*… French…), I feel like I’ve finally found my feet and that I’m on my way to hopefully graduating in 2019!

Image result for ucd

Photo Credit: UCD.ie

I currently work part time along with studying, and when I have a rare moment where I’m not in work or in college, I enjoy spending time with my friends, my boyfriend, listening to music, or just relaxing.

20180823_201707

Here’s a photo I took in Dun Laoghaire over Summer, one of my favourite places to go when I have free time.

Although starting a blog was never one of my plans,  I am looking forward to having a go at it and seeing how I get on.  Like many others, I follow plenty of Bloggers and Influencers, so it will be interesting to see how things work when you’re on the other side (at a much smaller scale obviously!).

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this small insight to my world, and I hope you”ll return again soon!

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Blog Post 1 – An Analysis of an Article About Selfies

As a study shows selfies can harm body image, Radhika Sanghani asks   psychologists why we really bother taking selfies, with alarming   consequences

(Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com

Selfie Culture

“A selfie is a sort of interesting way to reclaim the gaze, right? You’re looking at yourself and taking a photo while looking at everyone. But also, who cares?”

– Emily Ratajkowski (Model)

Selfies and selfie culture have become increasingly popular in recent years with the rise of social media and various technological developments.  It is no longer unusual to come across groups of friends gathered together taking photos in the middle of a busy shopping center, or walking into a public bathroom and accidentally interrupting someone taking a “mirror selfie” which they will probably share with the friends or followers of various social media outlets.

The Kardashian Effect

When we think of selfies, most of us will associate it with women.  The likes of the Kardashian family and various other online influencers have caused a huge increase in the amount of people taking their own self portraits. However, it appears that many people are against the concept of selfies; men in particular.

Image result for kylie jenner selfie

(Photo Credit: @kyliejenner Instagram)

I recently came across an article written by Nian Hu, in which she discusses the male gaze and perhaps why so many men feel so passionately against selfies.  Women are expected to be humble and their insecurities are often considered “cute” or “appealing”.  The hatred of selfies and selfie culture  “reflects a deep-rooted discomfort that many people experience when women raise a camera to their face, take a photo of themselves, and appreciate how good they look.”  

The Male Gaze

It is as if a woman cannot feel good about herself for herself, but must look good for men in order to fulfill their needs and desires.  An interesting point made by Hu is that in situations where a model is dressed in lingerie there are no objections by men, as this is pleasing their needs.

(Photo Credit: www.theimpression.com)

However, when a woman posts similar photos, taken by herself, online, many men feel offended or threatened by this level of self confidence, often resulting in harsh criticism and slut-shaming.

Below is an example of these kinds of comments left of Modern Family actress Ariel Winter’s Instagram, which I came across on a Pop Buzz Article.

Ariel Winter Instagram Comments

(Photo Credit: www.popbuzz.com)

While selfies have been linked previously to personality traits like narcissism, psychopathy and machiavellianism,  it is clear that there is still heavy criticism when it comes to taking them.  Does the act of selfie taking deserve such criticism and backlash, or should individuals, men or women, feel comfortable and confident within themselves to pose for as many self-portraits as they wish?