Carmen Chizanga – We Can’t Say We Met On Tinder

This video is probably one of my favourite viral videos about tinder and the change of the online dating world. The premise is essentially that a couple meets and has to figure out a lie that they’ll share with friends and family about how they met one another. This generation latches onto its phone obsessively and many people (though they’ll deny it) utilize dating sites from Tinder down to OkCUPID. The problem becomes when people deny the relationships we build on applications that pertain to virtual dating.

Why are these relationships considered  “embarrassing” or almost shameful? As virtual dating becomes bigger and bigger in our lives the question becomes will virtual dating every be truly normalized and why don’t people consider relationships formed online “real” relationships? What about online dating makes it so discrete and something which some people feel need to be a secret?


Keer W. The Fembots of Ashley Madison

Political bots online are used on twitter to influence public opinions. And now this recent discovery show that these bots facilitated relations are more prevalent than we may think. Whether its the roomba that cleans the floor, the bots on  Tinder, or the the fembots of ashley madison, it seems that there’s vulnerabilities to be had when we trust and build intimate connections with technology.

Read article here.


Carmen Chizanga-Artificial Intelligence Takeover

The video I’ve posed here is on AI and the potential of it’s future. The TEDxTalk featured is hosted by Nick Bostrom is centred around features of the human mind and the ways in which we believe in thinking. Bostrom believes that a paradigm shift has occurred that knowledge will not be handcrafted but that we will create algorithms which can mimic the translation of human intelligence. He in turn eventually believes AI will surpass human knowledge and that scientists are on the brink of this change.

“Once there is super intelligence the faith of humanity may depend on what the super intelligence does”(… the same way in which humans surpassed chimpanzees)

Bostrom believes that this is because the machines will be better at inventing than we are and far more efficient. In regards to our discussion of AI “takeover” I believe this is fairly possible but to what extent? How far can technology surpass us before we start feeling like chimpanzees on Earth?

Diana T – Video game to improve women’s sex lives

Technology has been created to transform kegel exercises (the contracting and relaxing pelvic floor muscles) into a video game in order to improve women’s sex lives. The Elvie device is a gadget inserted into the vagina that measures the strength of contractions when performing kegel exercises and provides feedback on an app via Bluetooth.

The app provides three different games that include controlling a ball on the screen with their pelvic contractions. In the levator scores game, users have to contract their pelvic muscles fast enough to hit a series of markers on the screen. In the lifts game, the user has to squeeze as tight as possible for five minutes. The pulses game requires users to follow the floating ball on screen, pulling their muscles tight to keep the ball from going over what.

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all. There really is an app for everything. What do you guys think of these games?

Delaney- Quiz #5

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

My favorite reading is Baym’s chapter 4 about communities and networks. This was very favorite reading because I found it interesting to learn about the five qualities which define online communities and how they’ve changed from the traditional community. I found the informational, esteem and emotional aspect of the online community to be very prominent with social media accounts, as people will often like photos even of people they don’t necessarily know that well.

  1. Favorite topic and/or least favorite and why.

My favourite topic was also in Baym’s chapter 4 reading about communities and networks, specifically Slacktivism. This topic is when people substitute actual engagement with clicking like, or sharing a link to a cause. I like this topic because I see it every day scrolling through Facebook posts of people focused more on spreading word about the cause than actually helping the cause.

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

I can’t think of a topic that would be great to cover, possibly just go into ever more detail about the dating apps as an intimate space.

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

I did appreciate the due date for the Ethnography being due later in the course, however maybe give the assignment out earlier, so those who have a busier exam schedule at the beginning, can start the assignment earlier.

#MissingYou – Irish TV Show – Tara M

#MissingYou is compiled of recorded Skype calls from Irish people all over the world to their loved ones at home, sharing everyday news as well as big announcements.

This show reminded me of the day in class when we made the spectrum of intimacies form face-face to google chat. We discussed how skype can be a good medium between face to face intimacies and virtual intimacies

This new TV show, shows that although it’s a compromise it’s still not the  same

Just a warning some of the clips on the link can be emotional


Frankie Cesario Quiz #5

  1. My favourite reading in CS340 was Donna Haraway’s “A Manifesto for Cyborgs”. This was my favourite reading because it opened my eyes to the development of machine based human interaction and human-machine relationships. I found it very interesting because human and machine interaction is developing at extremely fast rates and I believe one day it will consume society. This reading helped me connect to my reality a lot as well and therefore I found it quite intriguing.
  2. My favourite topic was when we covered the intimacies found in virtual realities, specifically games such as World of Warcraft. This was my favourite topic because I used to play online multiplayer games similar to this and I never thought about it in the way that this topic conveyed it. I didn’t play to the extent of the users in the movie we watched, however I found it very interesting to see how much further the game can go than just the virtual realm. It reminds me of when I played the game and how my life could have been different if I had continued to pursue it with more passion.
  3. Although it is related to topics we covered, I would have found it interesting to look into digital intimacies through mediums such as PS4 or Xbox because of the different styled games they entail. For example, Call of Duty, sports games like NHL or FIFA etc. I would like to see how we would have analyzed this and the results that would have come out of it.
  4. The only suggestion I could have made would be to have made the ethnography due within the exam period just to create a little more free time and a bit less stress during the busy time.

Allan Lee Quiz 5

Quiz 5

  1. My favorite readings would have to be in regards to the Chapter 6 readings in Baym about digital relationships. It was interesting to compare and constrast real world vs. digital and the advantages and disadvantages both display.
  2. My favourite topic would have to be sex, gender and video games. I like playing random games off the app store and it was interesting to see how, especially gender, was an issue in the Atari and early games, which have been reintroduced into the smartphone games.
  3. I think a good topic to cover is how relationships can differ in other cultures compared to our western values
  4. Enjoyed the course.

Keer W. Dark Net

For anyone who hasn’t been on the dark net it can seem scary. After all it’s where all the not so legitimate business are, illegal transactions, very disturbing materials, and the infamous Silk Road. The online communities of the dark net seems quite dark or perhaps just hidden.

Dark net are also used for some non-so scary things like using the dark net to circumvent surveillance in places like Tibet. Or for others, a even safer way to torrent. I also found great internet art on the dark net. There’s a lot of communities on the dark net that consist a good chunk of the internet we know, so it would be interesting to apply stuff we learn on to the dark net.

To access dark net, download TorBrowser

Here are some articles anyone interested:

Introductory type article:

Academic stuff:

Quiz 5- Sulaika M

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

Our course textbook, “Personal Connections in the Digital Age, offered excellent information about digital media that is relevant in todays society. Baym’s 7 major concepts were very well explained. My favourite reading was Chapter 6- Digital media in the relational development and maintained. I liked this chapter because it reinforces the fact that people use these digital media platforms and technologies to maintain relationships and create new relationships. This really made me reflect the way I have maintained my relationships through the technologies I own.

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

My favourite topic was the film Her because it reinforced all the topics we covered in class. Everything presented in that movie was super interesting and weird at the same time because I have never heard of these kinds of issues because. Relationship with a piece of technology is such a weird concept to us right now, but as technology increases, it will become naturalized in our society.

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

I can’t think of any other topics that should have been covered in this class. All the topics that were covered were very interesting, which made the class more interesting.

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

I really enjoyed the class discussions because it was interesting to hear what other students had to say. The class blog was helpful because it kept me up with class content and forced me to do the readings, but I often found it difficult to post every week. In addition, I really enjoyed doing the mini virtual ethnography assignment because it made me look at Facebook in a different way.