Archive for September, 2010


Sept 28th’s class

Does the media create a douchebag effect?

Yes I do believe that new media technologies such as the internet, does create a douchebag effect. For example when you read comments made by users on Facebook, or Youtube or even under the artcles in the Globe and Mail website, people will say pretty horrific things. I believe that people say these things because they are hidden behind a computer screen and they won’t face any repercussions or be held accountable for the things they say. It also creates a douchebag effect in the sense that people are constantly embarrassing one another online. For example last week a¬† sixteen year old girl in Vancouver was drugged and gang raped at a rave. People took pictures of her being attacked and posted them on Facebook. Of course the girl and her family came across these pictures and they said, “Their daughter is forced to re-live the abuse everyday.” Like I can’t understand why people would think it is funny or entertainment to see a girl getting abused and sharing the photos. The only people who should have seen those photos shouldhave been the police.

Another example is my friend made an appearance on the show Jersey Shore, and one of her classmates in her journalism class, made a blog and posted embarassing pictures of her online, and exposed the girl’s personal information such as her school, program of study and workplace. Like why did this person feel the need to go out of their way to publicly embarass someone else online with a bunch of people who probably don’t even know this girl. Especially give away this girls personal information, leaving her to be prone to stalkers. Of course this blog was written by an “anonymous” author.

This class talks a lot about privacy. Dr. Strangelove said, “There is no real privacy online”. I believe this is true because anything that you publish online can be traced back to an IP address, and you will be found one way or another. Anything published on facebook belongs to Facebook. Quite possibly if you delete something off your page who knows if the info actually disappears or if it is stored somewhere on the Facebook servers. I remember a couple years ago when the Elliot Spitzer scandal became rampant in the media and newspapers took photos off the call girls facebook page and published them on the front page of the newspapers. For some reason I highly doubt the newspapers asked the is women for her permission or reimbursed her, for the mass distribution of her personal photos.

Privacy is unequally distributed. Some have it, most don’t. Everything about us is known or can be known. Yes I do agree, but I am sure a lot of people can find ways to disappear off of the radar, or hide things about themselves before it is released.

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Week Two

During the second week of New Media class, with Dr. Strangelove, the student were responsible for chapter 1, of the book entitled, “Watching Youtube”.

“The mass participation in online videomaking is already having an effect on the way events are recorded and remembered and deserves an important position in all areas of the human sciences.” 25

“…the postmodern condition in which the Youtube generation lives, a condition defined by fragmentation, the decay of shared social orders, and the indeterminacy of meaning, which suggests that we may find both cultural¬† patterns and cultural fragmentation within online videos. 26”

On page 29 when Mr. Strangelove discusses videos on youtube of young men engaging in copycat behaviour. Such as vomiting, or doing dangerous stunts for fun or for attention, he neglected to mention that those type of videos were kickstarted by a MTV series called, “Jackass”. It depicted a group of young males doing dangerous outrageous stunts and really gross things on an amateur video camera. However this program was shown on television. I believe this show was a huge inspiration and influence to many “YouTubers” who engage in that type of behaviour. A key argument in this chapter is that amateur videos challenge assumptions of appropriate behaviour.

“…Mass involvement of amateurs in the production of moving images may help to undermine Hollywood’s legitimation of key institutions .” 30

“The internet promotes conditions of increased misunderstandings and misinterpretations because cultural objects such as home movies, are ‘disembodied from their point of origin and production.” 31

This was demonstrated in class, when Dr. Strangelove showed an image at some form of townhall meeting and there was a picture of Osama Bin Laden, and behind Osama Bin Laden was Bernie from Sesame Street.

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. This blog will discuss the reading, lectures and current events that have taken place over the semester.

During the first week of classes, the readings were to cover chapter 7: The Post Television Audience from Dr. Strangelove’s book entitled, “Watching Youtube”.

From the reading some important statements and arguments made were:

“Audiences are watching and interpreting Youtube videos not just as passive viewers but as active commentators and as producers of their own videos” -158

“Semiotic guerrilla warfare describes the challenge to the corporate control of culture that a truly active audience represents.” -159

“Capitalism’s contradiction arises out of the economic and structural necessity of massified behaviour and the equally important need to foster individual freedom as a source for creative innovation.” 160

“Online appropriations have the power to alter our experience of television shows and movies. The domain of commercial production is coming under the influence of amateur cultural production.” 162

“Amateur video has a vital role to play in the decolonization of the mass audience.” 165

During course registration period, I was dreading to have to take a “New Media” class, because I figured I would know everything the professor were to mention, especially since I spend most of my days using elements of New Media. I was also dredding it because I took a mass communications course before at another university and hoped that it wouldn’t be that exact same thing. As with the previous mass communications course I took two years ago, we had to make a blog, a blog which I still have today. http://www.amandaburnett.blogspot.com

One thing that I really appreciate about the class so far is Mr. Strangelove’s ability to connect New Media technologies with how it affects human behaviour, for better or for worse. For example, in class Mr. Strangelove made a connection between the increase use of cellphones and its affordability to the increase in adolescent sexual behaviour.

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