what was driven home

20 08 2007

hmmmmm…I’m not sure how to sum up my experiences with Cyborgs in Cyberspace.   First of all I gained an idea of what a cyborg is and what Cyberspace constitutes.  I become more proficient of the computer and learned a few new tricks on the internet.  I picked up a few names of some cool websites and explored new frontiers of cyberspace.  But, I think what has impressed me the most is how much of an influence technology plays in my life and in the lives of society as a whole.  I’ve realized more and more that there how much the internet is integrated into my life and some many different ways.  I’ve gained appreciation for how much is available through the internet and difficulty that exists in conceptualizing that.

Thing thing that I have though most about and have gone home and discussed with my husband several times is the internet’s ability to make things accessible.  Information is a few clicks of a mouse away.  objects can be purchased as well.  The internet offers pretty of entertainment opportunities as well.  We were talking just last night about how much we prefer reading the news on the net rather than watching what we feel  is a skewed version on T.V.  We love how much smaller the globe becomes through the internet.

Another thing I’ve thought about is have permanent and accessible to everyone else the information i post on the internet it.  I’m not sure I like my identity existing in cyberspace.  As I’ve worked thought he material in this class, I’ve though a lot about leaving traces of myself behind in cyberspace.  I’ve thought a lot about social networks and Facebook.  I’ve rethought my own Facebook account several times and wondered if it would even matter if I deleted it, because it would still be there.

Cyberspace it quite abstract, but I really think that it is important to conceptualize it and begin to form an understanding of it because of it’s huge influence and awesome potential.  That is the opinion I have formed over the past 3 weeks and one that I will continue to think about.


Blah Blah Blog

20 08 2007

In all honesty I think that blogging was probably my least favorite  part of this class.    I normally try not to be too opinionated and I don’t like to verbalize my opinions publicly like this.  I think that strong opinions are often a source of contention and offense and I like to be face to face with someone when I talk about my impressions and observations.  I like it to be an open discussion where I can hear the thoughts of whoever I am talking to.  I don’t like this form of discourse by Fignewton – take it or leave it.  I like to talk about these things a lot more than i enjoying bloging about them.

I tend to be a little bit more private as well and I sometimes hesitate in writing about stories and experiences from my life on my blog page.  I don’t know who my audience is.  I don’t know who is going to stumble upon one of my blogs one day and I don’t like thinking that pieces of my personal story are floating freely in cyberspace.

I also feel like blogging is a little bit self centered.  I’m the one doing all the talking and it all comes from my perspective and tis all about me.  Sometimes I feel like it turns into an exercise in blah blah blogging type rambles.  I’ve come across lots of different types of blogs during my internet using days and sometimes it just seems like people are blowing steam or rambling just for the sake of keeping their blog alive.  It was said in class that lots of people begin blogging with the thought that they have lots to say but once they begin they find that there isn’t much to write about.  I think I would run into that problem if I were to continue this blog.  I would run out of things that I wanted to tell cyberspace.  I’m a pretty talkative person and I hardly ever run out of things to say to people, but if I were to be posting information to an unknown audience, I would quickly run out to things I am willing to share.

This blogging in class has been a good exercise though.  I learned how to blog and a lot more about it that I didn’t know before.  But it was especially effective in helping me to think about the concepts and ideas we were discussing outside of class.  I think it was an effective teaching device but I as a whole I don’t think I will continue to blah blah blog.

Care to answer a Question?

20 08 2007

In preparation for my paper on Online trust and identity which looked at social newtworking sites, I preformed a min interview. I asked 10 friends the same questions. I thought that people’s responses where interesting and thought that other people might find them of interest too so I am going to post them on here as today’s blog. Because I promised those who participated that they would remain anonymous, I will changed everyone’s names.

These are the questions that everyone answered:

1. How do you feel about having you identity on the internet?

2. How much of what you post on facebook is true? How much is false?

3. Do you feel like the information you have posted here is safe?

4. Does you Facebook account make you feel vulnerable?

5. Did you have a Myspace? Which is better Facebook or Myspace? Why?

6. Do you believe what other people post on facebook?

Devon answered:

1. It doesn’t really bother me
2. I’d say most of it is true, i change my birthday to today just to see how many ppl would wish me a happy birthday. you could say it was my own little experiment.
3. No, but does it really matter if ppl can find out my phone number, to what i did last weekend for fun.
4. No.
5. I like facebook better. facebook is just a lot more accessible for what i use it for. i use it mostly just to keep in contact with friends, and let ppl know whats going on in my life. and facebook is a lot better at that.
6. I usually do. i have no reason to think they are lying.

Megan siad:

1. I am ok with it, but I am cautious as to where I put it.
2. Its all true
3. Yes. 4. Not really.
5. Yes, and I like facebook alot better. Facebook just feels safer. I also like the set up better.
6. Most of the time.

Hannah replied:

1. Some times it is unnerving… knowing random people can know an afuwl lot about you!
2. I dont believe in lying!!
3. Yes and No… I mean i would not put my credit card number on here or anything
4. No, i enjoy face book
5. No my space
6. Yes… but I am always being told i am gullable.

Cathy said:

1) I feel safe knowing that basically only my friends (a.k.a. people I can trust) can see it. If it was open to anyone, I wouldn’t feel safe.
2) All of what I post of facebook is true. Except for some of the information of how I”ve met people. I joke around with that. For example, it says that Matt Mitten, (a guy from work) and I are siblings.
3) Yes I feel that it is pretty safe. Except for the fact that I’m in the Winston Churchill Network, and there are so many schools by that name, that people I don’t know can read it, but I still feel it is fairly safe.
4) Ummm….only a little bit. Thats why I don’t put my phone number or address on.
5) Yes, I did have a Myspace, and I perfer Facebook because in my opinion, its safer. Only people you allow can see your profile. And you can even limit what each individual sees if you want to.
6) Yes I do. But I’m also rather gullable. Lol.

Andrew answered in detail:

1. I do feel a little apprehensive about having my identify on the internet but it all really depends on the level of the control that I have over the content. If I’m the one that’s putting up the information then I feel significantly more secure having my identity online. I would personally be insecure if people were bloging about me or putting information about me online. In a nutshell, the more control I have the more comfortable I am. Since I’m in control of the content that is on my Facebook account, I feel relatively safe with the information that is on my account.
2. For the most part, everything that I post on facebook is true. I like all the bands, shows, activities and TV shows that I say that I like in my profile. I’m not consciously trying to deceive people, so I have no real motivation to put things that are false or that are significantly embellished. I’ve posted some sarcastic information that I guess could be construed as putting false information but the purpose really wasn’t to deceive.
3. In all honest for me personally, I don’t feel that I’m more vulnerable because of my account. I make a conscious effort not to have anything that I would feel uncomfortable people knowing about me or that I want to keep private. If I were to put my religious beliefs, views on hot topic issues, address or information about that I want private then I would be more inclined to feel vulnerable.
4. Also, I know that might sound stupid, but I’m not important/attractive enough for my profile to make me feel vulnerable. I’m a pretty dull and interesting person so I doubt that anyone would stalk me through facebook and most sexual predators aren’t really interested in Asian men that are in their early 20’s. While I don’t feel vulnerable, I could see why others would. I’m not sure if this is relevant if your doing an interview with me but I once had a friend who thought that a guy that she had met was using the information on her facebook to get her to be interested in him. He would start random conversations with her and mention things/interests that she put on her facebook. He apparently mentioned that he really liked a band called Heroes and Villains (obscure but awesome band from Montréal) and a really obscure book of poetry. She eventually realized what he was doing and she deactivated her account.
5. I still technically have an account but I don’t really use iy. I personally prefer facebook over myspace because
– I know more people on Facebook

– Its more user friendly

– Better organized and runs faster

– Less intrusive advertisements

– Better sense of community (UofL network and Calgary networks)

– I find it more useful (I use it to advertise events for CKXU and Rotaract and I use groups for productive reasons)
The only thing that I like more about Myspace more that I do facebook is the level of consecutiveness to bands (every band pretty much has a Myspace). I really like being able to listen to tracks, find out about concert dates and general information on a band’s Myspace. Besides that, I find facebook better.
6. For the most part, I do believe what other people post on their facebook’s are true. I’ll believe that they believe what they are posting is true (i.e. if a child says that the tooth fairy exists, I’ll believe that the child believes that the tooth fairy but it doesn’t mean that I believe tooth fairy exists). If I feel that the other person does not have a reason to deceive me or have a history of deception then I have no reason to believe that they are being untruthful.

Alisha responded:

1. I feel a little uneasy about my identity on the internet.
2. I would say that 99% of what i say on facebook is true, except how i met people i usually make that up to be funny.
3. I feel like the information i posted is safe because i didn’t post anything to be really nervous about.
4. It doen’t really make me feel vulnerable because it gives me the option to accept people, and i dont if i dont know them.
5 I dont have a myspace account because i think it looked stupid. So i think facebook is better haha.
6 I think that mostly people tell the truth on facebook, they are your friends so i guess we’d most likely know if they were lying.

Brianne siad:

1. Sometimes I forget that anybody can view what I’m writing on facebook and when I remember, sometimes it’s a little unnerving. For the most part, though, I’m okay with it.
2. All of what I post on facebook is true
3. I would consider it pretty safe. But, I would never post my phone number or address so I guess I’m not totally confident.
4. No, facebook does not make me feel vulnerable.
5. No MySpace because I feel like Facebook is safer because you can choose who can view your page.
6. Yes, I believe what other people post on facebook.

Amy said:

1. I don’t mind having my identity on the internet as long as it’s limited.
2. I would say 100% is true. If I don’t want to give out facts, I don’t, for example my address and things like that.
3. Yes, but I also know if someone really wanted the information they would be able to give it. I try not to get to personal.
4. No it doesn’t
5. Yes I did have a myspace and I think Facebook is better because it’s more real. More down to earth due to the fact you can’t change the background of your page.
6. I would say, I don’t count on what others say on facebook unless i know they are a good source, tell the truth, that type of thing.

It was an interesting little interview. I was neat to try out a little bit of ethnography while we were learning about it. I thought a lot about the things I had read about establishing a relationship with the people you interview online. For me it was a little different because I already have an established relationship with these people. I really appreciated their answers and thought it was interesting to see how much they trust Facebook and why they like it.

Facebook vs. Myspace

20 08 2007

Facebook vs. Myspace is an interesting debate.  It makes more sense after our readings and discussions about how the good kids play on Facebook and the bad kids stay on Myspace.  I found it really interesting to see how the origins and the way that Facebook was introduced to the public had such a big influence on who uses it and the way it is viewed today.

The idea that Facebook is safer seems like a well formed opinion.   For my paper  I asked people what they preferred and everyone that had used both accounts felt that Facebook was better and “safer.”  Myspace has a negative stigma for being the  online playground  of sexual predators and the idea is that Facebook protects people from them.  I’m not sure that Facebook really is safer.  A sexual predator can join the “I love Beer” club or the “UofL class of 08” club and become buddies with their next victim just as easily as they can look someone up on Myspace.  I think Facebook does offer a few extra features, and they might make it just a little bit less predator friendly but I certainly don’t believe that they make it predator free.

The Facebook vs. Myspace argument is an interesting debate though.  In my case, I never had a Myspace account.  I received the “so and so has invited you join Myspace” emails from a lot of my friends but I just never bothered to do.  I had jumped on the MSN bandwagon and hopped off when it rolled to a stop and Myspace just seemed like the next passing wagon.  I just didn’t feel like doing anymore jumping.  And besides, if I really wanted to, I could check out my friends pages without having to create my own.   WHen Facebook appeared on the social scene, it was like a reinforcement of the idea that I really actually did need to be a part of one of these types of sites.  It was like being asked for the second time.  So I said yes again.  It wasn’t that I thought Myspace was bad and Facebook was better, I was just ready to get back in the game.  It helped though, that so many more of my friends were using it this time.  Almost everyone had a Facebook account and activities were being organized via Facebook.

Now that I look at the two i can see some pretty apparent differences.  It is hard for me to really say though which I think is better because I never used Myspace.  Some of my friends that are really into garage bands and a couple that play in bands themselves say the same thing that Paul said, they really like the connections to bands the Myspace offers.  Myspace has lots of interchangeable features and people change their backgrounds and add music and personalize their pages.  Facebook though allows people to choose who they let into their circle of friends and allows access to their page to.  People love the sense of security that feature gives them.

Facebook suits my needs, but I’m getting a little bored again. I’m just about ready to hop off the wagon…we’ll see what the next wagon is carrying.  Maybe I’ll walk for a while.

Single Day Use

20 08 2007

I’m not necessarily technologically impaired but I’m definitely not a computer guru either.  I don’t spend a lot of time on the internet but I use it almost daily.  I’ve always considered myself an average user with average ability, but I’ve begun to wonder if that is true.   I’m not sure what would actually be considered average use.  Do I under or over use the computer?

I started thinking about this as I drove over Logan’s Pass this last weekend.  The smoke from the forest fires is so bad in that area that isn’t possible to really take in the beauty of the pass.  My husband and I were commenting on how close the fires must be and wondering exactly where the fires where.  We had each heard different things about how many fires are currently burning in Montana and were curious to know what was true.  I said that where I got home I was going to get on the internet and find out.  It is second nature to me to find the answers to question via the internet.

I don’t buy cookbooks because I just print recipes off the internet.  I order gifts online and shop for things we need around the house and yard.  I got on line the other day to find out what type of toys are appropriate for one year olds before looking for a gift for my cousin’s baby’s birthday.  When the doctor told me a I had pneumonia last year, I got on the internet to find out more about it.  I once dated a guy who suffered from crones disease and, not knowing what it is, I got on the internet to find out.  I had a roommate with Marfan’s and did the same thing.  I check the weather on line, I read the news, I book flights and hotel rooms…..the list goes on and on.

I started to think about my what a single day use of the computer is for me.  It doesn’t seem like a lot.  On an average day I propabley get on the computer 2 or 3 times.  I use it for school work, I check my email, I visit facebook, and I probabley average one or two other random uses of the computer per day.  These might include any of the things I listed above, or looking up an address of a phone number or directions.  I might be checking the price of something I am interesting in buying or I might just be reading an article that caught my eye.  I might just be catching up on celebrity gossip.  Whatever it is, I am using the internet everyday for several reasons.

I don’t know if this is above or below average use, but I do know that I definitely rely on the computer.  I is certainly a part of my everyday life and is integrated into several other activities of my typical day.  Its hard for me to imagine life before the internet and and it is amazing to think that it is a recent phenomenon.  Its exciting to think about where the technology will go and what a single day user of a computer might constitute in the future.  The more I learn about the internet, the more I am using and relying on its technology.

Giving Secondlife a Second thought

20 08 2007

I’d never heard of second life before I took this class, so I’ll admit that I don;t know much about it, but the more I learn about it the more I find my self saying “wait just a second.”  It seems a little off to me.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of giving up real life to enter a make believe life.

I can see the entertainment value of it.  I understand how it might be fun to create a character and walk it around a virtual world, but I don’t know that replacing real life with that virtual world is unnecessarily a good thing.   We talked about people who are dissatisfied with the outcomes of their real lives so they  create the life they had hoped to live  on second life.   We read about the therapeutic potential of this.  But it seems to me that there is a potential need for therapy for people who stop accepting and living in reality.

One of the other things that bothered me about Secondlife was mass buying and selling of “goods.”  One of my previous blogs expressed my feelings towards buying nothing with good money.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being earned by people who have only created a virtual image and who don’t have to purchase and manipulate raw goods.  When a secondlife avatar buys a new pair of shoes, a real credit card number is charged and a real bill comes in the mail, but no real shoes are ever created or tried on by the person who pays for them.  It seems like it is based around making money and the real purpose of second life is for capital gain.

The potential for deviance also bothers me.  One of the videos we watched in class show a man dressed a woman preforming a pole dance.  This demonstrates the freedom that people have to act out deviance.  The fact that there is a msot wanted list and a need for policemen in secondlife make the virtual world seem a little less Utopian.

Secondlife seems a little sketchy to me and I propose that people should give it a second thought before diving in.

“My Stepmom is coming in the Mail Today”

20 08 2007

Online dating has potential.

It has taken me a while to really accept and believe that. The stigmas of lonely and desperate and computer nerd and……where what ran through my head for years when I heard that someone was involved in an online relationship. It was hard to break that way of thinking even after my dad met and married someone he met on the internet.

My parents got a divorce around the same time that I was heading into high school. After some time had passed my dad began going out on dates on the weekends. It was a little weird when we both headed out the door on a date some Friday nights, but my siblings and I took it pretty much in stride. He went on dates with several local people before had joined an online dating site. His online relationships were a little harder to understand and my brothers and sisters and I were septics. He became really serious with one woman (who is now my step-mom) and it became apparent that online relationship really atually do have potential to lead somewhere.

My dad had been down to see her several times and they were already engaged by the time she came up from the states and I met her for the first time. My 5 year old nephew, armed with ebay-based knowledge, asked me if my stepmom was coming in the mail that day. He’d seen and heard his parents order things of the internet and receive them in the mail shortly after and was under the impression that anything could be ordered off the internet!

The concept of it all was a little foreign to me as well. It was a little while after they were married that I finally began to see that good strong and healthy relationships could form online. My Dad and my step mom are happier than ever today and it is neat to see how two people living so far away from each other were able to cover the distance via the internet. Since then I’ve seen a few of my friends develop relationships online. Some of them have worked out and some haven’t, but, in my opinion, on line dating has potential.

People who move consistently or cover shift work might find it difficult to arrange time for dating and the internet accommodates their lifestyles. It opens up the dating field and allows people to meet lots of other individuals outside of work or school. And people are able to make emotional connections quickly on the internet. I didn’t meet my husband over the internet, but more and more people do. It is something to be considered.

Read the rest of this entry »