Did this module change my online presence?

While attending the lectures I obtained a deeper knowledge about how the information I share online can effect me. I was shocked by the things I learnt in the lectures, however, as soon as I left I returned to my old habits. Or did I make changes? I used this open post to think through how everything I learnt has changed the way I use the internet. Surprisingly, it did quite a bit. The lecture that shaped the way I use the internet, especially social media, the most wast the one about surveillance. I find it shocking how much they actually know about us based on our online activity. As Edward Snowden stated, “arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you don’t have anything to hide is like saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you don’t have anything to say”. This quote is very helpful in understanding why all of us are affected by surveillance. Even though it wasn’t intentional, I changed the way I use the internet as a result of everything I learnt. Firstly, looking at my Facebook profile I noticed I barely ‘check-in’ anymore, I write comments under open posts only after think about it twice and I have deleted friends whose requests I don’t know why I accepted in the first place. Secondly, I’considered changing my Instagram account to an open one but now I’m sure I won’t. Lastly, I deleted people who I don’t consider real friends from Snapchat.
Clearly, this module has affected the way I use the internet. Did you experience the same thing? In your opinion is this a positive or a negative change?


Torrent? My Thoughts On Downloading Music and Movies

As we all know, downloading most movies and music for completely free is illegal, however, it is quite simple. Downloading content using torrent is very easy and, even though most people are aware that there are laws that forbid it, it is very common as well. Needless to say, if it wasn’t illegal even more people would do it which would lead to the number of the people who pay for what they watch or what they listen to to decrease. Thus, I believe, it is important not to allow people to access this type of content for free because making this type of content cost others a lot time and money. I believe, people should pay for enjoying movies and music, especially now that we don’t need to buy CDs or DVDs because there are cheap and convenient ways to access what we want to see or hear. In my opinion, using, for example, Spotify and Netflix is even easier than downloading music or movies, it is faster and, most importantly, legal. These platforms offer the opportunity to access what most people turn to torrent for and offer it for a reasonable price. I also find it very interesting how different countries regulate downloading differently. For example, I think its quite surprising that the consequences of downloading an American movie can differ in two European countries. What are your thoughts about this? How do you watch movies, listen to music?

Am I Private or Visible?

I am present on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. My Facebook profile is as private as possible, meaning, that only my friends can see the things I share. I chose this setting because I share things about myself quite often, especially pictures and check-ins at the places I visit. Anyone can add me as a friend, however, until I accept their requests they won’t see the details of my profile. Regarding my bio and the information about me I shared nearly nothing. All people can see on my profile is that I go to Westminster, study PR and live in London. They can also see who my sister is, who is also using Facebook.
On Instagram I have a private account and I actually really deny the following requests from people who I don’t know. I share my own photos as well as funny or nice photos I just feel like posting for some reason. From the bio section of my Instagram profile people can’t tell anything about my life, I only have a quote there.
I consider my Snapchat account my most personal one. I even deleted people who I knew but weren’t really my friends. I post a lot about my everyday life and I only want my friends to see it.
I believe how much we share or keep to ourselves or to our friends on these platforms are under the control of the platform itself in a way because there are policies and certain ways in which they work. However, when we sign up to a social media platform we accept these rules which means we agree to use according to them.

The Online Community Of Movie Lovers

My positive example of an online community is the IMDb community. IMDb describes itself as “the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content”. Anyone who visits the website (or opens the app) can search for any movie or celebrity, and find ratings and reviews about them. However, to its members the website offers a lot more. After joining the community users themselves can rate movies. Based on their ratings, the website recommends movies that are similar to the ones that have been highly ranked by the individual. Furthermore, members can help each other with choosing what to watch next by writing their own reviews about movies they have watched. I believe, this is a great website for someone who loves watching films because you can read the honest opinions of people who didn’t get paid for writing the posted reviews. Furthermore, members of the IMDb community can help to broaden the titles and names featured on the website as well by participating as “contributors”. IMDb members can also participate in film related conversations by visiting its message boards. In my opinion, the only limitation of this website is that members can’t contact other members directly. They can visit the profiles of each other, however, IMDb doesn’t offer the opportunity of having private conversations.
I’m sure many of you already use IMDb, however, you may not have an account yet. If you run out of ideas, want to save your own ratings or would like to try writing reviews give it a try!

Online Lookbook

Lookbook.nu describes itself as “the global community for the fashion-conscious”. It is a platform that offers the opportunity to anyone who is interested in styling and fashion to join and share pictures or just browse and find inspiration. It is a positive example of a website with ‘content significantly shaped by the audience’ because every picture that is featured has been posted by a member. It is similar to a fashion blog shared by different people from all over the world. After joining the Lookbook community members can post, like and save pictures and follow specific users they like. The website is popular between fashion-interested individuals because using it is an easy way to discover new brands as members can search not only for other users but for brands, products and specific styles as well. Lookbook also runs a forum where fashion-related topics are discussed by members.
In my opinion, Lookbook.nu is a fun platform that has built an online-community that is a bit different from what we are used to. It brings together people who are interested in fashion in a creative way. I recommend taking a look at it to anyone who likes its description, especially bloggers who write about fashion as posting on Lookbook is a popular, easy and fun way of attracting followers.

Radio Through the Internet

I came up with an example of convergence while doing my task for another module. For our module ‘Campaigning and Persuasive Skills’ we were asked to listen to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme. ‘Today’ is an early morning radio program that covers news and current affairs, broadcasted from 6.00 am to 9.00 am Monday to Friday, and 7.00 am to 9.00 am on Saturdays. Our teachers want us to listen to this programme as it is setting the political agenda in the UK, however, it is obvious to them that we won’t get up at 6 am to listen to it. Thus, they recommended us to listen to it on demand. After they air every show is available on their website on the BBC iPlayer Radio so anyone can access it at anytime. This is an example of convergence as the BBC iPlayer gives you the opportunity to listen to radio through the internet. Thus, instead of accessing radio programmes via actual radios we listen to them using our laptops or even our phones. Most radio stations offer the opportunity of listening to their programmes online, it is a broadly spread example of convergence. Some stations even launched apps to make their programmes more accessible. I think being able to listen to programmes on demand is very helpful as people can listen to them even if they didn’t have time when they actually aired.

Social Media + Society

I believe, the online journal Social Media + Society is useful for the students in this module. First of all because of its content, its articles focus on social media and its impacts on our society. The issues the articles are about are quite relevant and are strongly connected to our studies, lectures. The other reason I chose to link you to this page is that it is reliable. It is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal so students can reference it when writing about a relevant topic.
To give you an idea of what an article of Social Media + Society is about I decided to summarise on I’ve read. The article written by José van Dijck, After Connectivity: The era of Connectication, is about the globalisation of the internet and why this is worrying some scholars. He argues, that the internet is now increasingly spreading between undeveloped parts of the world as well and this is facilitating that more countries are becoming a part of the commercial zones that are existing online. I believe, this is a very interesting and debatable statement.
Thus, the articles of Social Media + Society are engaging and helpful. I encourage every student in this module to have a look into it.