This weeks reading, chapter 6 specifically, discussed the ways in which technology helps us maintain relationships. I came across this article about this new app called the Broapp
Basically, it’s an app that allows men to send automated text messages to their girlfriend in order to seem invested in the relationship. This can relate back to the reading as it can now be added as a tool to help maintain this offline relationship. The reading states that “the continuous relational accessibility enabled by mobile phones thus keeps local peers and family more tightly interdependent”, which reinforces the notion that individuals are highly dependent on others through constant messaging. This app then offers its users with that comfort, but it is completely fake. At the end of Chapter 6, Baym states, “as relationships develop, we seek media that offer more cues to enrich our ties”. This brings me to question whether this app is actually enriching our ties.
Reasons You Should Not Date Online
This very short Vine (I’m sure lots of us have seen it) can hold some truth for many people. Baym discusses honesty and how it isn’t always portrayed during online dating, and this Vine may be an funny insight on people’s scepticism towards it.
Louis CK gives a sarcastic but relatable account of how people become too connected to their phones. He talks about how people feel they need to constantly be using them to not feel lonely or sad. His major point is how people are constantly avoid these sad moments to get a bit of joy from sending messages from their phones to overcome the sadness.
What I found particularly interesting is how he uses the example of a cell phone as an escape from our emotions, and how they block out our ability to build empathy. Especially within a very digitized culture, people can easily become too consumed by their phones that their desire to feel happy overrides their need to express natural emotions.
For those of you who haven’t heard about the new app LuLu make sure to check out this article!
Lulu (an app that is only available for female users) allows you to research any guy you know or are interested in by reading reviews that have been written about the person, as well as being able to write your own. As the article discusses however, the worrying part is that, “Lulu has enabled female millenials to think that digital revenge is acceptable when treated maliciously offline and provided them a sleek platform to slander men in a way that could destroy reputations with just a few quick taps on their iPhones”.
I think something that is particularly concerning from a male’s perspective is that these men can not see/dispute what was written about them and they are therefore completely voiceless and are judged based upon what is written about them, whether it be true or not true.
There is obviously a great discourse regarding the labels of gender identity and sexuality. With the modernization of new digital media (films, books, tv shows, etc.), it digs deep to bring recognition of these identities. With films like Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), the topics are becoming less “queer” and people are willing to openly discuss/criticize social identities. However, this is still a touchy subject for many people. As Baym previously argues, individuals struggle with the pressure of choosing a particular identity, whether it is race, gender, or sexuality. These digital social platforms and virtual gaming spaces provide the ability for users to express their own (or fantasy) identities with anonymity and less public scrutiny or judgment. Although, the limitations to identities are still present in social media platforms like eHarmony or Tinder. For instance, it will ask you to choose if you are Male or Female. There may be individuals who may not associate to either and they are conflicted with the pressure to deviate to either side.
However, Facebook has recently announced a new development to its gender labelling options for profiles. Facebook will (has) present(ed) 58 new options of gender for the user in question. With this available option, the article briefly suggests that individuals will have less pressure and more freedom concerning their gender identities.
This is a vice documentary about a guy who goes to Japan to document how Japanese people have begun to sell every aspect of the love industry, which is directly correlated to slow/non-existent population growth. I was reminded of this documentary by the guy who married his gameboy avatar, as this also shows some of the many different cultural phenomenon that occur in Japan. Many Japanese people rely on this industry to provide the intimacy they desire in a relationship, while still being single and without any responsibilities.
This article discusses how someone interested in BDSM culture would go about getting involved via the Internet. This connects with the Rambukkana reading on the BDSM/Sadomasochistic public sphere and how the Internet has taken this culture out of the underground and makes it more accessible and easy to connect with like-minded people. The consequence of this being that Information sharing becomes anonymous for those interested and there is easier access for participants.
Chapter 5 of Bayms book discusses the fact that distance is now not a limiting factor for establishing relationships because “as shared location has lost its status as a prerequisite for first meeting, the range of potential relational partners has been expanded to a broader pool than at any previous point in history”. This reminded me of the show “90 Day Fiance” on TLC in which people establish relationships strictly online based from across the world and then to meet up get a Fiance Visa, which provides 90 days for the couple to meet each other and decide within that time period if they want to marry each other. It’s very interesting to see the complete culture shocks some of the partners go through, and this would have not happened necessarily if it weren’t for ICT’s.
“And yet fanfiction is an inherently transformative work which, by its very nature, strives to address or change some flaw that exists in canon, even if that flaw is “why isn’t there more of this thing?!” Fanfiction has addressed the lack of gay men by making straight characters gay; it’s addressed countless cultural misappropriations with wildly varying AUs; it’s addressed canon plot holes and timeline issues with fix-it fics and crossovers. Fanfic is the show your show could be like, if only you dared to dream. But for all its transformative nature, fanfiction and fandom still suffer from a real dearth of femslash. Beyond the simple fact that very few girls exist in canon materials, the societal emphasis on the male gaze seems to have affected fanficcers’ creativity to such an extent that even in our own fantasies, we cannot give women a fair shake. Just as the answer to “Why is there so much slash?” cannot be boiled down to “ Well, straight girls are horny”, the answer to “Why isn’t there any femslash?” cannot be boiled down to “Well, straight girls don’t care.” The bias against female characters and female pleasure is an ingrained, institutionalized problem which won’t go away on its own.”
Conclusion of Lady Geek Girl and Friends’s fascinating article on femslash and fandom (do give it a read if you’re interested!)
This I found while I was scanning my dashboard on Tumblr and I think it brings to light what we read this week in class from O’Riordan’s texts.
– Sarah McBain
Commercial Link: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7fa7/universal-orlando-resort-best-vacation-ever
I came across this commercial on TV while away on reading week that brought me to look at technology in a different manner. Technology, specifically the use of cellphones, has been looked at in a way that deems it to change the way we come to physically interact less with others. In the commercial, the girl seems to be occupied by her cellphone which causes her to come off as not having fun on the trip or demonstrating disinterest in spending time with her family. However, although she is constantly on her phone, what her father does not know until she sends him a message is that she has been making a collage of their vacation that shows how much she has been enjoying it, titled ‘Best Vacation Ever’.
A similar commercial by Apple demonstrates the same message of using technology to capture memories/bring a family together. Here the boy is immersed in his iPhone but not because he is texting others or playing games, but instead taking video clips of his family during the holidays. Finally, he shows his family his completed project that he had been working on all along – a compilation of video clips of various family members participating in festive activities.
Apple Commercial Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhwhnEe7CjE
I think this proves how technology can be used in a way that will help capture memories to remember in the future and not necessarily as a way of wasting time or avoiding interaction with others. What do you think about using technology to capture memories? Does it take away time from living in the moment or do you think it helps to relive those moments later on?