It Happened To Me: My Online Dating Profile Inspired A Whole Forum Thread Dedicated To What A Whore I Am

Just a warning, there is some vulgar language within the podcast. So it’s NSFW.. kinda.

Okay so, I suck and for some reason I couldn’t get this podcast to save itself in one whole segment…. so you get two!

This podcast is based on an article I found on Reddit a couple weeks ago, written by a young woman named Mara Mercer. The link to the article is at the bottom.

So there they are. I seriously despise my voice so I’m sorry if I sound terribly awkward and/or uncomfortable… because I am. This article really did affect me though, and I wanted to share it. Most of what I want to say is in the podcast, but for the most part I was just completely shocked at how misogynistic and sexist some men can be. I definitely don’t intend to generalize or make blanket statements about either gender, so please don’t take this as such. It’s just in regards to one situation. Sexism goes both ways, and I don’t want to be considered as some kind of staunch man-hating feminist. Sexuality is inherent in both genders, and that’s why I feel like it should be embraced instead of shunned. The unfortunate truth about it, however, is that (heterosexual) men have much more freedom than women when it comes to their sexuality, and the fact that some of them think it is appropriate or acceptable to dictate what a woman does with her own body needs to stop.

Here is the article that I read, in its entirety. If you decide to read it, I’d definitely love to read any comments or ideas you have on her story, or about the topic in general.

http://www.xojane.com/sex/men-going-their-own-way-forums-has-a-whole-thread-dedicated-to-what-a-whore-i-am

xoxo Chelsea

Piracy Summative

Hey guys! First of all thanks so much for all of the positive feedback, it really makes writing so much more enjoyable for me. I’m glad you all agreed with what I was trying to say as well, even though it was hardly a valid argument haha. Even after reading everyone’s posts I have to say that I’m still sitting on the fence.

All the cool kids are doing it

kinda self explanatory I guess.

kinda self explanatory I guess.

Hello lovelies, hope everyone’s been having a good week.

This particular set of readings (and video) were very interesting to me. I’ll definitely admit that I’m guilty of pirating, and not the eye-patch and wooden leg kind. I’ve always been kind of torn about it, for many reasons that I will now put into a list for your reading pleasure.

for pirating:

  • I’m poor, who has 20 dollars for a cd/dvd/bluray when I have to buy gas… just so I can get to work?
  • I’m lazy, why would I want to go out of my way to go somewhere to buy something when I can do it faster at home, and with no pants on?
  • What if I don’t want an entire album, just a couple songs? What if I want every album, but don’t want to pay a lot?
  • Did I mention that I’m lazy and broke?
  • 99cents for a song is a bit much… (not really, but that could be Tim’s money)
  • etc etc etc

against pirating:

  • If I’m pirating movies, I’m hurting the exact industry that I’m hoping to find a career in
  • I don’t really want to watch The Avengers as seen through someone’s iPhone at the theatre
  • I really do feel bad not supporting artists/filmmakers that I like
  • I should probably get out of the house/put pants on once in a while
  • The internet can be real slow sometimes.

Basically… those are all really stupid reasons. For the most part though, my main dilemma is “I don’t have enough money to enjoy this otherwise” vs. “One day I’m going to be looking for a job, and there won’t be one because of people like me”. Which is really kind of ironic if you think about it. I can’t afford the media, but if I steal there will be less jobs in the industry, and then I really won’t be able to afford the media. So that’s my little intro rant about why this was an interesting topic for me.

Something that really stood out to me was in the TedTalks video was when Larry Lessig says that “Tools of creativity have become tools of speech. It’s a literacy of our generation.” It’s so true. Young people need these skills not only to be successful, but to be considered competent. Our generation is far more critical on your ability to navigate the internet than they are on your ability to analyze Shakespearean texts. But, time’s change, and that’s where we’re at now. Whether or not you think that shift is detrimental is your on prerogative, but there is no denying that it has happened. That being said, clearly piracy is going to be at an all time high. The kids who can torrent entire programs are cooler (cool is a relative term here) than the kids who can only figure out how to download a song off of Limewire. You know why they’re cooler? Because they’re handy. My little brother has been able to get me Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Final Cut, AutoCad and several other really, really expensive programs for free. Two years ago when I was taking Interior Design at college, I was already on the verge of a mental breakdown from having to pay almost 200 dollars for markers, I think having to spend thousands of dollars on computer software would have put me in a home. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is… yes. We are a generation of pirates. But most of us are the Robin Hood-y, “steal from the rich give to the poor’ kind of thieves… or so we think.

“Young people, using computers to download digitized intellectual property, are today’s pirates. Their behavior allegedly undermines the financial and artistic interests of those claiming ownership of incorporeal intellectual property.” That quote is from Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates by Kevin F Steinmetz and Kenneth D Tunnell. I like the use of the word allegedly. I’m sure its meant to be politically correct, but to me it just sounds sassy, haha. Yes, these pirates are taking things that don’t belong to them, and for a while it was really hurting a lot of industries. BUT! As my boyfriend Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, “life will find a way.” Alright, so, people start downloading movies. What do we do? Create an internet based movie rental company with hundreds of titles available at the users fingertips: Netflix. Okay, people stopped buying music and now they only want single songs or something to play once in a while. What do we do? Create user anticipation for video releases, lyric videos, etc and make money off of ads: Youtube. People are torrenting our programs and using them for free, what do we do? Release free downloads of software with updates available for purchase. Things started popping up like Kickstarter, a website where pretty much anyone can ask the general public for funding for projects. Understandably, there is still a LOT of struggle within the industry. But things like film festivals, concerts, and other special events will never lose their appeal. Things may not be what they used to, but the industry will continue to adapt. This is just another speedbump. Nobody thought the film industry would ever recover from the introduction of the “talkie” but look where we are now. Life will find a way.

Another thing that stood out to me was the general reasons they collected as to why people would pirate this stuff. “…Because of most pirates’ attitudes about private property, most of the motivations we have discovered have a common thematic underpinning- finances=economy. We identified four motivations for engaging in privacy, namely (1) to share culture = content, (2) to sample, (3) the inability to afford content and (4) to undermine the current copyright regime.”

I think it’s already pretty clear which of those “motivations” I agree with most, but I’ll talk about why I agree with the rest of them as well. Beginning with (4), I’ll say that I think this is definitely the most extreme motivation. When I’m sitting in bed eating an entire bag of Doritos thinking, “man, I haven’t heard Country Grammar in a while, I’m gunna download that.” I’m not doing it because I hate Nelly and wish his career would fail and that by downloading this song I’m subtly but effectively protesting against “the man”. I’m not. I wan’t to jam out to some Nelly. That’s what I’m thinking. But unfortunately not everyone has that attitude. There have been dozens of laws introduced in the last couple of years trying to infringe on the publics right to content, and people do NOT like it. So yeah, some people will definitely download as much as possible just as some kind of passive agressive “F*CK YOU” to whoever they think is monitoring their activity. These people also probably tell their parents they hate them when they get Blackberries instead of iPhones for Christmas. I’m assuming, anyways.

So I know this has been relatively scattered and that I don’t particularly have an argument… but that’s because I don’t. I’m really on the fence with this whole thing. I’ve been on the fence for so long that I’m starting to become impaled by it. Yes, I think it sucks that pirating has become so common and its unfortunate that the industry gets affected by it. Yes, I think the industry has come up with some interesting and innovative ways in order to combat the losses that accompany pirating. No, I don’t think it will stop anytime soon unless we all have someone physically standing behind us saying “Hey.. don’t do that. I’ll beat you up.” What it comes down to is that if I have some extra cash around to go see a movie, (and an extra thousand dollars so I can feed myself at the theatre) I’ll probably go. But some days I don’t have that money, and I don’t want to wear pants, but I really want to see the movie. So I will.

Ugh. I don’t know. This has left me even more confused than I was in the beginning. Support your local artists, go see some shows, and if you’re really passionate about someone then give them some money… I think.

AHHHHHHH.

xoxoxo chelsea

Boo you, whore.

I really like the mean girls references lately. This is a super awkward video of myself trying to form coherent sentences. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t happen. I’m much better at organizing my thoughts when I write them, but reading from a script just didn’t seem natural. So hopefully this isn’t totally painful for people to watch!

ps: Sorry about the lack of comments/blog posts for this module. Life got pretty hectic for a few days, but I’ll be back on track for this week so I look forward to reading all your stuff!

xo chelsea

Op-Ed: Slut Shaming

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The concept of slut-shaming is undoubtedly controversial, and I’m sure you were able to guess that just by the name. Essentially, it is when persons, male or female, look down on women who engage in sexual or questionable activities that typically do not represent the “traditional” female roles. Things like dressing provocatively, wearing a lot of makeup, dating frequently, having multiple sexual partners, and even using vulgar language are all things that people use against women in order to make them feel guilty. Some will even go so far as to make rape victims feel as if they were the ones who did something wrong, and the rape was their fault. This is only a fraction of reasons why slut-shaming occurs. Of course, a lot of this stems from societal influences, but it is emphasized by personal biases and ignorance. It is not uncommon for women to be told that they are “asking to be raped” if they wear skirts that are too short, or a top with too much cleavage. It is completely ridiculous.

Due to the controversial nature of the subject, the Wikipedia entry has also been under some pretty heavy scrutiny. It has been nominated for deletion twice, and there are plenty of statements that people have asked to be edited or removed. Also due to the fact that it is such an intense topic, people who contribute to the page often get offended when they feel like something is missing or insufficiently covered. In articles like this, it is impossible for the contributors to be unbiased because they are talking about an issue that is clearly important to them. The users are in control of what is posted, and just because they are not scholars necessarily does not mean their opinions are invalid. Royal and Kapila explain that being user-based does not necessarily mean it is illegitimate information.

“This analysis supports the idea that Wikipedia is more a socially produced document than a value-free information source. It reflects the viewpoints, interests, and emphases of the people who use it. This has implications for all sites that rely on user-generated content, and these trends will become more important as Web 2.0 technologies become increasingly available and widely used.” (Royal & Kapila, What’s on Wikipedia, and What’s Not?)

Of course this means that there will eventually be more detailed pages than others depending on their popularity and the desire of the public to write about them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all arguments are invalid. This being said, having an open forum for people to publish information without scholarly sources invites a lot of opportunity for conflict between users. The idea of slut-shaming is something that people have very strong opinions on, and disagreement between the contributors is common. One user says, “I have a thought: it’s terribly written and poorly verified, and I wonder if there’s just one editor behind all those IPs.” making a direct comment on whoever has written the article. Disagreement is inevitable, but the ability to come to a general consensus requires work and positive discussion on these forums.

One of the most obvious qualities of this page is that the users are all extremely passionate about what they’re writing about. They aren’t publishing information that is cut and dry, it is all a matter of personal opinion. These people care about what they are writing about, and ultimately get fairly upset when other users criticize their opinions or ideas. “No offense, but you’re really grasping at straws by repeating this argument. You’ve hastily generalized the source into a bucket of non-reliability based on its URL, rather than objectively examining the source content. You’ve repeatedly used the descriptor ‘random’ to support your case, but that’s where the fallacy lies.” One user clearly agrees with what has been published on the page. The people who spend time contributing to the page have just as much responsibility to monitor and edit it. These people are taking time to ensure the page has as much credibility and validity as possible. In Van Dijck and Nieborg’s article, “Wikinomics and its discontents: a critical analyis of Web 2.0 business manifestos”, they state: “Users constitute an army of volunteers or amateurs who dedicate their time and energy to developing and sustaining a vast array of networked products and services (from Linux and Wikipedia to YouTube and MySpace); all users supposedly contribute content out of a basic human need to communicate, gather knowledge and information or express oneself creatively. In so doing, users create value for shareholders and companies provide platforms for people such as this to share and create content.”

One thing I noticed about the slut-shaming talk page is that many people were using other blogs as sources for information. “If you want to say that it’s “a term used in social propaganda” you need reliable sources to support the inclusion. WordPress blogs are generally not considered reliable sources so you’ll have to make extraordinary arguments if you want to use this one.” So, even despite people already believing that Wikipedia is an unreliable source of information, within the website people still criticize sources that are not deemed reliable. This obviously implies that although Wiki carries the stigma of being an unreliable source, the contributors take their own sources very seriously. “With the academic hierarchical structure that privileges scholarly achievements. Wikipedia editors almost never claim authorship of published scholarly books and articles. That sort of expertise is not welcome in Wikipedia; editors rarely mention that they possess advanced training or degrees. Indeed the use of anonymous usernames breaks the link between the outside hierarchical academic world, where reputation is accumulated through degrees, appointments, and academic honors, and Wikipedia’s hyperequalitarianism. (Richard Jensen, Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812) Nowhere on the article do people throw around their credentials, instead people choose to remain anonymous and all on an equal playing field. This allows arguments to be constructive rather than condescending.

Overall the use of the talk page can be very helpful if the people who are contributing to it choose to behave in a positive, constructive manner. Anyone has the freedom to say whatever they’d like, especially when there is a veil of anonymity involved. Fortunately the people who choose to edit the pages are typically very passionate about the issue at hand, and because of that they will take their work very seriously. 

related blogs:

http://agirlthatfoundlove.wordpress.com/

https://wordpress.com/#!/read/blog/id/51411963/

http://ms10ay.wordpress.com

image source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb3asnehyf1qlw3mqo2_r1_500.gif

Hope you’re all having a tolerable Monday!Thanks to

Hope you’re all having a tolerable Monday!

Thanks to everyone for the comments, they’re just as fun to read as the blog posts. I was glad to see that people enjoyed reading what I had wrote, that makes it a lot more enjoyable for me! I’m also really happy that you all saw my point of view. After reading everyone’s posts I realized that a couple of you seemed to have the same outlook as me. I also noticed that some of you also use Wiki as entertainment, more than a place for research.

I think it’s important to understand that Wikipedia is more of an online community than it is an encyclopedia. Yes, it’s a place to find information about subjects, but because anyone is free to contribute whatever they want, it becomes more of a social media outlet than it is a reliable source of information. Again, I’ll compare it to Reddit. Although there are definitely tons of things that can be learned from Reddit, first and foremost it is an online forum for people to discuss issues and interests. It would be just as appropriate for me to use the opinion of a Redditor as it would be to use a Wiki entry. It’s hard to trust anything online, but knowing that the source is just another person who potentially has no credibility whatsoever makes it more of a risk. It is definitely in someones better interest to gather resources from a website without user-based content.

I think what everyone has been able to gain from this weeks readings is that Wikipedia isn’t, and probably never will be extremely reliable. We’re told to stay away from it by teachers as soon as we start using the internet, and for good reasons. Ultimately it is a tool at our disposal, but not necessarily one we should use. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

“It’s definitely true, I read it on the internet.”

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This first part is kind of a rant, but bear with me.

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the last five years, you’ll be hard pressed to say you haven’t seen at least one picture that includes the following:

  1. A pretty picture with some kind of filter
  2. A quote in an equally pretty typography
  3. Credit to the author, who is probably (definitely) not the real author.

If I have to see one more “Drake” quote over top of a black and white picture of a dock at sunset, I will lose my mind. Now of course these Tumblr-esque photographs have gotten exceedingly popular with young people aged 11-25 (or older, depending on their access to education). These quotes offer some relevance to their lives, and they post them on their networks as some sort of stress relief/cry for help/attention seeking… nonsense. I’m not sure what to call it. Whatever it is, it’s annoying. Now, I’m not trying to berate people who use quotes to seek clarity or inspiration, and I’m definitely not upset about the people who want to share these quotes with their friends. My problem is the people who have no respect for actual quotes. Nothing against Rihanna, but she didn’t say “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” That was Oscar Wilde. But guess what? Nobody knows who Oscar Wilde is. So people continue to live their lives as if BadGalRiRi is some sort of poetic genius.

Anyways, those poorly cited quotes are just a blip on the radar of illegitimate internet sources. The biggest, and most culturally relevant, being Wikipedia. Personally, I love it. I love that I can Google literally anything and I’m 99% sure there will be a full page dedicated to feeding my curiosity on a subject. From flesh eating disease to film reviews, they’re on there. And I love it. Now, just like all the precious teeny-boppers confusing century old literature with Lil Wayne lyrics, there are people out there who think they have something to contribute to the vast collection of information that is Wikipedia. Fortunately for them, they have every right and capability to do so. Although I’m still not entirely sure how it works, I’m fairly positive you can at least try to write whatever you want on Wikipedia.

Here’s the thing, though. (Most/Intelligent) people know that Wikipedia is a user-based website. That’s all part of the mystery though, isn’t it? Wikipedia is the charming, well-rounded friend you have that has some good stuff to say, but hey, everyone can’t be right all the time. Right? That’s my outlook on it anyways. Wiki is something that must be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, many, many people will choose to go off of what they read on Wiki as exact fact, but not everybody does. I tend to use the website more as a starting point, especially when I’m trying to do legitimate research for something. For example, let’s say I was researching “Slut-Shaming” (just to keep the theme of this blog relevant). I would read the article that is written there as a starting point, so that I have some general knowledge about what it is. There is a quote from a woman named Emily Bazelon, who seems like she has some interesting things to say. I’d open a tab and search her name, and see if she’s done any further work in this area. Further down, there is a link about the “SlutWalk” protest, so I would look into that as well. Long story short, Wikipedia shouldn’t be used as a main source for anything. It’s a starting point, a place to find more things to look for.

I’d also like to bring up the popular website Reddit. I’m a member of the site, but I rarely ever post. In Jose Van Dijck and David Nieborg’s article, “Wikinomics and its Discontents: A Critical Analysis of Web 2.0 Business Manifestos”, they state that “Of those people who use the internet regularly, 52% are inactives, another 33% are “passive spectators”, and only 13% are actual creators.” I like this statistic because not only does it show how massive the internet community is (when you consider how much is being posted, and how that reflects only 13% of users) but also how many people are simply looking, and not contributing. On Reddit and similar sites, these people are called “lurkers”. These people look at content that is interesting to them, but they don’t feel the need to actually be a part of the discussion. Reddit is different from Wikipedia in the sense that people can ask questions, and request responses. Like Wikipedia however, the reliability of these responses is questionable. Just because somebody says they are a doctor online doesn’t mean they are one. Yes, there are circumstances where people can prove these things… but people are usually not skeptical enough to care.

In Jensen’s article he notes that “they rely on free online sources and popular books, and generally ignore historiography and scholarly monographs and articles.” I think that this is reasonable. If people are trying to do legitimate research, they are going to go beyond Wikipedia. People are aware that what they are reading is not necessarily reliable. It’s Wikipedia, not a textbook.

I think that one of the best things about our generation is that we have resources that allow us to feed our curiosity. If you really wanted to, you could teach yourself anything. There are infinite avenues to explore on the internet. I for one am extremely happy about the fact that I can read about extinct species of frogs, or discontinued pudding flavours, or what kind of lightbulbs are in tanning beds whenever I want. Yeah, maybe some guy sitting in his living room in Tennessee wrote the article I’m reading, but who cares? I probably wouldn’t take that same guys opinion about the Rwandan Genocide as seriously. In Cindy Royal and Deepina Kapila’s paper, they mention that historical topics are not as well-covered as current events. I feel like that’s a fairly obvious statement to make. Going to Wikipedia for 100% reliable historical fact is like going to McDonalds for a salad. Sure, you can get one, but you could probably get a better one somewhere else.

I’ll just wrap this up by saying, check your sources, don’t believe everything you read, and please, for the love of God make sure you know who actually spoke the words of the quotes you post. 

xoxox Chelsea

image source: http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dont-believe-everything-you-see-on-the-internet.jpg

Hey everybody! Hope you had a great long

Hey everybody! Hope you had a great long weekend.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who stopped by to read/comment on my blog! I’ve been reading all of your replies and the feedback was super positive and helpful. I’d like to address some of the things I didn’t get to say, or some of the things that may have sounded a bit contradictory.

First of all, I definitely agree with what people have said about other peoples SNS habits impacting their lives more than they would like. For example, when a group of friends are out to do something but everybody else is on their phone. It’s unfortunate that not everybody is able to maintain that balance. I’ve definitely had times when I’ve wanted to have a conversation with somebody but they’re far too interested in whatever is happening on their iPhone to care what happened to come out of my mouth. I guess this is just a sad truth about our society now, though. Some people will care, some people won’t. I guess you just have to focus your time on the ones who do.

I guess it’s true that with the growing popularity of social networking comes the inevitable decline of human interaction, at least on some level. Even if you are having a conversation with the person in front of you, it’s likely that you’re also texting someone you’re not with. What it all comes down to is that every person is an individual, and how much you let the internet dictate your life depends on yourself.

Hope to hear from you guys soon 🙂

xoxox chelsea

Just a quick little rant…

This is not my post to be graded.

Today I went for an open job interview for a bar that’s opening near my house. There was a group of about 12 of us waiting in the room to be interviewed. They were taking about 10-15 minutes each, so we had to wait quite a while. Some of the people in the room had known each other previously, others were making small talk. One guy who ended up sitting beside me started asking me a bunch of conversation-starter type questions, and I won’t lie I was pretty irritable because I was hot, nervous, and anxious waiting for this interview. I didn’t want to talk. He made me want to talk even less. The “highlights” of our conversation went kind of like this:

Guy: Whats your name?

Me: Chelsea

Guy: Oh, nice. Crystal?

Me: Chelsea.

Everyone in the room starts a discussion about tattoos.

Guy: I hate that thing on your arm.

Me: What do you have against butterflies? (I have a butterfly tattoo on my right forearm)

Guy: Nothing. Tattoos are disgusting. What are this symbols?

Me: They’re the planetary symbols. I’ve always had an interest in space. (I have the planetary symbols around my left forearm)

Guy: *Rolls his eyes* Whatever, you can go ahead putting that devil nonsense all over you. It’s disgusting. You have a boyfriend?

Me: No, not at the moment.

Guy: Well maybe if you had better skin. You smoke?

Me: No.

Guy: Oh man, well maybe now you’re impressing me. Everyone smokes. That just got you some points with me. Except those tattoos are gunna have to go, at least cover them up.

Me: Well, luckily I’m not here to impress you, am I?

And that was pretty much the gist of that conversation. Riveting, right? Honestly, I’m not a prude. I have no problems with guys trying to talk to me, or hit on me, or even just be friends with me. I have no preconceived notions about what people might want from me. THIS however, was utterly repulsive. First of all, I’m at a group interview with you… we may very likely be working together at some point, and I already don’t like you. Second of all, what I put on my skin is my own business. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. For him to not only insult things I’ve put on my body for extremely personal reasons, but to then continue to berate me for it and call it “work of the devil” or whatever, is outrageous. I’m not here to impress you. I do not dress myself, do my makeup, or arrange tattoos on my body to please other people. I do it for me. So, if by any chance I end up working with this guy, it’s safe to say we will not be buddies.  

People are awful sometimes.

Social Networking is the Decline of Conversation (JK no it’s not lolz)

the more you go on Facebook, the more likely it is that you'll get sucked into your monitor by ghosts. I'm 97% sure about that.

the more you go on Facebook, the more likely it is that you’ll get sucked into your monitor by ghosts. I’m 97% sure about that.

First of all, the title is supposed to be funny. Kind of. In an ironic way.

It’s difficult to deny the fact that most people prefer to interact with their Smartphone than another human being. Although I’m sure that there have always been the kinds of people who “hate people” (I can be one of them) this is only magnified by the fact that we really don’t have to interact with them as much.

Personally, I feel that I am able to maintain a healthy balance between face to face interaction and social media. The person who I am online is the same person I am in real life, except maybe with the added bonus of spell-check. I feel no need to spill all of my secrets and daily to my 382 followers on Twitter, nor do I feel the need to say “Happy birthday!” to every single person who happens to pop up in my events box. Luckily, I find myself to still be grounded in reality. If I need to say happy birthday to somebody, I should have their number to call them.

I know many people who are very willing to release their most personal details on their social networks, which they then connect to all of their other social networks. I don’t necessarily see the point in that. I can validate making these posts under a veil of anonymity, simply as a way of venting… But I have never seen, and don’t think I ever will, the appeal of telling hundreds of acquaintances about every skeleton in my closet. I choose to share parts of my life online based on what I think other peoples reactions will be, and whether or not they can relate. So, something like, “today my boyfriend and I got into a huge fight and he left me on the side of the highway. I don’t understand how he could do this to me, I love him so much!! Guys suck!” would not be something I’d feel like sharing. Stories like that should be saved for close friends and possibly a therapist. I would instead post something about my cat, or how troubling it can be to have breasts too large for most shirts, or funny jokes I thought about in my head that unfortunately nobody was around to hear. Things like that. But, that being said, not everybody can think like me.

In Turkle’s article, “The Flight from Conversation”, I think she makes a lot of extremely harsh generalizations about people who enjoy social media. Yes, people enjoy texting. Yes, people like Facebook. But this doesn’t automatically turn them into mindless zombies, constantly refreshing their news feeds hoping someone new from high school has gotten pregnant. I’m sure there are many people like this, but to assume everyone who connects themselves to a social network has the same behaviour is a little bit presumptuous. I probably know just as many people who love to talk as I do who love Instagram… and neither of them are social outcasts. Texting has made conversation more convenient, and at times a little more complicated, but it has not completely diminished the appeal of talking to another person. The entire point of texting and social networking is to interact with people you like, regardless of your physical distance from one another. So, if I can have a conversation with my cousin from England over Facebook when she’s there, and I can actually look in her eyes and have a real conversation when she’s beside me, who is that hurting?

My motto has always been “everything in moderation”. If you sit on Facebook 12 hours of the day, you’re probably going to be a little messed up. But if you don’t ever stop talking and have a little quiet time, you’re going to be messed up too! People are quick to judge social networking because they like to focus on how detrimental they can be, but you can do that with anything. I don’t see anything wrong with me texting a friend who lives a couple hours away to catch up, or looking through the pictures she’s uploaded, or seeing what she’s been up to. If people can balance social networking with real life, there should be no problem, and if you start to think Facebook is better than real life…. you have bigger problems.

Thanks for reading, kids. Until next time.

xoxox chelsea

ps: I know that the picture is a television, but just pretend its a computer monitor… or an iPad. Or a TV that has been hooked up to the internet. You get it.

image source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-j3RogLD_qio/UH2DUSfVXOI/AAAAAAAAF2I/hFhsrBpiQMc/s1600/poltergeist-original.jpg