Archive for June, 2010

A Retrospective view of Media Ritual

June 9, 2010

When I read the Nick Couldry’s ‘Media Rituals’ 13 odd weeks ago I wrote “Maintenance of societies in time rather than transmission of messages across space” on a post-it note.  At the time I don’t think I completely grasped this concept, that media and communications isn’t just about the sending and receiving of messages but an institution that contributes to the maintenance of our society and culture.

When you think about media being a display of our current reality it worries me to think that in the same way 18th Century letters of past political figures are studies, that perhaps some day our facebook page will be a relic of our time?  While current forms of media such as social networking sites and reality television may be considered low culture in terms of entertainment, it does illustrate a change in the tradition power structure of media of producers and audiences.  If media rituals are going to be a representation of our reality then it seems more accurate now that we more actively participate in that process.

Granted I still feel that we are still acting in a time of functionalism, where we act and adapt to media technologies but with the emerging popularity of YouTube we can start to see media being shaped by the general public.  The way we shape our days and space around the media links us to a sense of society that we otherwise may have missed, but the changes in how we act in that space and time is the start of a shift where it’s not this omnipresent power centre, but a dispersed space of interaction.


Who am I?

June 3, 2010

In the debating identities reading During points out that in no way is our identity the whole of ourselves.  Even if you take into account that an individual has multiple identities depending on their public/audience there is still never a way to succinctly and accurately label the whole of a person.  So why do we bother?

The key point, and what I feel sums up the course accurately is that an identity is what links an individual to society as an identity is a form of branding that relies on outsiders.  A person’s control of their identity traditionally relied on how they presented themselves physically, how they spoke, whom they spoke to and their public actions and activities.  In online communities you can see the emergence of hybrid identities as the individual has more control and the audience gets a deeper look at some aspects of life that would otherwise be private; you can see how ones identity would be constantly evolving and changing over time.

But why do we bother with facebook and the like?  Why do we open up our private lives to the public?  In the Herring reading he states that we, Generation Y are the most watched over generation.  Think about everything from pressure on the HSC to internet censorship, sometimes I watch kids younger than me and worry about how much cotton wool they are coated in.  Online identities create a forum of freedom where the internet realms are endless and that control is back in their hands.  Teenagers cant vote, rally they are legally bound to go to school until yr 9 even creative outlets like music concerts often have an age restriction so whether the complete shift from public to private is dangerous or negative is irrelevant, it may not be the best way to express yourself but it is completely understandable to appreciate why it is happening.  Teens and tweens, like anyone else are searching for a way to gain control over their identity.