2012 Tuesday- Discussion Assignment 3

Discussion Assignment
1. In what ways are you like Gina?
2. In what ways are you not like Gina?
3. Do you ever worry that you’ve crossed lines in your online life that you wouldn’t cross in real life? (Please only share details on the discussion board if you feel comfortable.) For example, have you made comments on a discussion board or a website that were blunter or less compassionate than they might have been if the discussion had taken place face-to-face with that person?

Please post your comments below.

*The comment thread below will close at 5:00 on Tuesday night.


15 thoughts on “2012 Tuesday- Discussion Assignment 3

  1. Gina and I have a few things in common and a few things not in common. She obviously likes spending time on her phone texting and talking, and like most teenagers/young adults, we all love being on our phones.
    Gina likes spending time with her friends, and so do I, but the fact that she kind of discloses them from everything to text on her phone to other friends, that’s where we differ. If I am at one place already, I wouldn’t want to switch places during the night like Gina does. I am on my phone a lot of the time, but when I am spending time with my friends or family, I don’t exclude them and act like they’re invisible. Also, she seems to be a popular girl with a lot of followers and friends and it seems like she is one of those people who try to collect friends to be the center of attention everywhere she goes and I am definitely not like that.
    I think it’s hard to say if I’ve ever crossed lines. I’m sure I have and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I can’t remember a specific time, but I feel like through online conversations or something, people can take things the wrong way. For me, I feel like if someone says something to me online with blunt words, I feel like they’re mad at me or something when they aren’t. Online, people can take things way too far but no one knows because there is no face-to-face interaction. For example, someone saying “yeah okay.” seems like someone is upset or mad. But if they said it like “yeah okay!” that’s completely different. And sometimes I do worry that people don’t understand what I am trying to say because they can’t actually see the expression on my face or how I am expressing something.

  2. Gina and I are not alike. I’m not constantly plugged in with social networking sites, or anything else on the Internet for that matter. I don’t have a smart phone–I don’t even have picture messaging capabilities–and let me tell you, I’m perfectly content with that. The only similarity one could possibly make between the two of us is that we both have a Facebook account. No Twitter, no Instagram, but ‘yes’ to Pinterest.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever crossed a line while on the Internet. To put it this way, my voice is relatively non-existent online, with the exception to Facebook and few Pinterest boards every now and then, so I haven’t had much of an opportunity to cross lines. And on Facebook where I actually converse with other members (as opposed to Pinterest), I have a limited number of friends and will only add new ones if I actually know them. So theoretically whomever I’m talking to knows me and can tell when I’m being sarcastic and whatnot.
    I do agree with weigandj in saying being direct or blunt with your written words can definitely come off as anger. In regards to this, I prefer doing what Rushkoff discussed and how with technology we are able to take our time to find the right words. I’m kind of a nerd in that I even proof-read my text messages; I just want to make sure what I’m saying is understandable and gets my point across.

  3. In certain ways, yes, I can be like a Gina. I am always seeming to be looking at what everyone is doing and how the place I am at compares with that. People post things almost like a competition. Who are they with? How many people are there? What is the occasion? Or in general, is it more fun than I am having? In more ways I am not like Gina. I try to limit myself to comparing my social life with others, although it is a habit, it is not as extreme as some people have made it. I do not leave where I am to go somewhere else where the real “party” is for the night, unless people that I am with do. The most prominent way that I am not like a Gina is that I do not constantly take pictures of myself and continue to upload them all night.
    I am not sure that I have crossed the line on the Internet, not recently at all at least. I try at all costs to avoid Internet fights because a) I hate confrontation and b) people take it way out of proportion. It is because of the social media that people do take it out of proportion because of avoiding face-to-face altercation. Most fights between friends have never been face to face, especially with girls. The Internet now provides a whole new window of opportunity to victimize and humiliate other people.

  4. I am like Gina in some ways. I have a smart phone, and it is glued to my hand 24/7. I am on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram during my free time, and I tweet about twenty times a day. In contrast, however, I rarely take photos of myself, if at all, and I keep my phone out of site while with my family and groups of friends – especially during a meal.

    In junior high, my friends and I crossed many lines on the internet. We never had face-to-face altercations. We would rather fight via AOL Instant Messenger because we could say things that we couldn’t say to someone’s face. I don’t know any specific details of the events, but we called each other names and said very hurtful things. I am not proud of it, and as I got older I strayed away from fighting with people online, because it can be taken very seriously and out of context. Also, I avoid serious conversations via Internet or even through text, because things can be taken the wrong way, especially for me, because I am very sarcastic, and sarcasm cannot be read, but heard.

  5. Gina and I are somewhat alike. We both check our phones a lot (unfortunately this has become a habit for me), we both try to find the best party going on, etc. We are not alike because I don’t post pictures of what I’m doing at that particular moment, I rarely post pictures at all. I don’t know many guys that take pictures of themselves and put them on Facebook or Tweet them, I feel like that’s something girls do a lot more than guys, generally speaking. Also, I’m not on my phone 24/7 as Rushkoff portrayed Gina to be in the book.

    As for crossing lines on discussion boards or other similar things on the internet, yes I do believe I’ve crossed lines. There have been multiple times I’ve said something online that I probably wouldn’t have said in person. I believe people do this because they know they will probably never see the person their comments are directed towards in their life, so they may not care what that person thinks about them. Also another reason someone may do this is because there’s a slim chance of them getting physically hurt. They know they can be a “tough guy” behind a computer screen because they don’t fear any physical retaliation from the person their comments are directed towards.

  6. Gina and I are similar in the way that we both are constantly plugged into social media and have a need to know what’s going on with everyone, all the time. My smartphone allows me to text whoever and receive a constant stream of tweets, allowing me to fulfill my need. Gina and I are different because I know the situations that I shouldn’t be on my phone. If I’m eating with people, with my family, or spending time with my friends, it’s not a good opportunity to be on my phone.
    I don’t feel as if I have ever crossed any lines over the internet, but I have definitely been more straight forward with people. I never say something online that I wouldn’t say in person, but it’s easier to get the right words out when you can reread what you’ve written. If you accidentally say something in person that you would not have chosen to say, you can’t take it back. Sometimes a text can seem less compassionate, and in some ways it is. But I feel that sometimes it is even better because the person can reread it to get themselves through a tough situation or they can read it whenever they have time, rather than being interrupted by a phone call or a face-to-face confrontation.

  7. I can be like Gina at times in my online life. I have a current events/politics/philosophy blog that I combine with my Twitter account, and I feel like at times I’m posting a ridiculous amount of things, and that I interact with people that I’ve never met before and will probably never meet, but I still find the interaction necessary. That kind of touches on Rushkoff’s idea of social currency, where my blog and my ideas can get more exposure if I catch the attention of those who already have an established presence on the web. This feeling of “constant responsibility”–where if I’m not plugged in all day and I don’t have a presence every day I will miss out on opportunities–probably irks a lot of my real-life friends and acquaintances that follow me on Twitter who only see me pontificating about things that probably don’t interest them in the slightest. My follower count fluctuates quite a bit because of this, I believe.

    It’s also because of the nature of what I converse about online that things can get feisty quickly. People are very passionate about their beliefs, and they become very offended when someone disagrees with them, even on a rational basis. I’m guilty of this, just like everyone else probably is to a certain extent. The Internet isn’t the go-to place for civility and rationality, for sure (unless you go straight to a trustworthy source). There are things that I wish I could take back but never can, because everything posted on the Internet is immortal.

  8. Reading about Gina I thought the many times I was guilty of being a Gina. I’m beginning to think I care about my smartphone more than a mother cares about their child. There have been times I have been at a social gathering and I am scrolling through my timeline on twitter instead of socialzing with others in the room. It is easy to get wrapped up in social media. I have to admit like Gina there have been times where I had to be plugged into the “best of the best,” or at least make it look like it.
    I’m not like Gina because I do however try to remind myself that I came out to have fun with the people around me and try to limit my social media use, at least while I’m out with my friends. I never want to be that girl who is in the corner on her phone while everybody else is having fun at a party. After a while I get annoyed with social media and you get tired of not havign any real communication.

    I don’t think I have ever crossed the line in my online life. I never really completely let myself say what I want to say so if I wanted to cross the line I don’t think i could bring myself to do. People say that people form another personality behind the computer screen but I don’t think thats always true because I could never bring myself to hit the send button. Maybe I’m jsut too safe?

  9. As much as I hate to admit it, I can sometimes be very much like Gina. I am extremely plugged technologically with the world around me. I check my twitter too much and text on my phone a lot which seems ridiculous even to me, but it’s something I do out of habit when I’m bored and I blame my smart phone. However, unlike Gina, I only interact with people that I know and I really try to keep the phone put away when I’m spending time face to face with family and friends because that interaction is more important.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever crossed any lines I shouldn’t have online and I think that’s because I always think twice before I post. I never want to offend anyone with what I’m doing online in any way. The only thing I could think of are fights on Facebook back in high school which I usually just read and never participated in because they were amusing to me. I have probably unknowingly egged on an online argument by liking a comment or status that was controversial, but I think it’s very important not to cross any lines because once it’s online, it’s there forever.

  10. I think everyone at some point, has been a Gina. It is incredibly hard to avoid in the day and age we live in. Personally, I am attached to my smartphone. I am very rarely without it and it is my life line for communication. Since it is a smartphone, I am always connected with Facebook and do check it a lot. However, I do not think I am as plugged in as a Gina. I do not post pictures of where I am or what I’m doing all the time and I don’t update or even talk to people a lot on Facebook. I think I am pretty good at unplugging myself when I need to, for example, family events, friend outings etc. A lot of my friends will text when we are having an in person conversation, and I know they are tuning me out and focusing on their phone, and for a long time, that really annoyed me. But then I started thinking to myself, there is leeway when it comes to texting during a conversation with certain friends. It has become socially acceptable to text while having a conversation in person. I know which friends I can do that with and which friends I need to put my phone away if I’m with them. I don’t think that is a good thing, but it is what has happened.

    I know I have crossed lines online in the past that I would not have said in person. When I was younger, like junior high or high school age, the internet and access to it became a big thing. I had more courage to say what I wouldn’t normally have in person, which is not a good thing. As I have gotten older, I’ve realized that what I say online or via text I need to be able to say in person as well. I am a lot more careful with what I say electronically because of this. Sometimes, it is nice to know that I have that option of saying the hard things via text or via Facebook message if I need to, just having the option puts me at ease.

  11. I am most assuredly, NOT a Gina. While I do believe that I have a good grasp of online media and technology, I desperately crave personal contact. I have a facebook page which I mostly use to keep tabs on old friends from high school. My twitter account has faded into the obscurity of a million other accounts with no activity for years. My notable online presence takes the form of the absorber. I constantly bounce from website to website, reading as much trivia and tidbits as I can get my hands on. I don’t troll, and I try to keep a level of consciousness about both my online postings and my real life interactions to avoid putting my foot (digital or otherwise) into my mouth.

  12. Like Gina (and most of my classmates), I spend a lot of time plugged in to what is going on both with my friends and, on a larger scale, world news and events. While I rarely choose to comment or rant on the internet, I believe it is important to sift thru and consume important information and ideas, a feat easily achieved while scanning the internet. Occasionally, I let myself become too distracted by social media and get sidetracked because of it, a serious negative consequence. It makes me feel strange when I take a step back and realize how much time I spend on my phone and the internet, and what I would do if I did not have these outlets at my immediate disposal.

    I try my very best to resist the urge to comment or respond to others on forums or comment sections, understand fully there is no way to win an argument on the internet. No matter what an article or video is about, the comment section ultimately devolves into a melee between know-it-all’s, grammar police, political experts and 13 year old’s claiming to be adults. I would feel like a hypocrite if I took part in these discussions because I would be giving in to the people I identify as lacking common sense and/or basic decency in some cases.

  13. I feel like I am more like Gina at family events than at events with friends. When I’m with family, I think my subconscious thought is that I know them all, so instead of talking with them and getting to know them even more (you can always find out something new about someone no matter how long you’ve known them) I am talking to friends that I may not have known for as long as my family to try to further those friendships. The other time that I am like Gina is if I’m at a party where I only know a few people and those people are busy having other conversations at the moment. That is when I start to text my friends so that I don’t feel left out. What I should practice more is trying to meet new people instead of being on my phone—but I’m not the only one. I notice tons of people doing this same thing in the same situation.
    When I’m with close friends or doing something specific (like bowling or watching a movie, something more active) I usually never text unless it’s important. I actually like to socialize, and I understand (even before I read this part of Program or Be Programmed) that you can’t socialize with people right in front of you if you’re busy on your phone!
    The only lines I think I’ve crossed online that I wouldn’t in real life would be making fun of certain people in YouTube videos. Sometimes I wonder why people post videos on YouTube of themselves being stupid not expecting to get negative comments. There are always so many people who say “that’s so mean!” to all those harsh comments, but the people posting are opening themselves up to attacks. I don’t do it all the time, but I’ve done it a few- and I feel like if certain people were around me in real life and I saw someone being stupid, I definitely wouldn’t say them out loud, mainly out of respect.

  14. I am definitely similar to Gina. I run a small business that is based completely off social networking. I have to Instagram a picture wherever I am. I am always condescendingly critiquing my friends repetitive foursquare check-ins. I compose close to 15 tweets and 5 Facebook messages on any given day. I am constantly connected and checking Twitter for news.

    I am not like Gina in that I see my online life as an extension of myself. I am able to disconnect from my networks because I see them as tools. I am not addicted to social networks because I know the statistical “downtimes” when I do not have to be online. I can simply optimize the timing of my own posts to go out in a time when most of my followers are online.

  15. I think I’m like Gina in the sense that I’m never too far from social media. As I’m typing this right now, there’s a Facebook tab next to this one that I can easily navigate my online social life and my homework. But that’s the thing; it’s just an online social life. People like Gina think that if something only happens if you post about it on Facebook or Twitter. People like her need to show the rest of the world how much fun she’s having, even if she just poses for the pictures and actually had a terrible night. In that sense, I’m not like Gina. I would much rather have a good time, than pose for a good time just to get more “likes” on Facebook. I like posting things on Facebook that are important to me, but it’s not a constant update of my everyday life.
    For many people, the Internet is a way for them to say everything they’ve ever wanted to say, simply because to them there are no consequences. I’ve never gone over the line in a social media sense, but I’ve seen it happen. I have a twelve-year-old cousin who has no business being on Facebook, but has one anyways. She likes to lie on Facebook to get attention. My family simply doesn’t draw attention to it, because we know that’s what she wants, but I’ve seen other girls make fun of her on Facebook, calling her out on her lies, and making her feel bad. I’m not saying she doesn’t set herself up for the ridicule, I just think it’s unfair for people to be so bold and mean when I know most would never say anything in face-to-face communication.

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