Meme Presentations

My group did our meme presentation on pepe the frog. Pepe began in 2008. Pepe was associated with  “feels good man.” Then it later shifted to “Feels bad man” after it started spreading as a reactionary image on 4chan in 2000. 

My group took at 4chan and how it can be a really dark place for the internet. There are many ugly and disturbing things that happen in that anonymous chat forum because there is not monitoring. Anything goes.

The meme became a popular way of conveying emotion. Relatable.The meme took off because the image and catchphrase were adaptable. The meme was able to be changed to fit different scenarios. In 2011 an interview with Furie was published on Know your meme, then the meme spread to tumblr, instagram, and twitter. Celebrities later popularized it even more on social media

 

However, my group also discussed how the pepe meme took a turn for the worst after white supremacists claimed it as their own and began creating racist pepe memes. There is always room for people to mess things up on the internet, and perhaps memes are a good representation of the state of society. Everyone is able to alter and change a meme, however, that also includes people with malicious intentions.

 

Photography

This picture shows how people are able to get paid partnerships through Instagram, which can add to the already existing pressure to look perfect. People see these things and also want to look perfect, so that they can get paid to post pictures too. People see it as the perfect life and perfect job.

 

This picture shows how not everyone takes Instagram seriously. Some people are aware that it is just social media and that it is okay to poke fun at its flaws. However, this ‘realistic’ approach won’t often get many likes.

 

Instagram can go beyond the surface level body language insecurity. Some posts on Instagram can really damage someone’s health. A photoshopped picture of fitness before and after pictures could make someone resort to losing weight in an unhealthy way because they want to see results immediately too, even though it may be unrealistic.

The structure and way Instagram is formatted makes it easy to keep scrolling forever.

 

This is a picture of something most people would never dream of doing.

My research project

Instagram and Self-Esteem

 

Since the rise of social media there have been many changes that have occurred between the way two people interact and even how someone interacts with themselves.

In a recent survey by Royal Society For Public Health and the Young Health Movement, Instagram ranked as the worst social media platform for ‘young people’s mental health.

“It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people,” states Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive RSPH on the RSPH website.

The survey was conducted on 1,500 people aged 14 to 24 from across the United Kingdom. The survey asked them to answer several well-being related issues and to rank five social media platforms based on whether they bring up positive or negative feelings. Instagram ranked the most negative out of the five.

Instagram is a platform that is based on sharing pictures. However, as many people find it, those pictures often depict a highly edited and manufactured version of reality.

According to Statista, Instagram had roughly 800 million monthly users in 2017 and the number is estimated to have only grown since then. With numbers like these it can seem like everyone has an Instagram and it can add to its feeling of importance.

For many young people, Instagram is a place where they scroll through countless pictures posted by their peers, celebrities, or the ‘Instafamous’. This can add to a person’s feelings of ‘FOMO’ which is one’s fear of missing out because they are seeing everyone else have fun through social media.

Young people are also heavily exposed to photoshopped pictures, which can add to feelings of insecurity and can mess with one’s body image.

A young person who is still in a very impressionable stage in their lives can be more likely to be affected by Instagram because they are essentially growing up with these false expectations what one should look like, or what life should be like.

There are so many filters and editing apps designed for creating ‘instagramable’ pictures which send a message to young people that everything needs to look perfect. The Instagram culture revolves around perfection and blurred out skin, however, life is hardly ever that glamourous for the average person.

That is why the Royal Society is calling for Instagram and other social media platforms to make some changes. They would like to see “pop-up warnings” letting their users know that the pictures and posts have been edited, so that people don’t look at them and walk away with a false idea or expectation of what one ‘should’ look like.

 

Semester in review

The reflexive essay I completed at the beginning of the semester addressed my relationship with technology. I recounted how I started interacting with the internet while it was still dial-up. I described my love for watching videos even if they took ages to download, and I described how nearly a decade later nothing has changed—except the Wi-Fi speed.

The internet and technology have always been tools that have been around in my life in some shape or form. They have ‘grown-up’ and developed just as I have, practically beside me, so I had never really taken the time to stop and look at it’s development. During the course of New Communication Technologies, I have learned a lot about the importance of analyzing new communication technology trends and their implications.

So far, from what I have learned in class and researched for our research paper I have found that technology creates us as much as people create it. Personally, I have become curious about how technology helps shape a child during childhood. For my research I have looked at several studies that have analyzed the effects of technology on children’s health, on a child’s self concept, and their learning. These studies have been both positive and negative in different regards, which goes to show how the role technology plays in a child’s life is so dynamic. It affects so many different aspects differently.

For my hypothetical research question I am posing I am hoping to look at how children have changed through the decades with the intervention of technology. I want to know how a child’s development, whether they are digital natives or digital immigrants, affect how they grow into adulthood. I want to know this because the most important thing I learned in this course is that although people’s interaction with technology has changed gradually, the change has been drastic and it’s had so many implications on how people live and continue to live.

Is Google making us stupid?

The article ‘ Is Google making us stupid’ by Nicholas Carr addressed the issues of the internet and how the brain appears to be changing.  For him, he said he has noticed his concentration declining.  Carr doesn’t find is as easy to be engrossed in lengthy reading like he used to. His article asked the question, could this be the internet’s fault?

After reading the article, I definitely agree with many of the points he made. Carr mentioned that there are things we need to teach our brain. Perhaps reading lengthy lists isn’t something that has been lost but perhaps a skill people have stopped gaining.

I found this idea extremely interesting because at what point will things change back to how they were or are they never? Also, could it be a good thing that not as many people are reading lengthy books all of the time?

I think that it is definitely good in its own way. People are still reading but it’s just different. People are constantly reading all day, constantly consuming little digestible pieces of information. However, as Carr stated in the article we may run into the risk of becoming “pancake people” where we are spread out really white but still quite flat. People are exposed to so much content in today’s technologically mediated world, so people are learning a little bit about everything but it hardly goes beyond that.

 

Fieldwork experience

So far in conducting interviews, I have encountered a few problems. By far the biggest issue I have had has been matching schedules. For my project I am recording 2 high school girls on the topic of Instagram and self esteem. For the video portion I have video recorded 3 girls that attend UW-Whitewater.

The interviews went well. The participants were more open about the topic than I thought they would be. I assumed that since the topic would deal with potential difficult topics of body image issues, insecurity, and self-esteem, the girls would feel apprehensive. However, that was not the case.

I received very good responses from the interviews from the 3 students in college. Their responses were all different and that was good to see because everyone does react differently to social media. Some people are affected in a positive way, others negatively, and some don’t appear to be affected at all. I think my interviews had all three perspectives.

Next, I plan to meet with the two high school girls. I hope they are as open to discussion as the previous interviewees but I will fully understand if they are more apprehensive to admit certain negative things about their self esteem and  instagram.

Facebook and Loneliness

Four Article Review 

  • The intimacy of anonymity
  • One name to rule them all
  • Is Facebook making us lonely?
  • Facebook isn’t making us lonely.

The first two articles juggled the ideas of using your true identity online versus anonymity and trolling. The Intimacy of Anonymity touched upon the early chatroom that arose around the 1990s. They were a huge hit because it allowed people to connect with others across the globe. It also gave them full control of their online ‘identity’. People were able to be whoever they wanted to be and this unfortunately often times was a bad thing. Anonymity grants someone the freedom to be the worst version of themselves online without having any sort of personal repercussions. This is why trolling is a thing, and Facebook has taken a very strong stance against anonymity and being able to even choose your own name that may not be real. Facebook has a strip policy  where users are required to use their real name and this has resulted in some problems as well, especially within the drag queen community. It has put limits on them and their self expression. Either design doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

The next two articles were about Facebook and loneliness. One made the argument that Facebook and social media definitely were alienating people from their real lives and the other said that there isn’t enough research to back that claim. I personally agree with the latter.  I don’t think Facebook or any social media makes anyone lonely but rather people make themselves lonely by not socializing more, either online or offline. It’s a personal choice.

 

 

 

 

 

The Future of Reputation

The article ‘The Future of Reputation’ examines the role the internet and social media play on privacy in today’s society. The article begins by telling the story of a Korean girl who refused to pick up her dog’s poo off of a subway’s floor.

This story is important because it shows just how much privacy has changed because of the internet. Shortly after the girl had refused to clean up the mess, her picture was taken and spread all over the internet. The world had begun to call her ‘Dog poop girl,’ which is a horrible thing to be known as worldwide, however, some believe that it is completely fair.

The article mentioned the idea that because she was out in public she had no right to privacy in that moment. So what would have been a small almost insignificant thing became magnified by the internet and social media.

The article mentioned the idea of a ‘free flow of information’ because of the internet, which sounds amazing. However, there is  price to pay for it. Essentially no one is ‘safe’ on the internet and real life. Anyone and everyone can be subject to scrutiny just like the young Korean girl. Anyone’s reputation could be ruined because of ‘google’s unforgiving memory,’ which may seem like a small price or a large price to pay for the free flow of information.

The article just went into more detail about how the internet can hurt someone’s reputation. The lesson being that everyone just needs to be a little bit more careful.