Archive for the ‘Indentity crisis!’ Category

In the past, one would use the home as a sanctuary, a place of privacy. It used to be considered a place where you could test the social boundaries in a safe place where no prying eyes would see. You could swear, burp, fart, get drunk and swear and it would be no body’s business because, well, you were in the privacy of your own home.

With the growing popularity of amateur culture and converging medias, the internet has allowed us to achieve different levels of “fame” through blogging and now, through youtube (which has introduced the visual side of communication on the internet). This form of media communication on the internet has done something special as it allowed us to have access to the “screen” (which is considered to be the highest alter upon which we can worship – media-wise) and be in complete control of it. This is especially true because our activity in amateur videography is important because it is taking place during a time that is being focused almost entirely on the silver screen. In order to understand why we are so in love with seeing ourselves on youtube, though, we have to get a better understanding of the old media version’s use.

Home movies are filmed “simple situations”. They often had a staged feeling to them because of the economics, technology and conditions of what was being shot. The audiences were obviously highly localized and the content was supposed to be comparable to a “slice” of everyday life. Although this last metaphor is true, these films were still often stereotypical. These movies are special because they are said to be, as stated by Dr. Strangelove, “the closest to the scene”. They have a documentary feel and the aesthetics of these types of films have been used in other forms of media, (i.e. The Kids in the Hall opening credits).

Home movies today today aren’t as positive as they used to be. The role of filmmaker has switched from the parent to the child, and now parents are the victims of these new films. Examples of these films today would be videos containing a drunk parent, a sibling getting in trouble or freaking out, a parent freaking out or doing something that would be considered obscure in society, but the parent thinks they are safe as they are in their home. The parent not being in control of what is being seen gives these movies a completely different feel, and this feel is breaking social rules.

Not only are the rules being broken, but no consequences are happening after these breaches of privacy! Norm violations are happening domestically, and the idea of what happens at home stays at home is being erased from our society. This is happening because teenagers are getting ahold of the camera, and are videotaping parts of family-life that are supposed to be private; these videos are becoming normative.

In the “butt-rape girl” video, a brother records his sister getting in trouble for making a potentially dangerous choice to go out and meet someone she found over the internet. The boy interrupts in the middle of his mother’s lecture and starts teasing his sister while she is freaking out and breaking down. Instead of stepping in and intervening, the mother started laughing, even though it was quite obvious that the boy’s intentions were to exploit his sister over the internet. The boy received no consequence, but his sister’s consequence for the video will be permanent/lifelong. Although it may be humorous for us an audience to think about, I highly doubt that this girl is happy with the fact that if her identity is found out, she will forever be known as “butt rape girl”.

Youtube is, again, destroying people’s identity thhttps://pabloandgillian.wordpress.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=151&TB_iframe=true&width=640&height=475rough exposing them at their most vulnerable, when their at home under the assumption that they are away from public eyes. They are breaking interpersonal trust through these rule breaking videos and behaviour.

Here are some examples:

My Mom Drunk – 34, 220 views

Man on Myspace!! (raped in the butt) – 50, 074 views

Greatest Freakout Ever – 20, 900, 895 views

– Gillian Holloway


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“Dr Himanshu Tyagi, a psychiatrist at West London Mental Health Trust, said that people born after 1990, who were just five-years-old or younger when the use of Internet became mainstream in 1995, have grown up in a world dominated by online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.” It is said later on in the article on http://www.medicalnewstoday.com (called ‘Facebook Generation’ Faces Identity Crisis), that these children tend to act more impulsively, erratically and that the risk of suicide is increased.

Dr. Tyagi goes on to explain that not only are these children at risk for social disorders, but they are also at risk for losing the real meaning of interpersonal relationships which we as people use to build our identities. This is done through feedback on how much we disclose about ourselves and how we act around people in real life, with the internet we have a screen as a barrier and can put on facades which could lead to alterations in our personalities, (and by could I mean usually leads to alterations in our personalities). Dr. Tyagi goes on to say “A session in front of the computer was also likely to create ‘an altered perception, a dream-like state, an unnatural blending of their mind with the other person – something that rarely happens in real life. The new generation raised alongside internet is attaching an entirely different meaning to friendship and relations, something we are largely failing to notice’.”

With all this negativity, it is hard to see how the internet and these websites could even be looked at in a positive way, ruining kids’ identities and being tied to suicide? Redefining friendship? Perhaps parents should step in and introduce some old fashioned communication skills into their children’s lives.

– Gillian Holloway

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Pierre Bordeau explained that each person has different tastes and that these tastes offer distinction between the classes. This is probably true through legitimacy, and the categorizing of different forms of media. Now-a-days, though, it is hard to differentiate between the different classes and categories of media. Now, higher classes listen to artists like Michael Jackson (which considered for the lower classes) and lower classes are doing things outside of the norm like listening to Bach. Things are getting all moved around and mixed up because every type of media is now more accessible. We, as an audience, are now consuming media across cultural lines.

Popular culture in the past was something considered to be low culture and based on the study of a largely passive audience. Now, the audiences is a big part of production of this culture as the power of the amateur creative audience is taking over. We now demand what we want through how we act, what we watch, the way we portray ourslves and the identities we create on the internet. Who we follow on twitter, who we’re fans of on facebook, the list of our interests, the celebrities we draw inspiration from in our youtube videos, all let the producers know what we want. This participation in production is becoming more acknowledged and accepted as well as the new norm. It is also the reason our identities are changing so greatly, though.

Twins? No, the done up one is just who I am on the internet.

In present times it seems that the class of different forms of media have little to do with self-representation. Yes, we are labeled based on our interests, but each of the urban stereotypes of today are seemingly unrelated to class. You can see a rich hipster just as easily as you can see a poorer one. A poor hockey-jock playing on the team with a rich one. Class doesn’t matter, anymore, it’s based solely on personal-shared interests.

-Gillian Holloway

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On the outside I am a 21 year old Commnications student at the University of Ottawa as well as a part-time Barista. I work long hours and am always grumpy. I have tattoos so that must mean that I listen to punk or loud music.  I put a lot of effort into my outfits and always dress obscurely, which demonstrates my love for fashion, right? Wrong…. or at least in the world wide web it is.

On my blog/in World of Warcraft/on my v-log I am a multitalented, food critic/rogue-zombie-wizard/a comedian-fashion critic, sharing my opinion and my face with the world. Don’t be fooled by my exterior, this is my real identity.

In all seriousness, identies formed on the internet can be the most extravagant things. As said in class “Internet could provide new values, something we desperately need,” and so far this is true through its rapidly innovating culture.  Culture is something that provides us with scripts, but is not an “iron cage” that says that the scripts provided must be followed exclusively. It pulls things from different aspects around us and creates characteristics that make each culture distinct.  Culture also provides choices, it forces us to choose how we want to represent ourselves. Commercial media = the main provider of these scripts, and therefore produce our identity.

But now-a-days it is obvious that we have a new form of prouction: amateur mode. This new mode is quite influential, as given that it is just as accessible and often more relatable than the mainstream media, it is also creating culture and therefore shaping our identities.  Some examples of this would be:

  • Jackass, many videos recreating the stupid events taking place in the shows have been made in the past, and even sometimes considered a part of someone’s personality.  For a while, there were kids who actually wanted to do things, like stand in a port-a-potty and have it pushed over with them inside for a living.
  • Phil DeFranco: people all over the internet are copying his style of blogging, but he might not necessarily be the original of his kind.
  • J & J’s wedding dance: this sort of wedding entrance is being mimicked all over the world, and is an extremely popular video on youtube now. Even the popular show “The Office” copied it and used a dance sequence into a wedding ceremony in the show.

People now know Phil DeFranco based on his constructed identity, and some people copy him and incorporate his style into their lives. Others will be doing “wedding dances” for years to come, but youtube isn’t the only form of building an identity.

For our group project, we have been considering focusing on identity on the internet, although it is a broad topic some of the aspects we were considering looking at were:

  • The types of identity and where they are formed: social networking sites like facebook vs. youtube.  Youtube is pretty exposing of the subject in the video, but facebook can be controlled. How do people share their information on facebook? How personal is it? Is it too MUCH information? Why do they share this much information? How much of it is true?
  • World of Warcraft: as stated in class, Dr. Strangelove joked (but he could have been serious), about pretending to be a 16 year old girl as he plays his games. How much honesty is behind each of these characters? Do people take their characters seriously in real life? Why do they choose to play this game that costs so much money, and is so time consuming?
  • Branching outward: Look at celebrities of today. Lady Gaga and Spencer and Heidi from the Hills. Who are these people and why do they deserve the attention they get? There is no logical response, but they are famous for something (although I am a fan of both the Hills and Lady Gaga, I recognize that they are entirely overhyped). What do they do? Heidi and Spencer (or Speidi as they’re more commonly known) are famous for being on a reality show that gets less than 5million viewers a season and Lady Gaga writes mediocre songs but seems to have a large cult follwing and she only emerged in the past year. Either way, these people are famous for doing their jobs, living up to their media-created, superficial identities.
  • Celebrity blogs: although we all read them (or at least most of us do), celebrity bloggers are becoming more and more popular. People like Perez Hilton and Harvey Levin of TMZ are becoming famous because of these blogs, but are not significant otherwise. Why do we like them so much? Yes, they give us gossip on the rich and famous, but other than that what are their identities? Who are they and why do we view them as so credible?

Although this is a very vague idea of what could be talked about in our group project, there is still lots of information that can back up each of these points, as well as opinions and even firsthand ethnographic/interpersonal research. This project will be a very interesting piece to work on, for sure.

– Gillian Holloway

Lady Gaga, pop star and media darling. This girl features the words "Pop Culture" on a pair of light up sunglasses in one of her music videos, but she was obviously not always this obscure. Hopefully more research will offer information on her real identity.

Spencer and Heidi put on bunny ears for easter. Considering this is not something most regular people would consider doing, why do Heidi and Spencer feel the need to?

Although they work for seperate celebrity blogs, Havey Levin and Perez Hilton are pictured here, together. Could this be because they are sharing an inside joke based on the fabrication of their identities as well as their needless stardom?

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If you go onto Facebook and Youtube you see millions of people pretending to be someone else. People usually pretend to be someone who is a famous celebrity.

If you go onto Facebook and type into the search engine “Britney Spears”, you will find over 289 results of profile pages and most of them have a profile picture of the one and only Britney Spears. Now we are not completely oblivious to the fact that all these profile pages are indeed NOT actually Britney Spears. But why do people choose to create a profile pretending to be her? Why don’t they  have just a profile page of who they actually are? Or if they have a profile page of their actual self, why did they feel the need to create another profile for Britney Spears?

Now, if we look at Youtube and type in the same name “Britney Spears” in the search engine, you get over 460,000 videos. Thousands of people have put of videos of Britney Spears. there are music videos,her live in concert, her paparazzi encounters, people lip singing to her songs and much, much more. Why do people feel so compelled to take time to place these videos on Youtube? Why do people feel the need to create videos of them lip-sinking to her or doing a parody of her?

If a person doesn’t like who their real identity is or just wants to pretend to be someone else just for fun, then Facebook  and Youtube both give a person that opportunity. Social networks have given the active audience a chance to have a say in the online community with their amateur videos. People are expressing themselves like never before. But why are they expressing themselves as another person and not themself? This is how the reality of Facebook and Youtube have been tweaked. Anyone can now just pretend to be someone else withno consequences? what if a person actually thought they were talking to Britney Spears on Facebook when it was really a boy from England who was only 10 years old? Fans need to realize pretending to be someone may not always be the best choice, especially when it comes to your own self-concept. The more you pretend, the more you can actually start believing.

– Lyara Brine

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