Tag Archives: independent study

NEW BLOG

This blog will from this point forward be turned over to my independent study project (see the CURRENTLY page tab) and posts will be dedicated to collecting information, hosting artwork, etc etc.

Written work will henceforth take place on RUNNING AWAY SOUTH. Enjoy!

Love & Text

In the midst of a really, really bad god awful Monday, I remembered that I love passiveaggressivenotes.com, and boy oh boy am I glad I did; they really made me feel a lot better. Well, fleetingly a little better, but the point is, I really identify with this sign. Major props to the artist who was posting these up, even if it is a little soap-boxy, because I definitely do that all the god damn time. Really. I’m awful at it. I hate being places alone, and I hate even more looking like I’m alone, so I play with my phone. For what reason? I’m not sure. Maybe to let other people know that I have friends?

It seems like a weird catch-22, because in reality, our society spends a lot of time alone. Even when we’re together – internet, phone call, text, whatever – we’re alone. So why do we care so much that it’s happening? Maybe we’re all just trying to connect to something.

…and they lived tweetably ever after.

A boring night at work led me to reading back logged ‘Freshly Pressed’ articles, which was maybe a huge blessing in disguise because I stumbled upon Maggiecake’s great entry about social media and storytelling. She references this great article about the potential for telling stories over social media and technology.

I think both are totally fascinating. In addition to my BFA in Drawing, I’m also pursuing a Writing Minor and I intend to (eventually) get my MFA in Creative Writing (or something similar). To be perfectly honest, I really never thought of social media as an outlet for telling anything other than my story – which I guess is kind of selfish but maybe also just a marker of my generation.

I think that story telling and technology are still totally possible. In my book arts class, we’ve talked about how digital books can be made in InDesign or compiled through many other design programs. Recently, the very talented Danielle Rosen presented a website as a book to play with the use of language. All of that aside, social media itself is driven by narrative; our lives are driven by narrative. Whether you realize it or not, every status update compiles into a greater story. All that’s missing is a greater intent.

I would love to see someone compile tweets or facebook status updates to create a memoir or autobiography. It would also be pretty great to start a fiction story via something like tweets – where you can tag people – and tag the next person to continue your story. They tag the next person, they tag the next person, so on and so forth until you’ve all created a vast narrative that spans the internet. That’s something that I want to see.

Pro: Con | Con: Pro

When people talk about social media, they use words like ‘new,’ ‘different,’ ‘change.’ All of these things are fairly ambiguous because they do not lean either way to the positive or the negative: they just are. Recently, MIAD’s Senior Thesis Exhibition saw people arguing both sides of the spectrum: on one hand, that social media such as Twitter can be immensely helpful and good. On the other, that it can be dangerous and addicting.

So which one is the right answer? What is it? I think that simply, it just is. It is addicting – the countless hours I log online (mostly on facebook) can attest to that – but it can undoubtedly be helpful. Personally, I’m not sure if the cons outweigh the pros yet. As someone who has lived through the time just before social media, through its earliest days on Myspace, and into a Facebook frenzy, I can attest that there are things that I’m unhappy about. I miss sitting on the phone with my friends for hours (phones now make me uncomfortable), I miss being excited to see a new haircut (rather than seeing a picture as soon as it happens), I miss the elements of chance that came with not knowing peoples every movement.

But at the same time, there are many things that I’m happy for. I’m happy that I can stay connected to all of my friends, whether they are living down the street or across the world. Should I or any of my friends move, it becomes much easier to stay in touch and connected; moving no longer means being alone in a strange place. I’m happy that I can share a great deal of information more quickly.

Overall, I think the full effects of social media are something that won’t be fully known until we see an adult generation that is no longer nostalgic for answering machines, landlines, and snail mail birthday invitations. Undoubtedly, everyone is changing as a result of the new technology; but until we know the complete effect of that technology on individuals who only know that technological world, we will not know whether these effects can truly be considered as a positive or a negative.