DIGITAL AMERICA

Author Archives: Emily

FINAL PROJECT: By Emily & Molly

// Posted by Emily on 04/29/2014 (12:25 PM)

http://emilynarduzzimollyreilly.wordpress.com

ENJOY!!

p.s. make sure to click the + sign to see more of our posts

http://emilynarduzzimollyreilly.wordpress.com

ENJOY!!

p.s. make sure to click the + sign to see more of our posts


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Women vs. Media: The Undeclared War by: Molly & Emily

// Posted by Emily on 04/21/2014 (9:24 PM)

Sociocultural standards of feminine beauty are displayed in almost all forms of popular media. These images pervade society, females specifically, with images that portray what is considered to be the ideal body.  Such standards set by media outlets illustrate… Read more

Sociocultural standards of feminine beauty are displayed in almost all forms of popular media. These images pervade society, females specifically, with images that portray what is considered to be the ideal body.  Such standards set by media outlets illustrate beauty as almost completely unattainable for the average woman. A majority of the models displayed on television and in advertisements are well below what is considered healthy body weight. Further, these models are often airbrushed, or altered using photoshop and other advanced technology that allow these media outlets to manipulate the reality of the image. Mass media’s use of such unrealistic models, combined with this technology, sends an underlying message to society that in order for a woman to be considered attractive, she must ultimately be unhealthy.

The idea that a person can never be too thin, too rich, or too young further perpetuates an unrealistic standard of beauty. With this being said, this mentality has contributed to a decline in the females’ satisfaction with body image and possibly lower self esteem. We also propose that the boom in social media platforms is directly correlated to a rise in eating disorders in women. Information, “support groups” and blog sites encourage eating disorders and have created a cyber atmosphere in which girls suffering from eating disorders can relate with one another, therefore normalizing living an unhealthy lifestyle. Check it out:

http://www.myproana.com

http://missanamia.wordpress.com/tips-pro-mia/

(You have to click on different discussion boards in order to see what people are commenting)

There’s evidence below…. actually read them ALL!

We plan to further examine the effect of social media on women through the lenses of the following theories: social comparison theory, cultivation, and sexual objectification theory. Researchers Tiggerman and Slater suggest, “the process of social comparison may provide the mechanism by which exposure to media images induces negative effects.” They theorize that social comparison theory examines how individuals are constantly evaluating themselves in comparison to others on many different dimensions. This comparison results in the judgment of either an upward comparison, which is when an individual compares himself/herself to someone who fares better than they do in a particular area (causing them to feel worse), or a downward comparison, comparing himself/herself to someone worse off in a situation, which results in the opposite (feeling better about yourself). Television, advertisements, social media forums, magazines and other media resources provide excessive ways for women to experience upward comparison. 

In the International Journal of Eating Disorders conducted a study in which 84 women were divided into two groups. One group was instructed to use Facebook as they normally would for a twenty minute time period. The other group was told to research the ocelot (a rainforest cat using Wikipedia and YouTube). Unsurprisingly, the women who spent twenty minutes on Facebook reported greater body dissatisfaction than those who looked at cute cat pictures. This evidence further supports our hypothesis that social media negatively affects body image in women.

George Gerbner, a founder of Cultivation Theory, defines cultivation as “the independent contributions television viewing makes to viewer conceptions of social reality.” Gerber posits that media’s impact builds over time through frequent and repetitive exposure. Simply put, television viewers and media consumers are more likely to perceive the real world in accordance with what is expressed through mass media. For example, as females consistently view images of tall, thin women shown through various forms of media, there is a cumulative effect that many women will believe this unrealistic standard of beauty to be “REALITY.” This in effect causes thinner females to be perceived as “normal” and women not fitting that category as “abnormal.”

In phase 2, we will look more into depth of the above theories, as well as considering sexual objectification theory. We also hope to find statistical evidence of Facebook’s (along with other forms of social media) effects on eating disorders/happiness/self-esteem specifically. We will also make note of the increased prevalence of pinterest and tumblr boards specifically focusing on dieting/exercising and other posts relating to body image. For example, we will be following “Thinspiration’s” posts that are to “thinspire” people with eating disorders. Additionally, we will address the role of media’s tendency to objectify women through commercials and other advertisements. We are excited to look at how the ideal body image has changed over time and how media markets those changes (Barbie, mannequins, desirable facial features, airbrush, etc.). The documentary, Miss Representation will also be referenced to further support how women are perceived and depicted through mass media conglomerates. We will also include a plethora of statistics that will knock your socks (or the pounds) off! We hope to conclude our project by offering ways to cope with unrealistic standards as seen in the Digital Age as well as with the expectations reinforced through mass media.

This is a link to our tumblr where we have archived posts from our research (anorexia blogs, pinterest boards, and various advertisements objectifying women)

**Please take the survey below before class!**

Cyberspace and Self-Image


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#occupywallstreet #hailtothehipsters

// Posted by Emily on 04/15/2014 (12:51 PM)

 

It’s unsettling to think that the simple press on the enter bar in the tweet section of twitter can cause such a rampage. This is exactly how #Occupywallstreet was created. At the bottom of the… Read more

 

It’s unsettling to think that the simple press on the enter bar in the tweet section of twitter can cause such a rampage. This is exactly how #Occupywallstreet was created. At the bottom of the tweet, additional information such as “democracy no corporatocracy” and bring tent” were included. While this thought is unnerving, it is quite interesting to me that this protest crowd was younger, and in a way it makes me proud. All this talk lately of “hipsters,” had disappointed me, until I revisisted this rolling stone article. The hipster generation is described to be “indefinable” and I agreed. In Haddow’s article, he claims that the hipster generation is a lost generation, and it is so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new. While I formerly agreed, this makes me believe the opposite. We still have it in us to contribute and make a difference. Going off of that, over the weekend I have come to develop a new outlook on this whole “hipster” thing. The fact that the hipster generation are even noticed and have a name provides evidence that at least we are contributing to an extent. I also am still a little unsure of the term. I use “we” because while hipsters may be hypocritical and what not, “we” as a generation are lazy, not just the “hipsters.” I find the topic of the hipsters very interesting because I find myself torn a lot of the time. I think a part of me wants to think we are being activie in our communities and contributing somehow that we can someday tell our kids, but then again I’m not sure what exactly that is. I think this article touches on most of the aspects we talked about in class (hypocrtiticsm, PBRs, etc.) and it is taking place right here in Richmond.

http://www.timesdispatch.com/workitrichmond/news/hail-to-the-hipsters/article_0f65eaf2-e0fc-11e2-9274-0019bb30f31a.html

I think this article puts it into the perfect words the irony of being a hipster into the perfect words: “Hipsters, by definition, loathe doing what everyone else is doing. So being called a hipster suggests you’re not only trendy but also easily defined—which, of course, defies the point of being edgy, cool and underground in the first place. You can see how this gets complicated.”

I think my issue with the whole hipster idea is that at one point, being a so called “hipster” was “in” and was trendy, and to a certain extent it still is. A lot of people dress that way not because they actually like it but because it seems cool and seems different. Going to highschool in Richmond, I’ve seen people that I used to know that I would never have thought would dress the way they do now. And don’t get me wrong I believe people can change but I also think people change as the fad changes and this hipster cultural takeover is a result of that. I also have noticed a significant change in the hipster culture here. It has become very large in Richmond and has pretty much taken over Carytown. I hear a lot of people describe carytown as hipster and trendy.

I think the future is pretty unpredictable and pretty cyclic. As seen in the hipsters, trends and fads of thirty years ago are resurfacing. I think this is a natural part of the way things in our country work, especially fashion. For example, bell bottom jeans go in and out of style. It’s just the way it works. What do you think about hipsters? Have you noticed a change in the hipster culture since entering Richmond’s campus four years ago?


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Too Many Ambiguities

// Posted by Emily on 03/05/2014 (9:28 PM)

The two articles for Thursday posed some really interesting questions and. First, I want to point out a few things in the story about Aaron Schwartz. As mentioned in the article, Aaron’s family declared publicly that the government’s pursuit of… Read more

The two articles for Thursday posed some really interesting questions and. First, I want to point out a few things in the story about Aaron Schwartz. As mentioned in the article, Aaron’s family declared publicly that the government’s pursuit of Aaron’s arrest contributed to his suicide. Is it really fair to say that? We have debated back and forth so much throughout class that the government either is doing too much or too little when it comes to safety, protection, prosecution, etc. on the internet. We seem to not be able to decide the exact role the government should play. We say by spying the government is exerting too much power and invading too much privacy. When talking about all the hackings, riots as a result of social media, etc. we say that the government is not doing enough to prevent social catastrophes. So where is the line drawn? I am also confused about who and why the government decides to pursue in these situations. Obviously after all of the information we’ve learned thus far through articles and class, partaking in the risky business of the internet has become a pastime for a lot of people in our country. I don’t think it is necessarily fair for the few who are actually targeted and then prosecuted. I think it is taking it too far as to say the government played a role in Schwartz’s death. It also makes me question to what extent is something illegal or even wrong? This question is further analyzed in a quote from the genius himself– “Is sharing a video on BitTorrent like shoplifting from a movie store, or is it like loaning a videotape to a friend?” This is obviously an extremely gray area as typically this cannot be addressed unless the situation actually occurs. However, in terms of justice and establishing a finer line between the two, I think this idea needs to be addressed and a clear decision needs to be made. It will make virtual and real life much easier. I think one of the main problems is that people don’t necessarily know what they are doing is wrong. For example, the maid of honor who sings her speech to love story by taylor swift, only changing some of the words and completely keeping the tune, probably doesn’t realize that is technically illegal. But should that really be illegal? I don’t think so.

As for the Lanier article, he makes some pretty harsh claims. Coming from the inside out though, he is hard to completely ignore. He believes the massive use of the internet is shrinking the economy, exemplified in programs such as Facbeook and Google Translator. On this point, I disagree. How can Google translator, something that allows us to connect with other languages and cultures in a more efficient way, be shrinking our economy? Facebook has made billions of dollars (maybe not so ethically), creating jobs, innovating new ideas, and has expanded the world to be a much more connected place.

 

 

What would happen to suicide rates if the Internet did not exist the way it does? That is, no social media sites existed, etc. I would like to think rates wouldn’t be so high, but I don’t think that would be the case. I think that bullying has been in existence for decades, it just appears to be on the rise because we are now able to document it, publish it, and publicize it– The way we hurt each other has evolved. (Keep in mind that suicide is ranked as one of the top three causes of death in the 15-44 age group). This also feeds into another point Lanier makes, which is that anonymity is a “poison seed.” –the way it doesn’t hide, but brandishes the ugliness of human nature beneath the anonymous screen-name masks. Do you think the world would be a happier place without the mayhem of the Internet? I honestly do.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00v8lnq/The_Report_Suicide_and_the_Internet/

A podcast discussing the severity of suicide and the internet.

http://www.submitthedocumentary.com/screenings/

the trailer for a cyberbullying documentary


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Emily & Molly Response to Samantha Lopez: Knowledge is Power

// Posted by Emily on 02/24/2014 (3:15 PM)

http://youtu.be/hEqVlxJn9O8

http://youtu.be/hEqVlxJn9O8


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Response to Samantha Lopez: Knowledge is Power

// Posted by Emily on 02/21/2014 (5:43 PM)

Emily & Molly Video Response

Emily & Molly Video Response


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The Great Debate

// Posted by Emily on 02/03/2014 (12:23 AM)

Do social media benefits outweigh the risks? It is interesting to think about both its positive and negative effects. Yes, social media is an effective, simple way for people to connect, but it can also lead us into various dangers… Read more

Do social media benefits outweigh the risks? It is interesting to think about both its positive and negative effects. Yes, social media is an effective, simple way for people to connect, but it can also lead us into various dangers and deprivations. There have been numerous studies that have found that social media (Facebook, Twitter) create closer social ties and more of them. In contrast, it has also been proven that Americans have fewer intimate relationships toady than 20 years ago. So which one is it? I think Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together sums up my opinion, in which she basically focuses on not about her concern with political uses of the internet, but about its psychological side effects. It is shocking that teenagers send and receive between 6 and 8 thousand text messages a month. She says “Social networks are more like mutual isolation networks that detach people from meaningful interactions with one another and make us less human.” Basically, social networks are destroying real communication, dumbing down society, and leading to a society of people that have no idea how to actually function in the real world. While the technologies we have created are fascinating, we have let computers/phones/etc diminish us and let them control every facet of our lives. In an article I read, Simone Back from the UK announced her suicide through a facebook status. Not one of her over 1,000 friends reached out to her in response to her post, but rather the status turned into a debate about whether or not Back had the freedom to kill herself. This saddens me that 1) no one contacted her despite her many friends and connections and 2) she would even resort to leaking that kind of information on a public social media site. This goes to show how although social media has the ability to create and strengthen social ties, it does not always serve that purpose. This leads me to another point that the information people are willing to share on facebook, twitter, etc. is incredible. People make announcements that are extremely personal and should one-hundred percent be kept off of the internet. For example, I have seen people announce abortions and drug addictions….. need I say more?

This is an interesting article about Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/books/22book.html?_r=0

I also thought it really put the popularity into perspective after looking at some statistics on this site: http://socialmediatoday.com/jonathan-bernstein/1894441/social-media-stats-facts-2013


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Technology and Self-Esteem

// Posted by Emily on 01/20/2014 (2:49 PM)

I personally find the digital age in America to be somewhat sad and depressing. Interactions are less meaningful and the emphasis placed on technology is way too large. I worry about the future of the united states in many regards.… Read more

I personally find the digital age in America to be somewhat sad and depressing. Interactions are less meaningful and the emphasis placed on technology is way too large. I worry about the future of the united states in many regards. The first being how our generation is far too obsessed with Facebook, Twitter, and in general bragging about experiences by uploading photo after photo. It has been proven that using these social media websites daily can contribute to lower self-esteem. We have been robbed of face to face (and in my opinion, more personal) relationships. Second, this reliance on media through the use cell phones, televisions, ipads, computers, etc. has created a divide in the relationships we have developed. It almost seems as if friendships and relationships are fake. Technology serves as a mask that we are all able to hide behind when communicating. We are so engulfed in social media that it is now a representation of who we are (or maybe rather who we want to be). I also have come to the conclusion that social media is a contributing factor to the failure of marriages. It is now MUCH easier to cheat through the use of technologies that connect us to anywhere in the world. We meet someone at a bar and can now pursue that person through phones, the internet, etc. In addition to this, social media/technology has given men the opportunity to be lazy. No longer do men pursue women and make an effort, it is as easy as sending a simple text. Compared to the courting men used to do, which involves meeting familes/parents, etc. technology has created an easy way out of having to do so. Lastly, technology has largely contributed to low self esteem and body image issues. Technology enforces an “ideal” but impossible standard of beauty through advertising models, makeup products, etc. This automatically has caused the world to be an unhappier place than it used to be. We cannot deny that we are all addicted to technology, and it is now a NECESSITY in our daily lives and routines. I don’t think it would be possible to live a day without it, which is quite sad and quite frightening.

These two links are articles about the possible repercussions using facebook can have on self esteem:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-addicts-may-have-lower-self-esteem-says-study/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/10/04/facebook-happiness-and-self-esteem/

While technology has generated disadvantages in the world, I do think our country has benefitted as well. The progression of technology and technological devices is amazing, and has given us the capacity to do/research just about anything. It is incredible that we can connect with someone in Australia, or research online about an event that happened hundreds of years ago. Our culture has evolved into an extremely intelligent one, and we can accredit some of that to technology.

One thing I have found very interesting so far about the book is the protest and objection of technology by college students. You would think that they would embrace something so new and exciting, as it turns out they were very closed off to the idea. Talking about the advancement of technology with my parents has really put it into perspective. Life was so simple and to my surprise sometimes I think I would prefer to be technology free, and to be able to experience the simplicity they did. We are so often caught up in the lives of others, when we really should just be concerned about our own. It is troubling to think about what the future holds for our children. Will there be flying cars and cell phones programmed into our arms? It is scary to think about, but the fact of the matter is is that our parents’ generation had no idea what was coming, and we won’t either. I hate that I use expressions such as “fired up” and “strung out.” I don’t like the describing our living human bodies as a computerized, inanimate machine. It should not be this way.


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