Our main argument focuses on an exploration of the differences in self-presentation between Tumblr and Facebook. On which platform do users feel they create a more accurate portrayal of themselves? How do they feel about their respective networks on the platforms? I’ve already noticed some key differences when I began to contact individuals. Upon asking them to be interviewed in their ‘Ask Boxes’ the first thing I needed to confirm was my intention by reinforcing my identity. More users responded when I included my nyu.edu e-mail address in my communication. While many people did e-mail me back, they continued to be skeptical. To further reinforce my identity, I directed them to my Facebook. While I suspect many people will say they feel they create a more accurate portrayal of themselves on Tumblr, it will be interesting to understand why Facebook played such a pivotal role in establishing my authenticity to them. Other questions I would like to ask would be similar to the following; what type of information do you find worthy to post on Tumblr? How about Facebook? Would you feel comfortable having your Facebook friends know about your Tumblr? Would you be comfortable being Facebook friends with your Tumblr followers? Would you rather lose a Tumblr follower or a Facebook friend? I am worried it may be difficult to get a video of the people I interview but I will try to do my best to get at least a couple of individuals.
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For the final travelogue, I think it might be interesting to combine some of the different topics we have discussed throughout the semester, including social networking, privacy, and identity. I propose that we take screen shots of different people’s FB information pages or a portion of their wall, leaving out any identifying information such as name, or photos of the user. Then, we can have other people try to make assumptions about that person: these could be gender, age, education level, profession, personality type (preppy, hipster, goth, etc.), what this person might be like in real life, etc. It would be interesting to see how much we think we can glean simply from a glance at someone’s facebook activity or basic information they provide on their profile. Once we have collected this data, we could post the screen shot and the assumptions, and then hide the real user/information behind a cut. After people have read through the assumptions and seen to what extent they agree or disagree, they can click the cut and see who the real person is, and see if their assumptions were true or not. Read the rest of this entry »

Jenny, Lara, Matt

Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life

In this essay, Danah Boyd tries to discover what makes social networking sites so appealing to teenagers and what they can tell us about the teenager’s lives. She concludes that they allow teens to “write themselves and their community into being…. providing teens with a space to work out identity and status, make sense of cultural cues, and negotiate public life” (2).

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By: Chelsea Christensen & Whitney Asante

My friend Peter is a murderer. The guy I’ve known since the first grade has taken a life. He proceeded to tell me in cruel and grotesque detail about whom, how and why he killed his boss to become the current mayor of… Wait, riiight. I forgot. Pete also plays The Sims too.

Video games allow for people to explore different parts of the person that they are without the fear of reprisals or consequences. In Pete’s case, he trapped his boss in his closet and made him cook food in there till he either fried or was suffocated. No cops, no questions, only a ghost of his former supervisor haunting the house.  In The Sims, he’s remodeled an entire community and lifestyle into his ideal conditions. Everything from his dream career, to living in a literal ‘bachelor pad’ with all of his buds from high school and beyond. In this world, the flaws and imperfections of reality are no longer uncontrollable, but at his command. It’s within these realms that my friend can explore the full scope and scale of his imagination and ambitions of political dominance.

In this travelogue, we will further explore the “second life” that people seek within the virtual landscape. We will also investigate people’s avatars and their habits that manifest in this world. To begin our understanding, we look back upon Peter. As a gamer, Peter doesn’t only play The Sims, but has also explored the popular game World of Warcraft. Read the rest of this entry »

The topic we want to explore is how virtual reality affects actual reality. It might be interesting to compare and contrast the arguments supporting the virtual world as a tool for personal expression, learning, and its economic advantages, and

the arguments against it, claiming that virtual realities and identities are causing disassociation and other cultural problems of our society and generation. One really interesting quote found in a review of two books addressing virtual worlds entitled The Computer Made Me Do It, written by William Saletan, would spark a good argument: ”If reality is inherently less attractive than games, then the virtual world won’t save the physical world. It will empty it.” Read the rest of this entry »