Questions About Fan Culture Reading

The first reading seemed to be about gender roles and how they seem to matter when it comes to television. In my personal opinion, I have to say that when I first watch a show I go in giving it a fair chance to see whether or not I like the show. Such examples from my life are Smallville, Lost, Supernatural, The Walking Dead, and Chuck. These are only some of the many shows that I would be willing to watch over and over again. None of these did I go in thinking I was going to follow for as long as they continued to make new episodes; however I came to love each and every one of them because of how I believe that they are great shows.  It is mainly due to relatable characters, or because the plot line has become something that I want to see how it turns out.

There was a pdf about Star Trek, which I did not really understand, mostly due to the fact that I know absolutely nothing about the show or the characters. Yet from what I was able to understand was how fans made fan fiction. Which seemed to be just fine, especially because if there is a large following of a show, there will be those who want it to continue even though the actors have left the show, or that the show was suddenly discontinued.

In terms of the Twilight article, I understood how there are fans, but there are also those who are against the mere idea of Twilight. Both sides have the right to speak their mind about Twilight, but at the same time, I do not understand why there was the Anti-Twilight Movement, because as someone else had asked, “why put energy into something you hate” and they responded with a basic, it doesn’t take a lot of energy, yet why bother to slam something that does not affect who you are or what you can do.

The links to the readings are in order as I talked about them.

Keidra Chaney, “Fandom and Identity / Fandom as Identity,” The Learned Fangirl (16 Aug 2013)

Jacqueline M. Pinkowitz, “‘The Rabid Fans that Take [Twilight] Much Too Seriously’: The Construction and Rejection of Excess inTwilight Antifandom,” Praxis 7 (2011)

My thoughts on this week’s readings about dystopian futures is that as human’s we must take care in the things that we do, say, and create. Based on in-class discussion, there are many possible things that could occur that could cause humanity to change drastically. Such an example was that of a self driving car, and if there were another human, or a group of humans, in the road, what would the car do. Would the car proceed through the human to protect the one inside the vehicle, or drive into a wall sacrificing the person inside the vehicle to save the human(s) in the road? This is a question of morality, and seemed to stir the class a little in terms of if they would want to get inside a vehicle that is autonomous. Given what we have read, viewed, and discussed, I do indeed feel different about my engagement in digital spaces. I already knew the saying, “watch what you say, where you say it, and who you say it to,” yet this has added a step further in terms of attempting to understand whether we should continue to develop certain technologies, especially those which are A.I’s.

Dystopian Visions

Perhaps one of the most disturbing dystopian vision I see for humanity is the inability to feel as though we are safe. For instance, right now as I type this I am in my room, and I feel secure. If through my computer’s video camera I was being watched, it would be unnerving due to the fact that it would mean that someone was always watching, that no matter where I went, there would be nowhere I felt safe to gather my thoughts, to write down ideas, without thinking that someone else could potentially steal them. Other situations include the DRM (digital rights management) where if one were to buy or rent something online, only that person has access to what has been bought. As an example, lets say that the person has bought a movie, and that movie is only view-able should the person, be connected to the internet, and use the same device that the movie has been purchased on. This does not allow for viewers to sell the movie if they did not like it, in order to have funds to buy another movie, or to simply give it to a friend so that they may watch it. This applies to anything that is digitally bought, movies, games, books; all of these things would suddenly not be allowed to be shared, and to some degree, they are not. Movies for instance are only allowed to be viewed on a person’s device that has an account to someone who has purchased said movie. Books are the same way. Video games are another story, and in this case, there was even a huge debate about Microsoft’s current generation game console, the Xbox One. To make a long story short, the console was going to be required to always be connected to the internet to play games, otherwise it was going to be an expensive paperweight.

Archive viewpoints

How much of our online content and identity should we be able to archive?

I feel as though when it comes to archiving our online content, everything that was once able to be seen, should always be able to be seen. For instance, many people are told that they should “watch what they say online” because there are people who can find what you said, when you said it, and to who you said it, should the people searching want to. This is because posting things to the internet is pretty much forever.

Do you use any strategies now to archive or backup your online content? What are they?

I do not have any strategies to archive or backup my online content. The only thing is that I have managed to create a section of this website to allow visitors to view a few recent tweets from my twitter.

What should be done with our online content once we pass away? What is the purpose of an online memorial? Where should it be? Should be static or dynamic?

When it comes to online content, the only places where it becomes difficult to keep are personal domains, simply because they require one to pay a kind of “subscription fee” to not allow other people to use the same domain name. Otherwise social media seems to keep people’s accounts, and there are pages which commemorate those who have passed. Such an example is Facebook. I feel as though these work really well, and tend to be of a static nature.


Three questions

How do you present yourselves differently to different people (offline)? Admissions counselor/guidance counselor, teacher, a grandparent, a cousin, your parents, new roommate, job interview.

From what I have observed, I present myself the same with new people, modestly formal and overtime, regardless of who they are, and as I get to know them that drops to casual conversation.

What should your boss know about your personal life (offline)?

I believe that one’s boss should only know the pertinent aspects of their subordinate’s life. Such examples would be knowing smoking or non smoker, non, social, or heavy drinker, if the subordinate is married or not, etc. Other examples would be birthdays, children’s names, and partner’s name.

Which social media accounts would you share with a prospective employer? Why?

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, and in otherwise, all of them. This is because I have not used my Facebook in a long time, ergo there is nothing that could threaten my employment opportunity. I believe Twitter is not an issue because my tweets are harmless and my re-tweets are usually jokes from others. Instagram is where I will sometimes post an occasional picture of a view or meme that I like or find funny.

Questions for Midterm

After reading most of the questions from the list, I wonder as to how what the possible answer could be to a few. Some seem as though they are opinion questions, leading to no proper answer/ a wrong answer, as long as one can technically show what one’s thinking is. Coming up with original questions at this point seems near impossible, yet there have been additions since Friday night, being at 116 questions. On one hand, it seems incredibly challenging to attempt to study for the midterm because there are an astounding number of questions already, and if only a few are to be chosen for the midterm, then how can a student study effectively? One could attempt to answer all the questions in terms of studying, yet as of right now (Sunday night) there are 155 questions, and to answer all of these would take a decent amount of time. Not to say that one should not attempt to answer these questions; however, due to some being opinion questions, as I had previously stated, there are multiple varying answers to those questions, and they would all be correct.

Link and Qiang Reading Notes

This reading material seemed to make the reader think about how today’s technology has made a huge impact on the world than without the mobility that we have today. Such example would be on page 84, “In any event, when a news item pops up in Chinese society today, it is often reported first on the Internet by eyewitnesses using cell phones or computers. Internet police can try to block such messages, but in many cases, especially if events are large and dramatic, they cannot” (Link and Xiao). One real life example that I can recall, is when there was mass public scrutiny when an ordinary bystander with a camera was waiting for a train on the subway, and saw a man in the tracks, trying to get out from the train’s path. Rather than attempt to help, the bystander took a picture of the man’s final moments before he was struck by the oncoming train. These are such events that go out, and there really seems to be no stopping any reports about it. I remember that the picture was even talked about it on the news the following day, and the news team members were confused as well about why the bystander simply took a picture rather than attempt to help. On page 85, there was another example about how “two high speed trains collided on a bridge”(Link and Xiao) and the way that was initially reported was via twitter. According to Link and Xiao, the Chinese government has an issue with free internet, and have taken steps in order to limit what is seen, and if such posts are deemed unpleasant towards the Chinese ideals, they will block (or at least attempt to do so) Chinese citizens from viewing such material.

Another point to the internet, in China, is that because the Chinese citizens are unable to “hold public assemblies” due to it being deemed illegal they do so through the internet. On the internet, they will “argue over the wording of petitions and manifestos, sign statements, vote in polls, and bring public pressure to bear on specific issues-all while each sits separately in front of his or her computer screen” (100).


Work Cited

Link, Perry and Xiao Qiang . “Language and Thought on the Chinese Internet.” From Grass-Mud Equestrians to Rights-Conscious Citizens.   83-105. Print.

Location Project

My project will be about how there are positives and downfalls to the ability that people now have to track others digital locations through wifi and smartphone location services. I have talked to a friend who has an app that allows her parents to track movements through her smartphone. Either by asking her to check in through the app, or that she press the button on her own accord, a ping is sent that gives a notification to her parents about her exact location. There are other features, such as if she were to be kidnapped, all she has to do is press a button, hide her phone from sight for 10 seconds, and a distress signal is sent out. There is another app for smartphones called Rave Guardian, which allows one to set a timer for how long it should take one to get to their destination, and if in that time, the user does not reach the target destination, then the phone sends out a distress signal to select people, which can include, but not limited to 911, friends, and family.

Possible downsides to this is that almost nothing is un-hackable, therefore, making it possible that people get others personal information. Stalking is another thing that is possible.

As of now, I have yet to find any peer-reviewed sources, most likely due to not using the search properly.

Twee-q and gender differencials

Twee-q is an interesting data collection site which pulls a user’s re-tweets from the past 100 tweets from one’s Twitter profile. All that is required to search is a person’s twitter handle. This provides the searcher with the statistics of number of re-tweets from a man or woman. In class, we were discussing upon whether this was a way to view as if one were to be gender discriminant, or sexist. It seemed to be that the overall consensus from the class discussion is that this is not necessarily the best example to be able to say whether someone is sexist or not. The main reasons seemed to include, the fact that they only pulled the recent 100 tweets from the user. The fact that the gender of the people they follow may not be 50/50 so there is already a natural skew in the statistics. Then there was the prevalent fact that one re-tweets what they like, and nobody in the class really looked or cared whether the tweet they liked was from a man or a woman. This is similar to a discussion of Wednesday about how video games were sexist. To some degree, they are, mainly due to because back then, as far as 30 years and as soon as 10 years ago, video games were mainly advertised towards males. There recently has been a push towards more female protagonists, which is slowly coming to be. For instance, in a some games such as Fallout (3 and New Vegas), The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and Online), a gamer can play as either male or female, and that is up to the user. Even MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) have given the choice to users of whether they wish to play as a male or as a female. There are other games where the protagonist is female. Metroid (1986) and Tomb Raider (1996) were presented to the public and since then, there have been several sequels to those games. These games would not have been able to have had sequels had they not sold well. As I see it, we are going towards a gender equal society (specifically in the US), it’s just a matter of time.

Twitter Feeds With Gender Implications

Prior to having watched the Ted talk by  Johanna Blakely, I had not given much thought to how advertisements target certain ranges of people. After watching, I realized that statisticians would sift through data to find what gender and what age range the majority of people on social media are. I was not shocked to have learned that women spend more time on social media than men; rather, I was shocked at how there seemed a prediction that down the line, it is said to be the eventual “death of the chick flick.”  With Twee-Q, a site that shows a specific twitter user’s interaction with others and retweets, I saw that in order to have a “perfect” 10, a user would have to actually try to retweet certain people’s tweets. My personal twitter had a Twee-Q of 6.6 with the statistics of retweeting  60% male and 40% female. Another user, one of my friends, had an 8.4 retweeting 45% male and 55% female. As far as I can tell, almost always do people retweet messages from their gender. With the additional fact that women are social media dominant, there are more female related tweets. However, now thinking over the “death of the chick flick” there is a show on the CW, Supernatural, which is about to start it’s 11th season in October, making it among the longest running shows, such as Smallville and Grey’s Anatomy. Supernatural and Grey’s Anatomy viewership is mostly female (Smallville’s is unknown). These shows portray male leads, which could indicate that as more male leads are shown, more females will watch.