Monday, 11 December 2017

The Internet Is Not The Answer - Andrew Keen

"But today, as the internet expands to connect almost every-one and everything on the planet, it's becoming evident that this is a false promise." (preface)

" 'Instagram is focused on capturing the worlds moments,' System likes to say. But thats fiction - just like Instagram itself" (pg.104)

"Advertisements for Myself" - Norman Mailer - 1959

"Indeed, the only thing more retro than Instagrams filters is the pre-Copernican belief, encouraged by social networks like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, that the new digital universe somehow revolves around us. Fuzzy technology leads to an even fuzzier sense of our place in the cosmos." (pg.105)

"In the Valley, the rich and famous claim to be failures; on social networks like Instagram, millions of failures claim to be rich and famous." (pg.105)

"The truth about networks like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook is that their easy-to-use, free tools delude us into thinking we are celebrities." (pg.105) narcissism

"epidemic of narcissism and voyeurism" (pg.106)

"our contemporary obsession with public self-expression has complex cultural, technological and psychological origins that can't be exclusively traced to the digital revolution" (pg.106)

Twenge and Campbell - Narcissism Epidemic

"Instagram is a useful symbol of everything that has gone wrong with our digital culture over the last quarter of a century. "I update, therefore I am," I once wrote, half jokingly, about the existential dilemma created by our obsession with social media. Unfortunately, however, the idea that our existence is proven by our tweets or our Instagram moments is no longer very funny." (pg.107)

"if we have no thought to Tweet or photo to post, we basically cease to exist" (pg.107)

"the shameless self portrait has emerged as a dominant mode of expression, perhaps even the proof of  our existence, in the digital age." (pg.107)

"The real myth is that we are communicating at all. The truth, of course, is that we are mostly just talking to ourselves on these supposedly 'social' networks" (pg.109)

Disconnecting with Social Networking Sites - Ben Light

- Concerned with disconnection as something that we do in conjuction with connection
- Theory of Disconnective Practice
- Agree with Boyd (idea of networked publics)
- SNS's are a space where we interact with each other - intimatley interwoven
- 'SNS's are engaged as a space in their own right and some people may never connect the relationships that they develop in those spaces with those in the physical world'

Proffessor Ben Light agrees with boyd's idea of networked publics and states that 'SNSs are engaged as a space in their own right' (Light, 2014). Light further comments on how the relationships and connections found within these spaces may never be developed in the physical world, instead remaining online.

Communication and Cyberspace - Creating Paradoxes for the Ecology of Self - Sue Barnes

"In traditional physical environments, a concept of self is developed through face-to-face encounters with other people and objects. In contrast, cyberspace interaction takes place symbolically in a media-generated space." (pg.230)

"The self that exists as a unified mind and body in a physical space becomes a seperate and distributed digital self. This new digital self encounters paradoxical situations in cyberspace that could threaten the ecological self that inhabits a natural world." (pg.230)

"It is a 'non-space', a hyperdimensional realm that we enter through technology." (pg.231)

"An individual self is established by organizing the attitudes of other individuals toward the self and toward one another through participation in social interaction." (pg.240)

"Thus, by understanding the role of others, we can develop our own individual roles and consequently a sense of self." (pg.240)

"Monist theories of self argue that the physical body is an integral part of self-development. Touching, feeling, and having access to all five senses is essential to interacting with objects and people. According to this perspective, a separation of mind and body in cyberspace will inhibit self-growth. Therefore, integrating the physical body with the digital representation of self in cyberspace would be essential for developing self-identity." (pg.240)

"On the one hand, eliminating the body makes us more equal because we no longer have access to the visual information of sex, age, or race. But on the other hand, the quality of human relationships narrows, because unlike face-to-face communication, we do not have a full range of visual and verbal sensory information" (pg.247)

"People can now communicate and develop relationships without ever meeting each other in a face-to-face situation" (pg.247)

"The formation of symbolic or virtual communities raises the issue of how people will develop a self-identity when they communicate through electronic media instead of face-to-face interaction" (pg.247)

"electronic media is fragmenting self-conceptions. In electronic media "the self is decentered, dispersed, and multiplied in continuous instability" (Poster, 1960, pg 6). Gergen (1991) describes this condition as the "saturated self": "the evening at home once quiet, relaxed and settling, is now - by dint of telephone, automobile, television and the like - a parade of faces, information and intrusion" (pg.248)

"Additionally, a myriad of electronic relationships can invite 'us to play such a variety of roles that the very concept of an 'authentic self' with knowable characteristics recedes from view" (Gergen, 1991, pg 7)" (pg.248)

"The lack of personal visual information in network exchanges allows people to test new personalities and even create totally fictitious ones." (pg.248)

"To summarize, Poster (1990) states when computer communication replaces face-to-face communication the subject is affected in the following ways: (a) new possibilites for playing with identities is possible, (b) gender cues are removed, (c) existing hierachies in relationships are destablized, and (d) the subject is dispersed and dislocated in space and time." (pg.249)

Additional references:
Gibson, W. (1991). Academy leader. In M. BEnedikt (Ed.) Cyberspace: First steps (pp.27-29). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Poster, M (1990). The mode of information. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1966) The social construction of reality. New York: Anchor Books.

Friday, 10 November 2017

IPC - Richard West, Lynn H.Turner

- self-disclosure allows relationships to develop and contributes to strengthening self-concept
- greater disclosure = greater emotional involvement in a relationship
- relationships are closer when something personal is shared
- interpersonal - relating to relationships or communication between people
- acquaintence, build-up stage, continuation, deterioration, termination
- intimacy - self-disclosure, love and affection, personal validation, trust
- online communication - laziness, ease of use, privay, ability to have multiple conversations, multi-task, substitute for face-to-face
- some studies found that internet interactions were viewed as inferior to face-to-face
- verbal cues - words that are spoken or typed - non-verbal cues - tone of voice, body language
- conversation fluency may be more difficult to maintain online - slower than speaking
- internet allows for deception but anonyminity allows for self-disclosure
- true self is more accessible after an online interaction
- emoticons make up for lack of non verbal cues - clarification of ambiguous statements - mitigate negative messages - flirt -avatars also replace non-verbal cues
- some people who feel shyness in face-to-face interactions are more comfortable in online interaction due to anonyminity - increased intimacy in internet socializing
- high social phobia scores correlate with the use of the internet to regulate social fears - extrovert vs introvert

Carl R. Rogers - A Therapists View On Psychotherapy - On Becoming A Person

"Real communication occurs and this evaluative tendency is avoided, when we listen with understanding" - pg 331 - Empathy

"It means to see the expressed ideas from the other persons point of view, to sense how it feels to him, to achieve his frame of reference in regard to the thing he is talking about" - pg 332

The Existential Choice

"Do I dare to communicate myself as I am or must my communication be somewhat less than or different from this?" pg 345

"The sharpness of this issue lies in the often vividly forseen possibility of threat or rejection. To communicate ones full awareness of the relevant experience is a risk to interpersonal relationships." pg 345

In his book "On Becoming A Person" Carl Rogers argues that real communication can only be achieve when we listen from an empathetic viewpoint, that we cannot truly communicate until we begin to 'see the expressed ideas from the other persons point of view, to sense how it feels to him, to achieve his frame of reference in regard to the thing he is talking about' (Rogers, 2004, pg 332).
Continue this excert with reference to evidence of social networking making us less empathic and thus less likely to be communicating effectivley and efficiently

Correlating to previous discussion on the 'real' self, Rogers also brings about the idea of the 'existential choice', the choice we all have to communicate ourselves as we are or to filter what we allow others to see of ourselves. The very real fear of threat and rejection that encourages us to communicate from behind screens is a result of not wanting to show our 'real selves' in case the 'real self' is met with an unempathetic, judging point of view as a pose to an understanding, empathic listener.
Links with real/true self exploration, pyschological asymmetry

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Further Revised Research Question

I previously wrote a list of potential questions to explore and investigate for my research project, most were broad and quite vague but I've narrowed my list down to a selection of 4 questions. I think my question is still a while away from being finalised in terms of wording and figuring out how exactly I'm going to phrase things but the four options I've narrowed it down to all have the same underlying theme, they are as follows:

- Why are we comfortable expressing human emotion online but struggle with face-to-face interactions?
- To what extent does social media impact the way we interact with each other?
- What effect does social media have on day-to-day social skills/social interactions
- How does social media impact how we develop interpersonal relationships?

I know these are still vague and not well structured but I feel like they're all similar in a way and with further research I'll be able to further narrow down my options and begin expanding and forming my final proposed research question.

Monday, 30 October 2017

The School of Life - How To Live More Wisely Around Our Phones

How To Live More Wisely Around Our Phones -

- there's almost no relationship in which the presence of the phone has not had a profound effect
- addiction
- monasticism - distraction - wall-off instantly alluring and most meaningless distractions offered by the wider world
- digital sabbath - engage directly with others, be relaxed, immersed in nature and present
- look things up inside yourself - give ideas time and attention - 'In the minds of geniuses we discover our own neglected thoughts' Ralph Waldo Emerson
- our phones and our relationships - malleability provides the perfect excuse for disengagement from the trickier aspects of other people
- dating - everyone is radically imperfect, compatibility is an achievement of love, it can't be its precondition - cannot help with the real challenge of love - extending sympathy and understanding to human frailty
- nature and the sublime - we are forgetting (as we update) what nature - quietly and with great and tender majesty - might really have been trying to say to us
- stimulation vs calm - our most urgent need is for calm - we react to stimuli even when we're exhausted - phones are endless carriers of claims to rouse us when what we really need is exactly the opposite
- shopping - purchasing ambitions are focused only at the lower level of our own pyramid of needs (reference image within article)
- beyond instagram - we need to make ourselves pay attention - our ease of which we can create an image works against our desire to properly notice anything - put down the phone and sketch
- appreciation - phones deliver the world directly to us yet often limit the things we actually pay attention to
- poetry - brevity to vacuity, serious ideas must be transmitted in long and challenging texts - this is an educated delusion - you can conjure the deepest, sweetest and saddest truths in a few words - brief media to say big important thing
- news - modern idea of news is falsely and unflattering - it imagines we need to know everything thats happened in the world - really important news is just everything that is crucial for us to take in order to understand our own world and our place in it
- FOMO - its not the notion of missing out thats the problem, its ideas of what we might be missing out on - phones unhelpfully skew this
- the dream of being liked - we might know plenty of people but others never quite know us as we wish to be known - loneliness is simply a price we have to pay for holding onto a sincere ambitious view of what companionship must and could be
- travel - while our phones can record and reveal to others the half-formed thoughts circulating our mind they cannot as yet bring our submerged reactions to the surface
- play - the unexpected intensity of fooling around with a normally staid and measured acquaintance - as we play, we forget to cheque our phones 
- selfies - tempting to think we should take them less seriously - distance ourselves from it and see it in a mocking light - but the wiser move might be to get much more ambitious - self-reflection - not seeking the approval of others but seeking self-knowledge
- communication - technology annihilates physical but not psychological, distance - our words move infinitely faster than a carrier pigeon or a scroll bearing slave but we are as yet no better at explaining ourselves than we were in early history
- death - we use our phones for constant reminders - there are more important appointments to be reminded of - appointments with ourselves, our worries and not the anxieties that they create - brevity sadly is the key to appreciation - it is when we remember death that we understand properly the urgency of the time we have left 
- utopia - still so far from technology that will really help us advance - capitalism has delivered on only our simplest of needs - primitive times - in the future our phones will be kind and not merely subservient - they will know how to edge us away from a stupid decision and how to summon up our better natures