Posted in Book Circle, Education & Technology

New App on Book Circle

My book circle was on “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: How We Use Selfies, Blogs and Wearable Devices to See and Shape Ourselves” by Jill Rettberg. Overall, I enjoyed the book as it was a leisure Sunday type of read. There were bits and pieces that I found interesting. I liked how the author traces/references back to archaic reasons for the different types of selfies mentioned: written, visual, serial, automated, and quantified. In other words, taking selfies (mainly speaking of posting photos or videos) is nothing new. However, technology has advance in how we take, filter, and share selfies so conveniently these days.

As for this new digital platform, Prezi, it was interesting to use. The basics of how to use it was intuitive and fairly easy to navigate. However, fine-tuning the logistics (e.g. editing pathway, adding more frames, switching out frames, and voice-record over) was slightly challenging for me. It definitely sucked to learn that you can only have the allotted 10 frames (slides) provided. To add, the spatial pathway/organization didn’t really make sense for me, except for the fact that it was a nice visual…?

I had issues and took way too much time trying to crop and adjust multiple photos just right to fit into a frame. Personally, I also hated when I or my classmates couldn’t get out videos or image to actually fit within the given frame. You can see the ugly grey checkered “I don’t fit” background. Ugh! Too add, I had to voice record separately than upload. Thankfully, I only had two recordings to do, but I found all of this to be extra cumbersome steps for me. At least on Power Point, you can record right on it. Perhaps, if you can do this on Prezi, then I just didn’t know how.

Below are my failed attempts in embedding  my book circle’s Prezi presentation to my blog. At this rate, I am going to post as-is and see what happens. I don’t know why I see it on “preview” mode, but it appears as a long ugly script.

Prezi_Selfie Cover.JPG

Posted in Book Circle

Serial Selfies

There is a chapter in Rettberg’s book titled “Serial Selfies,” which mentions “to really understand social media genres we need to see them as feeds and analyze each post or image as part of a series” because social media genres are cumulative. This type of digital self-representation is not a new concept; it is closely connected to the traditions of writing a diary or putting together a photo album over a period of time. In all of these situations, one can choose to share privately or to the open public, the stories/images change with time (aging factor), and it is a way to express one’s identity.

This idea of life-logging or “Chronicling the Everyday” is an interesting phenomenon to me, mainly because I don’t do it for the most part. However, there are millions of people who do this on a daily basis through technology, particularly Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. When I think of Instagram and Snapchat, I thought of a line in the reading that I found interesting, which is “The immediacy of the photos is important.” Wow, I find this to be true! It’s amazing how quickly we’ve come towards improved technology and accessibility to Wi-Fi today, allowing us to share photos immediately. I still remember when the most we could do on our cell phone was text message, and when it came to sharing photos, we had to wait to get to a laptop or desktop computer to transfer the photo taken from our phone to upload and share.

Perhaps the reason we feel the need to take another, and yet another selfie, is in part that we as the surrealists…never seem able to create a photo that will ‘fully correspond to what you want to see in yourself.'” – Rettberg

I love the quote above. Perhaps, that is one reason why I like Snapchat (I do not have FB or Instagram). I like the fact that it doesn’t save unless someone screenshots it, and in that case you know that they did so. Sure, it’s somewhere in the cloud and I am sure one can hack into it to find; but the point is knowing that on the rare occasion that I post a selfie photo if at all (most posts are of scenery, books I am reading, or food dish that I am devouring), others (invited friends) aren’t looking at it over and over at a later time. I also like the notion that it is up to my friends to chooses to look at it within the 24 window timeframe of when I post it onto “My Story.” This way I don’t feel self-absorbed as if I directed them to go check out my photo.

What are your take on serial selfies? Do you or have you chronologized photos of what you eat, read, yourself, or kids over time? Do you enjoy looking at your friend’s serial selfies? How do you feel or does it affect you if your friend stops posting or posts sporadically? Do you feel obliged to post anything at all especially if you all you do is view your friends’ photos?

Posted in Book Circle

A Filtered World

I love how Rettberg highlights a different perspective of “filters.” Just as she described and defined from the Oxford English Dictionary, it is commonly known as “the removal of unwanted content or impurities.” However, she gives a great perspective with the analogy of a coffee filter, in that it “stop the ground coffee beans from getting into the pot beneath, but the point of a coffee filter is to add flavour to water.”

This is how I find myself within my filtered blogs as I reflect on my book circle reading. My filter was not disclosing myself explicitly in the open, yet wanting to add some personalized content to keep my readers engaged and connected in some sense. It’s only been four months, but I am consciously aware that I’ve slowly began to naturally do this in my work. As told, I began to add gravatar to my different digital accounts and even some masked photos of myself; this filter of “adding flavor” to my blogs continued as I did the same to some of my digital work (e.g. 6 Word Memoir, Mediated Writing, and How to be Me).

…technological filters, ways in which our devices and algorithms have certain technical affordances and constraints…: straining out certain information and making other information more visible…And we are part of cultures that also have their sets of filters: rituals, customs, terminologies, assumptions and prejudices that are sometimes visible to us and sometimes taken for granted.  -Rettberg

As one who constantly registers as analytical on various personality tests, I wonder if this has anything to do with the way I filter. I wonder if those who register more as “extrovert and carefree” personalities are more inclined to post selfies? Even as I picked a background color for my previous blog post and for different digital apps, I would think “what would others think of me?” Perhaps these judgments of mine are reasons why I don’t Instagram or Facebook.

Do you have Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook? If so, then are you cognizant in your filters? How do you find yourself filtering your technological platforms? What are your perceptions of how others filter their platforms?