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This is an old revision of DigitalCultureBJR made by BonnieRobinson on 2018-03-08 08:38:31.

 

//Seeing Ourselves Through Technology// by Jill Walker Rettberg
Notes:
*Worth noting right away that Rettberg's book is open source - licensed through Creative Commons, available as a free download. Like Isaac Newton (see Green's article) dissecting a dolphin for the public audience at the coffee shop,Rettberg is splitting open the world of technology and its impacts on humans for the public to see.

*FOUND a GEM in the acknowledgements section of this book!!! Rettberg writes, "And thank you to everyone at The
Wormhole Coffee for providing a writing environment where you can sip
an excellent coffee with a dragon pattern on top for hours surrounded by
other diligently typing people all in a time-travel themed environment." Awesome connection to this project!"
The Wormhole Coffee is in Chicago. It's decorated in pop culture throughout the ages. This ties in to the early thematic coffee houses of London.

Rettberg details the historical heritage of the blog. The blog is a descendant of the diaries of the past and like the diaries of the past, some are more self-reflective than others. Print is the earliest form of self-representation, followed by visual. Self-portraits became popular in the 18th century. On page 8 she discusses the grey area between self-portraits and performance art.

Interesting section about the expectations of this digital community - the Cultural norms - "People who just watched and
read and didn’t participate were given the derogatory term
lurker
, and it
was clear that the expectation was active participation. Seeing yourself
as a peer communicating with others was key to your identity online,
Markham wrote: ‘thr" - ough conversations, self and reality are co-created
and sustained’ (1998, 227). We ‘write self into being,’ but to ‘recognize
our own existence in any meaningful way, we must be responded to’
(Markham 2013a)." - page 13 a bit later - "But when we merely
lurk or follow, we position ourselves as traditional readers, as voyeurs, as
an audience – and from this point of view, we analyse the other writer
primarily as a text rather than as a living, breathing human being. "

*Possibly re-visit page 13 where Rettberg explains rules of engagement on certain social media. Tumbler doesn't allow direct comments. She discusses the social media of the 90s where whispering could occur. - Might be relevant to CoffeeHousesBJR.

Explore the difference between Self-Representation and Self-Expression; Self-exploration fits in here someplace also.(page 14)

"Regardless of the
content, it is striking that when young women in their teens and early
twenties for the first time have found platforms that allow them to speak
without censorship to large public audiences, society’s kneejerk reaction
is to mock them." - This reminds me of how the women treated the men during the early coffeehouse culture. Not sure what to do with that.???

Chapter 2 - Filters

She talks about how the original definition of filters is usually to remove something unwanted but how apps like Instagram can do that and they can also add things like color boosting to enhance an image. Then she uses this convenient analogy to COFFEE - "A coffee filter does some-
thing similar, though coffee filters are not mentioned in the OED’s list of
usages for filter. Technically the coffee filter does stop the ground coffee
beans from getting into the pot beneath, but the
point
of a coffee filter is
to add flavour to water by slowing its flow through the coffee beans."(page 21) Continues this analogy on page 23 -"Perhaps in this case,
social media is not simply the kind of filter that removes impurities, but
also shapes them and flavours people as the ground coffee beans flavour
the water that passes through them. "

page 25 - "We can
and often do resist or change cultural filters, but most of the time we
simply act according to the logic of the filter without even realising that
that is what we are doing." This makes me wonder about what type of filters people wear or apply when hanging out at the coffee shop. Also, fun experiment idea if I am brave... what would happen if a customer ignored those cultural expectations and behaved completely differently?
page 25 - "The photo filter both aestheticises and perhaps, as Sontag wrote of
images of war , the filter anesthetises our everyday lives (1973, 20). At the same time filters show us images that look
different than the world we are used to seeing." Could this be why people go to the coffeehouse? It both aestheticises and anesthetises their everyday lives? Work seems more glamorous when done in an urban, artsy setting - and by association, your life feels less miserable by having this escape.???

The thing about social media is it always has the potential to have a dark side. Each of these platforms, even when designed to discourage cyberbullying, inevitable fall short, and somebody ends up hurt or in danger. Is there a dark side to the Coffeehouse? That will be interesting to investigate!
"And we are part of cultures that
also have their sets of filters: rituals, customs, terminologies, assumptions
and prejudices that are sometimes visible to us and sometimes taken for
granted." - page 32

Chapter 3 Selfies










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