Pecha Kucha Reflection

Well this has been fun to say the very least, my last blog entry.  I learned a lot, how to blog, how to do a Prezi presentation, and how to not be scared of Twitter.  Anyway, this last blog post will be about my group’s Pecha Kucha project.  We focused on how beauty has become subjected to the tyranny of Photoshop, airbrushing, and just the most impossible standards that can be afforded to women.  They make us hold this standard that is not healthy or beneficial to young girls’ self esteem.  Our identities have become what morphed into not what we think we should be but what society thinks we should be.  Our individualistic tendencies are crushed in favor of more cookie cutter brands that aren’t realistic.

A Walk Through A Slide

CB - hands

During the slide I said, “With the far reach of technology there is something just as dangerous coming after these easily manipulated, gullible girls: sexual predators.”  These girls don’t realize just how much their need to be physically appealing makes them targets.  It could incite violent reactions just because “not bodies touched” like Dibbell mentioned in his article.  It doesn’t mean that girls aren’t affected by these online [malicious] acts.”

I found the picture of the hands reaching out the computer slightly disturbing, but also symbolic.  Social media has gotten out completely of control.  We also have to be connected, if we aren’t we lose our minds thinking that we might not have access to the great big world out there that we will miss something important and requires our immediate attention.   Where some people may use social media for professional means, there are a lot of people who use abuse it.  From teenagers using it to cyber bully “unpopular” peers, to sexual predators preying on the weaker people, to regular citizens using it to further spew hatred though the web.  No one is safe from vicious attacks and anyone can become a victim.

In Turkle’s article, she was talking about how the MUD games “are laboratories for the construction of identity.”  In a way that is what Facebook, Instagram, and other social media has done to society.  They have become ingrained so much into our lives that we feel we can’t live without however it makes us sad or depressed because if our lives aren’t as picture perfect as other people show their lives to be and then we feel as if there is something wrong with us because our lives don’t look theirs.  It is a vicious cycle that most people don’t seem to understand at the point where they are looking at those happy faces are how many shots it took to get it just right.  There is nothing in this life that is picture perfect but we are all capable of trying to put our best foot forward to make others believe that everything is good.  My other slide is of a girl with her head buried in her hands after looking at something online.  In hindsight, I think I would have put the hands before the girl but done the weight scale first.

What I Learned about my Blog Topic

My group’s blog was about beauty and how the web has helped cultivate society’s unsustainable standards in regards to beauty.  The one article that stands out to be is Sherry Turkle’s “Who Am We?” and when she speaks about MUDs.  People have taken to hiding behind virtual masks in order to be themselves because they don’t feel as if society will accept them for who they are inside.  People lose themselves in these virtual games just like they lose themselves while looking at social media and wanting to be or have something that isn’t theirs in the first place.  People’s identities have become linked with that of their social media outlet.

To be honest, the readings did not specifically do much for me in terms of beauty, regular social media did that.  It opened my eyes a little to people’s comments under a celebrity’s picture.  It could be a pretty decent picture, but people will tear her down because she’s isn’t glammed up to the nines as if the celebrity doesn’t have a right be natural.

Thinking about Deb Roy’s “Birth of Word” video gives me an idea about beauty and the web.  His son picked up words around his natural habitat.  Over the course of months he started going from gaga to water, I think that could be applied to society’s standards of web.  If we can get magazine’s and other publications to STOP photo shopping and airbrushing celebrities on their magazine after a while well we can start rebuilding people’s standards of beauty.  It will take time but I think we can do it, if only we put our best effort forward.

One thing this module has taught me is that you never know between Twitter, blogging, and even YouTube.  You have the power to reach a lot of people and you never know who can be listening or reading your words.  You must be considerate when putting information out there and make sure that it has the power to help and not hinder.

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Communication Malfunction

Do Digital Natives Really Suck at Communicating Face-to-Face?

The fact that the title uses the word “suck” instead of “have a hard time” or “Face-to Face Communication: Difficult for Digital Natives” leads me to believe that the author might be a digital native themselves.

What this article says is absolutely true!  My brother and sister are 23 and 22 respectively and they were ever so ecstatic when online pizza ordering became a reality because neither one of them wanted to pick up the phone and call to order it OR answer the door when it finally arrived.  I would try to force them but it became so problematic that I just threw up my hands and said “to hell with it.”  A lot of young people would rather communicate through email or text messaging than go meet with something face to face.  I think it is a responsibility of this generation who is straddling the line between the old ways and the new digital way to make sure that their children aren’t afraid to look someone in the eye.  If you can’t look at someone’s face then you have no business talking to them.  The article mentioned that younger people aren’t very empathic.  This could be a reason why cyber bullying is becoming a problem and why people feel the need to put other people down because there is a sort of disconnect when you aren’t faced with the person you are making fun of and it leads you to become more of an unforgiving person.

The real reason for Target’s name

Who would of known Target, one of the most popular stores in the U.S right now, has a meaning for their name. Target has a somewhat creepy marketing strategy to “target” their customers before other places try to lore them in. I found it very amusing how they target pregnant customers and try to guess if they are in their early stages of pregnancy like who does that? Whelp Target does thats who! And although it is very awkward and scary it is very smart to be honest. Their method to their madness is that they don’t want their customers to shop their for just one thing but for everything they need and honestly it works. I am a loyal customer at Target, they have everything you need from clothes to groceries and cooking supplies. Plus they give discounts when using your credit card which is a great saving. 

Although this is very smart but to a certain extent a little crazy, noisy and no privacy. I mean I don’t want them to know everything about me! No wonder I’m always getting paper ads that advertise cooking utensils and college stuff because that is what I spend most of my money on their. This shows you that we really don’t have any privacy! Who would of thought that stores do things like this just to get customers, learning all your personal information that is so extra. 

So many tweets So little time

So I thought the twitter assignment would be a piece of cake. I mean who wouldn’t want to tweet and be on social networks as a school assignment. Unfortunately, this was not as easy as I expected it to be. With working full time and being a full time student trying to remember to tweet was a hard task to complete. If this was back in 2010 when twitter was the new thing I would of been made the required amount of tweets however its 2013 and my lifestyle has changed. 

The most challenging part to me was the live tweeting. It was very hard tweeting about the readings and interacting with my other classmates on the readings. One I try to focus on just the article while I’m reading because once I pick up my phone I will end up on Instagram instead of just on twitter. Also it was hard for me to try and interact with my classmates because by the time I was able to tweet they have been read the article and my comment would be super late. 

For the second part of the assignment we had to follow and tweet or retweet someone in our professional field. Since I am an Autism consultant and plan on become a behavior specialist in the future I decided to follow Autism Speaks twitter account. I retweeted and responded to several post they had hoping to get a response but unfortunately I didn’t. Although I have gotten retweets and response by several celebrities before on my official twitter since this was an organization I kind of figured I would not get a response. However, they do follow quit a few people so if I did get a response that would of been great.

Although I did not interact with my classmates on twitter to much since nobody really followed me back when I did click on our classes hashtag I could see how we all related to certain parts of the readings as well as how we felt about the class. It felt really good being able to interact with my classmates and see that we all were on the same page when it came to the class. 

Open Your Eyes

Ok so this is my last blog post and I really wanna knock this out with a BANG! It has been a pretty weird experience, doing this whole blog thing, especially since I have a hard time every knowing what to say when I put things on the internet (my struggle with Twitter) and doing this blog was no different but easier then Twitter for sure. Pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I can write basically as much as I want. So I figured a major weakness that I have when it comes to writing is being able to say what I want to say with as little words as possible. Well doing this Pecha Kucha assignment helped me with since I had to explain the point of a picture under 20 SECONDS. So lets talk about the Pecha Kucha. . .

A Walk Through A Slide
So our Prezi dealt with the same topic that my group tried to incorporate into our blog (evident in the title) the effect that images play on society based off of use of Web 2.0 and everything that comes with it. So my five slides dealt with the effect that images can have on little girls, and more specifically the images the pertain to being beautiful. So I chose this image of Barbie, the most beloved toy of almost every little girl in the world, including me. I have yet to throw out any of my barbies, they are packed away in the attic. I had barbie everything growing up, from the mansion to the town house, multiply cars, airplane, beach house, and enough clothes to cloth an army. Barbie to me growing up was one of my favorite toys, so of course I had some thoughts on why my hair, skin, and body didn’t necessarily look like hers or why they were hardly any black barbies on the shelves. So this plays directly into our topic because this is a toy that is everywhere from her own website, music videos, stores, and she even has her own Facebook page. So this toy is what is considered beautiful and we are throwing this in little girls face, who are unselfconsciously being taught that looks matter. So from this, why wouldn’t little girls want to look like Barbie, she is the definition of beauty that society has put out into the world right?
The NY Daily News did an article “Artist recreates Barbie with real-life proportions” which I quoted the measurements of Barbie’s waist versus the average 19 year olds waist size. This slide digs both on the emotional and logically side of people who viewed my slide, really hitting home for the viewers. All of the pictures make an impact but this leaves the viewers with the question of, if this regular shaped Barbie would actually sell? So can some of the damage that has been done, be changed?

“Who looks like this? Her tiny waist to long legs, the face of the little girl industry has been corrupting the views of girls for years. Parents have thought twice when giving toy this to their baby girls. She has the unrealistic measurements of 36-18-33 whereas the average 19 year olds is 32-31-33.”

My other group members talked about the effect that images have on women as a whole, the using of technology to develop this false sense of beauty, while I focus on the effect on the younger generations. This photo makes it clear in the direction that I was taking the focus of our project. But since nothing is perfect, in my narrative I may have focused more on the size and how it is impossible to be that size. I could have mention how Barbie’s life would be if she was real.

 

What I Learned About My Blog Topic
In this class I have done all kinds of readings that have further helped me understand this thing called Web 2.0 and some of things that go along with it. So trying to keep with the theme I decided to research some ways the children now see learning in the classroom, which went right along with what I was learning in my Educational Technology class. In that class I was learning how to use the programs, and the articles talked about the use within the classroom and their effects. So in the article “Web 2.0 in the Classroom” by Bray and Alden, they discuss these new ways for children to be taught with programs that I have heard before but now they are being broken down into ways that the programs can be used. So this directly affected me since I am working to become a kindergarten teacher. These programs will help me, better help my students.

 
Then I found out that there are websites out there that more interactive then the online coloring books or these dressing games. The web has developed in a way that anyone can use it for anything. This is changing the way we look at the internet, especially when it is made to look so pretty. The We Feel Fine website accomplished that with their different “movements” to express the information that was being feed to the user. So if this was a shock to me, I can only imagine what a shock it was for people back in the mid and late 1990’s when Kelly discusses the way people saw the internet. If they could see what it has become now, who know if they would believe it simply because of the responses that some people said about the internet like, “ in late 1994, Time magazine explained why the Internet would never go mainstream: “It was not designed for doing commerce, and it does not gracefully accommodate new arrivals.” Newsweek put the doubts more bluntly in a February 1995 headline: “THE INTERNET? BAH!” The article was written by astrophysicist and Net maven Cliff Stoll, who captured the prevailing skepticism of virtual communities and online shopping with one word: ‘baloney.’” (We Are the Web) Before I never even considered that there would be nay-sayers to the idea of the internet, but this reminded me that with change, there will always be those who don’t support it.

For All The World To See

It’s hard for me to think about YouTube only having a life span of 7 years.  It’s incredible how much YouTube has changed the lives of a fair amount of people.  A lot of people have been discovered on YouTube, the one that comes to mind the quickest is Justin Bieber.  (insert groan here)  In my mind, I associate YouTube with those annoying videos that my sister always tries to get me to watch.  (I believe she spends TOO MUCH time on YT.)  I usually gravitate towards celebrity interviews around the time their movies go out.  However, there is one video that gives me chuckles to this very day.  I’m pretty sure that everyone in our class has seen it at least once because the catch phrase that it has spawn has caught on, well like fire.

Michael Welsh spoke about the joy, fun, and empowering feeling that people get from creating videos.  A lot of them are parodies because they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Dance videos have become extremely popular even to the point that it doesn’t matter whether you understand the lyrics or not, like PSY “Gundam Style” has demonstrated. (It currently has 1.8 billion views on YouTube.)  A lot of people have made it their careers to make YouTube videos, from video-blogs like Jenna Marbles and Kingsley to make-up videos, and how-to-do videos.

An interesting thought came to my mind as I was watching Michael Welsh’s video.  He said that while we are becoming increasingly individualistic we are also desire the feeling of community.  It got me thinking about the people who feel alone in this world or feel like they don’t fit in.  They might be able to connect with someone who understands them through the power of the video they put out.  I never really understood why people would put themselves out there like that, but I guess it makes sense to them and that might be all that matters.  It could have to do with the fact that it’s “a connection without constraints.”

Michael also mentioned the comments that are left on the videos themselves.  I must admit that I agree with Lev Grossman from Time Magazine about “weeping for future of humanity just for the spelling alone.”  I guess people don’t care what they put out there because they feel as if they are invisible.  And when you are invisible you can say whatever you want and you don’t have to worry about it coming back on you.  Hide behind the username and maybe instead of creating chaos… create something beautiful, positive, and uplifting.

“They Looked Better on Facebook” Identity & Pecha Kucha

A Walk Through A Slide

My part of the Pecha Kucha project was how technology condones the false beliefs of beauty. The false beliefs of beauty are ones that technology alters and projects to us, but it is not reality. I used celebrities everyone would know for my examples because I wanted to prove that technology and the media can alter and edit who we look up to (celebrities) and almost makes us want to look like them. Have you ever read in a magazine how to get “Kim Kardashian’s red carpet makeup at home?” or “Supermodel body workout! Lose 5 inches in a week with this workout?” Then you will see photos of beautiful, toned celebrities and models we are supposed to envy and want to be; yet what isn’t in the article is that most models in the industry are not plain folks like us. These model’s bodies are photoshopped to extreme portions or hiding the fact that eating disorders are prevalent in the industry. Skin lightening was also a topic I spoke about in my presentation. I believe the slide with Beyonce on two different covers of Glamour in two different countries shows that beauty can be digitally altered in order to please the magazine’s client base. The picture I chose that is the most striking is the one below:

 Image

 

This slide builds on the idea that just as easy as bodies can be photoshopped; skin color can be photoshopped and altered just as easily thanks to technology. According to the video “Identity 2.0” Identity is reputation also known as what others say about you. Many people may “identify” which Beyonce as she has a reputation of being a very successful artist, wife, mother, and businesswomen. People may “identify” which Beyonce because of physical appearances as well such as skin color, stature, or personal style are just some examples. In the case of the photo, one country wanted their readers to “identify” with Beyonce with lighter, digitally altered skin while the other country wanted their readers to “identify” with Beyonce’s darker skin. My point here is that photos can be altered to identify to whom they are trying to sell or relate to. The reality is, we may never get a chance to actually see these celebrities or models in person. Our only outlet is through digital media and magazines to get a feel of what they look like and based on that we create assumptions. If I were to change the slide, I would have included a picture of Beyonce in more of a paparazzi like pose in addition to the one above to show how digitally altered these photos are.

What I learned about my blog topic:

Since my group’s blog had the theme of technology and identity; I have learned a lot about how technology can alter our opinions on what is beautiful and acceptable. In today’s world, I hear a lot about cyber-bullying and how so many young girls get eating disorders because Americans have a distorted image of beauty. In using the interactive application “We Feel Fine”, I could really see how women young and old across the control feel about themselves whether it be positive or negative. The internet is like a gateway to finding out what is “acceptable” in our society. I have learned that no one should tell you what is acceptable rather than you must decide what is acceptable and not let that go. If you let technology and the media decide for you than you will fall into a state that is not reality but rather lack of self-awareness. As young adults, we know who we are and what we are capable of doing. We know (most of the time) what is and is not acceptable and are capable of making mature decisions. As children younger and younger begin to use the internet and start to see these false beliefs of beauty, that is when the problem begins. Young girls thinking they are fat when they are simply just “growing up”. I know I felt that way when I was young and I am sure many of you did as well. Now as adults, we realize that as we grow up we were heavily influenced by others around us. For example, the other night the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show was on. Then I go on Instagram and see pictures of the models with captions written by my followers such as “not eating for a week”. Whether as a joke or in seriousness, young girls look up to these people. It creates a sense of a distorted body image that can ruin young girl’s lives.

The article by the New York Times about Target and how they find ways to identify with and attract their customers we read the other day makes me realize that our identities are out there in the world and we don’t even know it. Target knows about us and our spending habits and other stores will continue that trend for higher revenue. I have learned that social media really allows us to identity or not identity with others around us. I have learned that video games can give those a sense of identity as see in the article “Becoming Screen literate”. Finally, I have learned the internet will only try to virtually identify with us for years to come. This module opened my eyes to the immense changes in technology over the years and what is to come is surely unknown.