MEMES & GIFS
You thought I was going to start with the Network Effect site didn’t you? Hehe, sorry no, but if you haven’t checked it out please do. Click here.
Within the past week, the class was asked to create some of our own media content. It was a fun experience, especially seeing what my other classmates were able to curate, and even replying to their gifs with more gifs. I will link to some of my favorite memes and gifs below, as well as a couple of my own!!
Here are a couple of mine:
I think it is important to note that digital communication with memes and gifs alone can be looked at as a kind of digital language; the bonus is that it is usually hilarious! I enjoyed this class activity.
To be able to be a part of the studio visit with Howard and Mamie Rheingold was a true honor. Howard has contributed so much when it comes to the general sense of the internet. It was a pleasure to be able to hear some of his thoughts about his “position” when it came to the structured education system, or even the fun and importance of making sense of chaos, which seemed to be the theme of the chat. Professor Levine trailed off of Mamie as she discussed her years at Google touching on a sort of balance of chaotic things in life. Professor Levine notes that pure chaos isn’t either productive or effective, but that a lack of it can be stifling. I completely agree!
Howard then jumped in with a statement that reminded me a lot of something John Keats once said. Howard explains that “uncertainty, confusion, and chaos are kind of the background noise of the world” and I feel that that is so eloquently put. Keats reminds us as well about negative capability, which is a comment that Amy Burvall made in the unseen chat comments during the studio visit. I find Howard and Keats having this conversation back and forth as Keats expresses the very real and needed possibility of someone to be “in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason”. Similarly, Howard expresses that one can learn better if one tries to make sense of the chaos on one’s own instead of having someone present it and provide a test afterward. He speaks with urgency about agency and participation in a digital context among today’s students in the classroom and the freedom and effectiveness that comes from letting students practice publishing content online and being “creators of culture”. All of this and more was not only captivating, but added insight into the world that we are all building in this Digital Storytelling course!
Now, I know it is not always easy to balance life when half of it is forced to be digital, and when those digital tools and social networked spaces begin to take over. When it comes to some of my experiences, I know I am still very young and that I have a life ahead of me, but I still have been alive on this earth for a number of years and I did not have technology my entire life. There are two and three-year-old children that are seen now just scrolling on their parent’s phones or on special tablets made for children. I still remember a time when everything was still “by the hand”, “pen and paper”, and “look it up in a book”. My neighbors and friends would knock on our door to see if I could come outside to play.
When I was a child, I had a book in my hand most of the time, and if not, I was holding my mother’s hand hiding behind her leg so I wouldn’t have to talk to people. To be thrust into a digital age is joyous and is a constant learning experience, but it can still be overwhelming and crazy. I need cleanses and time away from it all every once in a while so that I am not consumed by all that is out there on the internet. Everything that glitters is not gold, and I don’t want to lose myself in a bunch of stuff that isn’t going to improve the me that I have to wake up to every morning. So, with that said, proceed with caution, but still acknowledge all of the good that this digital time has to offer.
And now, what I really want to touch on…
THE NETWORK EFFECT
“a change that is a result or consequence of an action or other cause”
“An impression produced in the mind of a person”
To experience Network Effect for the first time is to suspend any notion of what it might be. There is a fear within all individuals which prompts them to implore all that they do not know, and to intensify their reliance on the internet. There was nothing striking about the site in particular, but it did encompass the very act of surfing the web even if the said surfer is on one site. There was statistical data, mini charts, percentages and “in real time” numbers of activities being done all around the world. The blurred menu bar at the top heightened the jumbled and fast paced action of what it means to search one thing after the other (sometimes by clicking on a link or an image that one did not intend to search for… but because it caught the eye). To spring from “smile” to “listen” to “pray” to “sing” never once looking up to readjust eyes to light, or to question why breath was held for ten seconds when “panic” was clicked.
As my eyes panned the screen I saw faces that were no longer present on this earth, and those that are unsettling only because of what I hear others say about them and not what I actually feel towards them. Quite interesting, no? There is something about each unique and individual voice crowding my headphones using my ears as a personal journal to hold secrets, desires, and pains of this world. This audio effect of layering and fading in and out is something that I am all too familiar with from my own electronic literature piece last semester. If you would like to listen to the way I edited my homepage audio, click below.
It was interesting how my IP address and location on the globe (the life expectancy of that particular place) determined how much time I would have to view the sight. When I began, I simply stared at the clock and listened to the constant heartbeat in the background meant to cause the reverberation of the middle of the screen; I did not touch my track pad and I did not move. I simply stared. After my time was up, I was left with this image and quote. (side note) The sound at the end resembled familiar sounds that I heard when visiting the Tibetan Buddhist Altar in the Newark Museum; it was louder than a small bell, but not as big as a gong… it was interesting. A picture of the last screen is below:
This screen brought my mind to Romans 12:2. It was in this book that said: Do not conform to the patterns of this world.
To know who you are is crucial to life because all that I can ever need is already within me.