Tim Rocke – Quiz 5

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
My favourite reading was From Brown to Blonde @ Gay.com. It was interesting to see the effect of race on a chatroom in which, from the description, was focused around sex without attachment, however, everyone seemed to be picky, to the point of passive (and sometimes active) racism. 

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
The discussion on AI and watching Her really opened my eyes to what intimacy really is. I never would have considered anything cyber-based “real” before this course, however, it was interesting to see the emotional attachment and both physical and mental pleasure that can occur from these relationships with artificial beings. 

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
I believe that all the topics we covered were great. However, because it was something new every week, I felt like it was a bit rushed as as such didn’t go into as much depth as I thought we would. Maybe removing a few of the topics to allow for more in-depth discussion and a greater understanding would be awesome!

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
More group discussion and presentations! My favourite class was when we went on the blog and discussed things that others were posting, as it was interesting to see everyone’s views on other people’s findings.


Kayley Diamond – Quiz 5

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
I really enjoyed the topic explored by the Damsel in Distress readings. I found them really interesting and entertaining to learn about the tropes in video games and the examples she brought forward.

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
I honestly found most of the topics very interesting to learn about. They were very different from what I have learned about in my other courses. I really liked the week that we watched the documentary on games like World of War Craft because I never realized that a game of that caliber could effect a persons life in such an impacting way.

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
It would have been nice to learn a little bit more on social media practices and looking into the difference between how certain ages utilize these websites and how they have evolved over the year.

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
I really enjoyed this course and found it interesting! I really enjoyed this class and am really happy I got the chance to learn about these types of topics!

Quiz 5 – Sarah McBain

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.


My favourite reading in this class was Christy Carlson’s text on Queer Internet Fan Production. I really enjoyed this reading because, since I frequent websites such as Fanfiction and Tumblr, it was interesting to see an academic perspective on the reasons behind fan production, and how the creative content should be considered as something much more useful than it is depicted regularly. The bonus of reading about Law and Order: SVU was fun to read, as I can see those kinds of connections within that show, as well as subtext within other shows. 


2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.


My favourite topic of discussion was about the discussion of virtual dating, because it is a changing facet of digital intimacy. Viewing primary opinions, as well as discussing what the future holds was very interesting to consider. 


3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.


A topic that would be great to also cover is actually another chapter within O’Riordan’s text was about flaming, violence and antagonism within the online community. Although this was touched upon in Baym’s text, I would have liked to see the darker, more angered side of online communities, since most of the discussions were merely on love and other positive aspects. 


4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).


I really liked the layout of the course, especially the virtual ethnography. The open discussion was really great since many participated. 


Quiz 5- Sarah Kagan

1) Favorite reading and/ or least favorite reading and why?

I really enjoyed the reading on Sex Lives in Second Life. Prior to reading the article I had no idea that social media sites such as Second Life had a whole different side to them spefically for finding sexual partners on the web through avatars. In saying this, many of the readings that we covered throughout the year I found extremely interesting and were so different from the average communications courses offered to us. 

2) Favorite topic and/ or least favourite and why?

I can’t really pick one favorite topic from the course because they were all so interesting and very much connected. 

3) Topics that it would have been great if we also convered?

I would have loved to talk about the different generations, and their involvement with techonology. It’s fascinating to see the evolution of techonology, and how each generation uses/ used it. 

4) Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course

I really enjoyed the course. I didn’t have a great understanding of what I had signed myself up for at the beginning but I am so glad I took it. It was very different from all the other communication courses offered because there is less emphasis on the same theorists that we study in every class, and more applying and dicussing social mediums that we use on a day- to- day basis. I also loved the assignments and activities for this class. They were very interactive and very relatable. It was easy to get excited about participating and engaging in discussions. 


Toronto based app used in place of banned Twitter in revolting countries – Sam Tetsos


This article discusses how Toronto based companies, Tunnelbear and Psiphon, have become prevalent in countries that have imposed twitter bans on their citizens with the hope to mute them and save the bad press worldwide. Banning social media outlets and attempting to mute the voices of their own people seems like a ridiculous notion, and just seemingly adds to the already negative light being shone on the governmental bodies in place. With new avenues of communication opening up, the effort is made to look even more foolish and trivial, as there is seemingly endless channels of which the protestors can get their message out, and continually trying to silence protestors will only encourage further rebellion. 

Victoria E – Tell The People You Love That You Love Them

For my last post, I wanted to share this article I found about expressing how you really feel and being straightforward, especially in our digital communication. The author talks about sending “reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?)” telling people things like how wonderful she thinks they are. She emphasizes that maybe there is no point in being mysterious and cryptic the way many of us try to be, because one day something terrible might happen, and we might die without telling someone how we really feel. We can use these digital technologies to our advantage to express the intimate things we may be too afraid to say out loud.

I really loved this quote from the article: “We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.”

Take a read; it may change your perspective on how you use technology to communicate.


Quiz 5 – Sam Tetsos

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

My favourite reading was the reading by Turkle with regards to authenticity and the human tendency to accept artificial or inauthentic relationships. I really enjoyed this because it discusses how we seemingly attach human qualities to objects that are not capable of reciprocating the relational exchanges we pour into them. I also watched her TED talk on the subject which I found equally as interesting (http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together)

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

My least favorite topic/lecture was the one where we watched the avid video gamer documentary. I realize it was a good way to see that technologically mediated communication is truly a viable option for relationship building, but the documentary in its entirety I felt was unnecessary and exhausting, particularly because many of the people featured in it were completely cringe-worthy.

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

I would have really liked to have examined how the ever changing scope of technology and technologically mediated communication has effected the traditional family makeup. Now people bring cell phones to dinner tables, eat watching TV, and other similar acts that are not seen in the traditional family household, and I believe it would be interesting to study how the makeup of a 21st century family is now becoming reliant on technologies as well.

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

I did not really know what to expect coming into this class, and the concept of “queer theory” with no background knowledge was something I had never really ventured into. It was very interesting and the diversity of the class allowed for a lot of strong discussions. I really enjoyed the lack of traditional testing and studying, as I really, really prefer essays to exams. I think that the field notes should have been due in advance of the essay to ensure people are indeed doing them in advance versus at the last minute!

Vanessa M – Video Games vs. Real Life Comic Strip

This series is great! Although it is obviously meant to be a joke, there is a lot of truth behind it. I think it really speaks specifically to the male teen user who tends to isolate their real lives from what they experience on screen. Video games, for many, is often a portal where the everyday woes diminish and the only thing that matters is destroying the bad guys and rescuing the girl. Thus, the average guy is made to feel like a hero…until his mom asks him to take the garbage out and he has to snap back to reality. 


Vanessa M- Futuristic Predictions that came true

This list is so cool! Some of these are more relevant to this class than others, particularly the Google glasses as shown in the clip in #6. #12 is also an interesting read. This list really shows just how much technology is starting to out smart and out do humans. If we thought we were reliant on technology now, seems like that reliance will be so much more so in the near future. Check it out! 


Vanessa M – Quiz 5

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

Surprisingly one of my favourite readings was “Taking the Leather out of Leather Sex” which explored the implications that the Internet had for BDSM Identity. I found this one quite interesting because it presented an entire world that I would have otherwise never known about (except for 50 shades of grey…I’ll admit it). This reading was my favourite because it really showed me the impacts that the internet has made, and continues to make in peoples lives. It is interesting to learn about the different purposes that people use the internt for which are vastly different then my own. It can often be a tool for investigation where a person may remain anonymous or ungendered if they wish. 

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

My favourite topic was video games. Specifically, I really enjoyed the ‘Damsels in Distress’ series. I always knew about the patriarchic order that is painfully obvious in video games but wasn’t quite aware of the extent video games went to fulfill male power fantasies. The other aspect of video games I enjoyed learning about was the intimacies that can form between a human and a piece of technology. Other than watching the move ‘Her’ (great movie to show by the way) I wasn’t aware that these sorts of relationships happen far more frequently than I ever imagined, specifically in parts of the world such as Japan.

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

I’m not exactly sure how or if this could be done, but going off of the most recent blog post I made, I think it would be interesting if this class could have tied in religion into the digital spaces we learnt about. Where does religion fit in to the modern technologies that we are constantly surrounded with. If the Internet is seen as being the most modern form of a public sphere, is there room for religious communities or references within it?

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

I thought this course was super interesting. As a fourth year Communications student, it’s refreshing to be in a class where the stuff we are dealing with is so current and relevant to this generation. One thing I think should be changed is that maybe the short writings should be condensed into one assignment and then have the rest of those marks go to participation to make sure students are doing the readings. To ensure that students are on track with their virtual ethnography, maybe the field notes should have specific dates to be handed in, like every Tuesday for the last month of the class. Just a suggestion!