Well, class 7 was a very chatty class! We spoke about a lot of things, and it felt for the first time, the most active we had been as a group. It’s nice to chat about these sort of topics (truth, meanings, God complex, etc). We spoke about the blogger who played pretend.
Have you ever played cops and robbers when you were a child? How about cowboys and Indians? What about Halloween? How many of us dressed up and paraded around as if we were the creatures and characters that we were dressed up as? It’s a bit of harmless fun and is wired into our being as social creatures. When we pretended to be something we were not, we were actually working through difficult emotions, in a safe environment. Psychology studies will tell you that playing as doctors might help stop the fear of visiting them. Playing as a super hero can help with those monsters under the bed. It sparks the imagination and it is all part and parcel of being a kid. When you become an adult, you are not allowed to avail of such luxuries.
However, I’m sure some of you know of things as Star Trek conventions, and maybe even to a lesser extent, anime conventions. In Japan, the Akihabara district actually has costume based or cosplay based restaurants and maid cafes. Harajuku is an informal gathering for people to dress up. These are considered normal there. I have (once or twice) cosplayed at a convention—it is fun and wonderful to be recognized as a character you love, and get to talk to people with similar interests.
Could the fake blogger have done this without social media? Of course. I’m sure you have seen those tabloid magazines advertising the story of the man with four wives and a secret life. You might read these and think, wow, how could they not know! What was he doing? But honestly, the internet is just the same as the real world. Not everyone you meet is the person you are seeing. Everyone wears masks. This is a strong viewpoint of Carl Jung’s work. He felt that personas were ‘a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual’. However, I do feel that social media makes these types of stories easier to come by. The internet is a large place and it can conceal a lot of impurities. We spoke about God complex—could the blogger had done this in a misguided attempt of being ‘the only person who could shed light on those issues?’
There is a ton of ethical debate to be had about the subject, and I feel that (for the most part) if no one is hurt by it, it’s not an issue. If he was writing fictional blogs that no one read, or with the disclaimer, there would be no issue. However, he did interact with people and put lives at risk—thus creating a different scenario then the one I mentioned above. I don’t think doing that sort of thing is right at all—but we did mention that perhaps he started this and it just snowballed.
Now, after that rant is over—I changed my avatar’s appearance a bit (her hair) and read the ‘prosumer to producer’ bit as well. (I think it’s true, YouTubers are people like ‘you and me’ who are out there, creating communities and doing things.)
In so far as the group—it’s still chugging away.Rave found Samya on FB! Samya did lots of research on Rave and myself, and I’ve put it all in the Google Doc Rave set up for us. We spoke about general ideas on the brief, and I think I was misunderstanding Rave for a while. I tend to write a lot, without always letting people reply, (because my brain works like that? It’s a bad habit, I know) and when he did reply I wasn’t sure to which bit, and had to clarify. I’m not sure if I annoyed him or if he thinks I’m just really silly, but when you’ve written about say 3 different things, and then someone answers, I find it better to clarify then assume they have responded to just say the last thing said, or the first thing said. In so far as this being better or worse then real life interactions—I suppose when you’re talking to some one face to face you have an automatic response to things (perhaps if we had Skyped or been on SL this would have not happened, and I wouldn’t have had to clarify) I just felt funny about it, and I’m not entirely sure why. I tend to write a lot in conversations (as probably noted by the amount I’ve written in this blog). I tend to use words that are similar to my every day speech (and use smileys and emojis to break up words I think could be perceived as tense/terse) I’m so acutely aware of the way the written word can be taken that I attempt to do my best to come across as clear, concise but also friendly. It’s like the expression ‘it’s fine.’. Even the way you write these words,
It’s fine! 🙂
can give you so many different meanings/scenarios. I make an effort to try to keep mine clear, as to not be misunderstood. But that might be coming from the years I’ve spent online. I understand speech like ‘brb, wb, ty, pwned, l33t’ and how easy it can be to get in an argument over what you’ve said. I need to understand that not everyone talks like that, or uses emojis, so if they use short sentences, it might not always mean they are angry/upset/etc. I’m not sure if it’s empathy on my side, or some strange complex to try to not annoy anyone, but it probably is! This is also due to maybe talking to clients, and trying to suss out if they are happy with your work. I’ve worked online with a few, and it seems like we have both been trying on our sides to not offend the other, and I can see where the relationship with words and type could interfere in that. Also, when you know someone for real, even if they type like ..it’s fine.. they might actually be the most optimistic, nothing gets to them, person—it’s just their typing is like that. In the same way you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, likewise you can’t judge a conversation or feelings by the words they type. Point of the story is—I hope I’ve not offended anyone! We spoke about thinking of questions to ask about the brief for next class, so I hope we can come up with some to have a better understanding of the brief.