In class blog post

The main focus of our topic is selfies, and how since the invention of front facing cameras and the explosion of social media, they have become a culture of their own, in a sense.  Selfies are taken by everyone in our society nowadays and even if people don’t take them almost everyone knows how to.  It complicates new media is a variety of ways, it affects the way people view themselves, each other, and allows people to put on personas that may not be necessarily true to form of who they really are or what they look like. While selfies allow people to enhance their looks and possibly “boost” their feelings about themselves, usually it takes much effort to get such results.

Theoretical Approaches that seem to fit well with this topic would be audience, reception, marketing can also be effected (celebs. who take pics of themselves with brands and such) and selfies as I mentioned almost have their own sub culture of participatory culture. Taking, posting, and sending selfies is an interaction of sorts between many people. *Think about it: the reason so many people take and post selfies is others can see them and like their photo.* There are apps for phones that really are based off selfies (enter Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) all revolving mostly around people taking pictures of themselves and what they do with their lives.

I think that although everyone knows what a selfie is and many have taken them, not many people understand the lengths some go through to get a “perfect” selfie or how celebrities taking photos with brands, at restaurants, in clothing etc. can dramatically effect a company nowadays, and I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing. Selfies have become so common in new media and social media and I think it’s interesting as to why? and for what reasons?


Final blog post

I have grown and developed exponentially in regards to critical thinking about new media. We discussed theories, approaches and scholars that I had never heard of. I think that have gained a deeper understanding of how new media works and its inner-working’s in relation to today’s society, culture, education and so much more. I have also learned that there is a lot of time and dedication that goes into understanding new media and the implications it has on today’s generation as well as previous generations.  I think one of my posts that really brought out my understanding and knowledge gained from the class was my post following the article on Youtube by Burgess and Green. I found myself looking at youtube, which isn’t considered a “social network” technically, in a new light. I started to question what Youtube really was for and was it a social network even though it’s creators don’t consider it to be so?

Being able to express your opinion and ideas as well as discuss them with other people if a MAJOR PART of social media today I believe; and Youtube DOES have this.

This quote is from my post about the article and it stands out to me particularly because I found myself taking ideas from an article and thinking about what that means to me and how I see this topic in relation to my life. In my opinion, Youtube very much is a social network and I think that throughout the post on this article I back up my opinion very well with evidence.

Another blog post I think that  really opened my eyes and thinking in regards to new media is the Spreadable Media post done on Henry Jenkins article. Although the article was rather long it made very valid points that have stuck with me and that I’ve used consistently throughout the rest of the semester in class.

  • participatory culture
  • systems of appraisal

These important ideas among others were discussed in detail during Jenkins article and in my post I chose to focus on his conversation about the hybrid audiences of youtube and how people use it for a variety of reasons and the use of Youtube in today’s classrooms.

Jenkins is trying to make education professionals aware that incorporating new media in today’s classrooms is important.

This is a short quote from my blog response in relation to his entire article. I think that this is something that not only Jenkins thinks is important but many technology savvy people believe is important. Being able to incorporate today’s technologies into the classrooms when you can and it’s appropriate is something that teacher’s need to be able to do.

Video Remixing: Group Activity

Our group defined remix as:

taking existing material and re-arranging or adding in your own original material to create something new. Remixes can also be compilations of existing multiple materials layered upon each other to create a new video or message.

*Often times remixes tell a new narrative or story. However, this isn’t always the case.*

Overall, good remixes DO tell a story. They also flow smoothly, settings, characters, lighting, and sounds all match up between the original material and what’s being made into the new material.

Remixes come in many forms such as music, movies, tv shows, short youtube video clips etc.

Remix Video Examples:

1. Fifty shades of Wayne:

This remix is a mashup between fifty shades of grey and batman. This is a particularly good mashup because the video flows smoothly from one clip to the next, the appearance of batman is that he is actually the man from fifty shades of grey. The dialogue matches up perfectly so that the conversations that go on between the characters makes sense.

2. Sex and the Remix

This remix alters the perception of Sex and the Citys main character, Carrie. She is supposed to be a “man hungry” woman and is sex columnist writer. The video alters her sexuality and makes her seem as though she’s a lesbian altering the story line of the show.

3. Taylor Swift & Goat (this one’s just for fun):

Just because this is really funny.



RIP: A Remix Manifesto

This was a really interesting and eye opening movie for me. I knew that there were strict laws for Copyright and artists and their work but I didn’t realize how detailed and to be honest, kind of ridiculous some of these laws were. Although many people ignore them and a lot of what’s supposed to be happening from these laws don’t always come to life, it’s still a little crazy how strict they are if you actually break them down and look at them closely, much like how they demonstrate in various parts of the movie.

Throughout the movie many different topics centered around remixing and the laws that it “breaks” are touched on, however, I really liked the ending to the movie and how the producer talks about “Brazil being our future in the digital age.”

Brazil’s laws are different from the United States and other countries;  it seemed in the movie as though they allowed others to sample from and borrow ideas from artists in order to better enhance their country and communities. The movie also discusses how Brazil is using this as tool to help the poorer areas of the country rise up, keep children out of gangs and in schools, as well as other things as well. I think this is an amazing message that other countries, especially ours, can learn and take away from.

The lighting, angles, and different shots in the movie that are done in Brazil, are brightly lit, close up to peoples faces or bodies so the viewer can see their expressions and body language (which give off positive vibes.) It would appear to be to that due to these differences in their society people are happier and more able to benefit from the creativity that is allowed of them.

All the money that’s being earned from these lawsuits of copyright infringement aren’t even going to the artists that are “being protected” the money is going to the corporations (who probably have more then enough money already.) Instead if something like remixing, or sampling music could keep kids off the streets, help them stay in school, or take their minds off other pressing matters in their lives wouldn’t that be worth more. Brazil definitely has the right mindset when it comes to remixing in my mind, our country as well as others could learn from and grow from them.

Everything is a remix

I really enjoyed watching these videos, I never knew how much in our pop culture society was “unoriginal.” I feel like that statement seems harsh, but after watching those video clips and listening to them, that’s the sense that came over me. Granted, I know most of the movies and music we see and listen to today is based off previous artists, movies, or even books. I don’t think I realized how closely related the past and present of these particular industries were related though.

Because this seems to be the case it would almost appear to me as though most producers and directors today are actually the audience of previously done work. Does this mean that there are no truly “original” artists left? While I’m sure this is not true because there are many creative people in the world it appears as though even some of the movies that seem to be completely “original” (such as Avatar) seem to have bits and pieces that embody scenes from other movies.

everythings a remix

After watching the clips, naturally, I was curious as to what others thought about this topic of whether or not everything we see and hear today is a remix of something from an earlier time. I found a blog, TED Blog, and this was the opening line in regards to art:

“Art cannot be created or destroyed-only remixed.”

I don’y necessarily agree with this quote, or with Kirby Ferguson’s views on the originality of today’s movie and music industry for that matter. While I do think people create many remakes and “based on the book” movies, there still is originality in today’s work in these industries. You just need to look a little deeper to find it.

Body Image, Self-Esteem and Youtube

Youtube’s Beginnings:

Youtube has become an established member of the new media and social media families over the past decade. An individual can go on YouTube and search for any number of videos on what seems to be an infinite amount of topics. YouTube is a place for people to express their ideas, opinions, or state facts often times are about subjects that are important to them.  There is no doubt that the website plays a major role in the way individuals interact, discuss, and even look for information in today’s age of new media. Burgess and Green express that YouTube is “user-led” and this is a “fundamental part of the way YouTube works” (pg. 29). The website rely’s heavily on participatory culture and users interacting with one another.

Body Image and The media

For many years researchers and the public in general, have linked young women’s poor body image and lowered self-esteem to unrealistic ideals set by media, however, most of this research is focused on mass media, not new media or social media. I found an article written by Richard Perloff discussing the ways in which young adults (particularly women) who regularly use and view social media sites to have poor self body image and therefore, lower self-esteem. The article explains a lot of this has to do with the accessibility to compare and contrast yourself to not only other people but the ability to compare yourself to your “past-self”. Apparently this is a popular thing done by young women and teens; they compare their present looks to past images of themselves and find things about themselves that have changed (both good and bad). While mass media still plays a large role in self-esteem and body image often times today young people know that it’s often photo-shopped and re-touched to make the models or actresses look their very best. Social media brings a whole new ball game into the idea of self-esteem and body image; this is because often times people are comparing themselves to their peers or as mentioned above, themselves. This make the differences they seem much more real and “closer to home” you could say.

New media Theories and body Image

The biggest theoretical approach I could think of to relate to this topic would be audience. The audience is both effected by what they see and also causing others to see themselves in a different way based on what they’re posting. Jenkins discusses systems of appraisal in his book Spreadable Media. My interpretation of this led me to believe this is can be very closely related to the topic of body image and self-esteem. People today often put pictures, posts, or tweets online because they’re looking for someone to say something positive, “retweet”, favorite, or like whatever it is they’re putting up. When this doesn’t happen or the comments aren’t positive young people shut down and this causes poor self body image, lower self-esteem, and often times the individuals thinks of things they need to change about themselves to be seen as “pretty”, “popular”, or whatever it is they’re going for.  Rheingold also talks about how people in today’s society are building up the value of social medias aspects by participating in it and doing it everyday, he states that “People participate in building the value of the every day by reading, tagging, liking, favoriting, plussing, commenting, linking, posting, refactoring (editing wiki pages), arguing in comment threads and discussion forums.” I’m assuming that if people didn’t do this as part of their everyday life and didn’t take what others said about them so seriously, social media would have little to no effect on what people thought of themselves or how they perceive themselves. For more on the article where I found Rheingold’s quote you can click here. Rheingold also discusses the aspects of anonymity on some social media websites and how that can contribute even more to how people act and react to comments and such on new media, if you’re interested in that I found the information as well as other interesting things on a previous class blog of his you can check that out here. For both of these articles you may have to scroll down a bit to find the exact spot where I took my information from!

My argument

I believe that in a society that so heavily relies and thrives on social media and new media platforms it’s essential to do more research and studies on how these apps and and media sites are affecting our youth and young adults today. It’s also important to develop ways in which to minimize the effects it may have on young people because although not much research has been done, from personal experience and use I feel as though comments and messages you receive from websites such as FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram are much more personal then seeing a beautiful woman in a commercial and wishing you looked like her. Youtube can play a major role in informing people about the effects social media has on individualm however, it also can serve as a platform for people to comment negatively, “dislike”, among other things on other’s videos (it’s kind of a double edged sword). It’s important that people know how to use these websites and apps as they are basically second nature to many of us in today’s society and definitely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

To continue my argument is a curation of youtube videos that discuss body image and self esteem:

1. The Impact of Social Media on Self-Esteem:

This video discusses how the feedback teens and young adults are receiving on social media today have a major impact on how they view and think of themselves. Does this sound familiar?

2. Social Media and Body Image:

These two ladies discuss what often goes through young women’s minds when they’re scrolling through their timelines, newsfeeds etc. They also mention how women often feel less confident about themselves after using social media, why do we feel this way?

3.  Facebook and Body Image:

This video discusses some of the effects Facebook has on it’s users, I liked this one especially because so many people are on Facebook, it has such a wide range of users.  I also love how they mentioned that users today have a “hyper self-awareness.” I wonder if all people feel this way when they’re on Facebook or is it just today’s generation?

4. Self Esteem Issues: Dealing with Body Image:

I really liked this video because it shows a social media site, YouTube, being used for a positive reason in relation to this topic. It’s all too easy to feel subpar to everyone else on your Instagram and Facebook nowadays, it’s important to remember you are who you are for a reason and you don’t need to change for anyone but yourself if you wanted. Social Media is a major factor in putting pressure on young people to be like everyone else they see. If this was case, how boring would our society be?!


In conclusion:

These videos are just a few of many that discuss or represent the problems with the topic that is body image and new media in today’s society. 

I’m left wondering what lies ahead in further research for this topic. Will people take more interest into what exactly the effects are to young people who are in constant use of social media on their own self-esteem and confidence. I feel as though it should be further looked into because of the fact that young people today heavily rely on what other’s seem to think of them and I believe that in part this is a side-effect of social media over-use.  I also would love to know how the use of social media causes change in young adults and teens, does actually cause them to change themselves, and if so, in what ways?

There’s so much to still research and uncover in the topic of study and I hope that in years to come more time, research and perhaps solutions will be done much like it was done with body image and mass media.

Youtube Curation Argument

The main idea I plan to focus on for my project is body image and self esteem (these two topics are very closely related and it seemed natural that they’d go hand in hand.)  The argument of the project I guess you could say is that preteens, teenagers, and even young adults self esteem and body image of themselves is distorted today due to new media and social media. The easy access to pictures of celebrities, reading about how “great” everyone else life appears to seem compared to their own among other factors are some of the leading causes of low self esteem and poor body image in today’s young generation.

Jenkins touches on this topic briefly during one of his blogs in a conversation with Katie Davis, who wrote the book The App Generation. One quote I particularly like is how it’s stated that

“technology is both a burden and a blessing, it’s not either-or, but this-and-that.”

The rest of this section of the blog then goes on to continue talking about how some social media sites have in fact been proven to cause lower self-esteem and the exposure to other peoples looks and body types can contribute to poor self body image as well. If you want to read more on the article check it out hereYou can find this particular information under the October 17, 2014 date! 

The main theoretical approach to focus on with this topic in particular seems to be audience and possibly participatory culture, because with out it everyone wouldn’t necessarily know whats going in the lives of 200 other people (like they do with Facebook) and the desire or feeling like they need to have an “amazing life” like someone on their newsfeed or be skinnier like the person on their instagram probably wouldn’t be a big deal.  The audience is logical because the audience are the young people being affected by what they seem on their newsfeed, timelines, instagrams etc. or what kind of feedback their getting from these sites (alot of likes, positive/negative comments.) All of these things play in a role into an individuals self-esteem and how they perceive themselves and this is causing them to change the way they think about themselves.

I think that this is an important subject related to new media because body image and self-esteem while it’s a well known issue, usually it isn’t related to or linked with SOCIAL MEDIA. Generally, people often tie it in with what people see on T.V, or in magazines and tell young people who have these issues that what they see on the t.v screen and in magazines isn’t real. Hoewever, nowadays people see others who have wonderful houses, cars, bodies, etc right there on the facebook page, twitter feed, instagram, tumblr, the list of sites goes on. This makes the “material things and perfect body image” that they were once told was “fake” very real because people they know have these things, it isn’t just celebrities anymore.