A way to control

Throughout this module we have discussed how technology has led to the decrease in social interaction. Suggesting online communication does not satisfy our social needs and instead makes us feel alone despite having many virtual friends. However, i feel this concept is plausible as we are not loosing social interaction but instead are able to control how we interact.

This is clearly shown through the rapid increase in the use of online dating sites. Many are set up with similar formats to social media sites allowing users to have pictures, put in their interests and decide who they want to have a date with. This freedom of choice allows user to create an ideal version of themselves which I assume can led to disappointment, as the expectation from the online version of ourselves can not always live up to the reality.

So why do it ?

People-on-phones-with-social-media-icon-chalkboard

Social media allows us to control many aspects of our lives through easy access to large quantities of information and ability to choose on social networking sites. Therefore, online dating is another way we can control aspects of our lives. This control altenematly expresses the freedom which comes with a network society and encourages our excessive use. But do you think we have the control or is our excessive use an addiction?

 

Sharing is Caring

As we all know Amazon Prime  allow its subscribers to stream programmes, books and   and music for a yearly cost of £79. This great website give users access to content which would otherwise be brought individually. They also offer a range of show produce exclusively by the company such as Transparent and Hand of God.

Although it’s attempts to monitor content Amazon has little in place to rescript how individuals used their account. In which most share their details with their families and friends making the site accessible to more people for free. However, this concept of sharing accounts has improved revenues and helped the site to thrive, indicating how restricted content does not necessarily mean companies lose out on money.

 

Who’s looking out for the creative?

To gain viewers Amazon need content and get this through the Licensing agreement. The licensing agreement is a contract between the content owner and streaming sites, giving them full access to the content for a set amount of years. The amount of money given to the content producers depends on the popularity of the show, how long they want to have the content and if they want exclusive use of it. This is great news for the content makers as they could potentially make a high profit on their shows, especially since the sales of dvd’s are becoming non existent.  But who do you think is really benefiting streaming sites?

Do we exploit our privacy ?

As a 21st century girl it is almost impossible to not be tempted by social media. It allows us to create an image of ourself through the art of selection, and explore what is happening in other peoples lives without even speaking to them.  We feel pressured to maintain an on line image which can result in exclusion if a person does not keep up with current networks and the loss of privacy through our obsession to constantly document our lives on these sites.

I personally feel I  maintain a private social media profile through ensuring all available privacy setting are on, posting irregularly and strictly choosing who I want to accept friendship request from. However, when I look at the amount of people that follow me to the amount I regularly interact with on and off these sites, it’s clear hundreds of people I barley know experience certain aspect of my life. Events which would be private if their was no internet or I simply didn’t post. Even with my privacy settings on no content is truly private with companies having unlimited access to all conversations and activities.

But is this a breach of privacy if we are selecting what we want to share? If we all only represent certain aspect of our life’s which we feel present our personality can we truly feel their is a violation of privacy since we have chosen to let people in.

A Virtrual World

Online gaming is a popular past time as it allows it’s users to build an ideal self as well as helps individuals to gain confidences. In games such a World of War Craft (wow) user can creates a charactersr based on their personality, perform missions with other people and chat to other online gamers. Within the game characters are constantly levelling up through battles and collecting rewards, this offers a sense of achievement to the players which encourages them to keep playing. Describe as a ‘role-playing’ game WOW allows you to form online communities as tasks are built around basic human interaction such as teamwork, competition and communication.

However, there are many implications associated with online gaming as it is used as a method of diversion from social pressures in the real world. The ability to create a whole new identity along with little thought process needed to play the game is appealing to users as they are able to form an ideal self and world. Many of the conversation are live which make individual feel they have personal connections with those who play with them and removes their need for human interaction. This can make the user addicted to the game and has caused a rise in people being diagnosed with internet gaming disorder. If escapism is the fundamental reason for compulsive gaming should we be questioning our society? or is gaming used as a substitution for old escapism methods ?

Fan Fiction

All the content on fan fiction websites is generated by the audiences. The websites are used as a platform which devoted fan can share their own alternative endings and stories for games, shows, books and many more. As there is no guidelines on these websites the audience can write about anything from hypothetical romance between their favourite pop stars to an untold story of Doctor who. The content produced can be read by other members and allow users to give suggestions on how to improve their content or express how much they enjoyed their writing.

Well established websites such as Wattpad offer users to write their own short stories as well as fan fiction. With competitions and tips on how to start writing, the site is constantly encouraging more content from the user.

I feel these sites have the most niche form of audience participation as member produce alternative content for the media they like instead of just giving their opinion. These websites focus on embracing imagination and improving on basic literacy skills instead of trying to build an ideal digital profile. User are anonymous and do not worry about their image or branding which is often associated with social media sites and YouTube channels.

Spotify

Spotify is an international service which allows user to listen to music from their mobile, computer and tablet via their app. On the service individual are able to share music they are listening to with other people on spotify as well as their friends on facebook, twitter and instagram. With the new playlist feature individual are able to create and listen to playlist created by spotify and other user. This can be shared to allow friends to listen to the same playlist easily.

For each artist the website show figures of where they are most played  in the world and where they are next performing. Individuals can click on the events they may want to go and will be led to the website where they can buy tickets. Spotify also give suggestions to other artist they may want to go see based on the genre of music they most listen to.
However the convergence has led to less people buying artist music and decreases the artist revenue. In which some artist has reframed from placing music on the site. I think this could lead to people paying for the use of the service to ensure artist gain a decent revenue. 

One click away

As we all know BBC three produces a lot of controversial documentaries which explore the struggles of living with mental health issues to the secrets of China. Currently they are doing a documentary series Called ‘one click away’. This series looks at different aspects of the Internet expressing its benefits and disadvantages.

I believe these documentaries are beneficial to our module as they enable the viewer to understand the internet’s impact on our daily life, and how it can lead to dangerous situation if not used properly. A documentary I particularly enjoyed is the ‘rise of the superstar vlogger’ which looked at how influential vloggers are in today’s society and the financial benefits gain by those who vlog. What really surprised me within this documentary was how obsess people are with YouTube vloggers and how much time the vloggers invest into their content.

These documentary are solely based on aspects of the Internet and allow us to understand its effects on society rather then its history. I think knowing the effects of the Internet is important to this module as well as our individual courses as it plays a large part in every form of media.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/categories/documentaries/highlights