LM111 Week 7

In today’s lesson Maria taught us about Network privacy. During the lesson Maria asked the class if there was any networked society that doesn’t ask for personal information such as phone number, full name and date of birth and no one could think of anything. This made me think about my privacy online and if the things I think are private really are. With my own experience on social network society, there are options on who can see your information, like people who are only ‘friends’ or ‘follow’ allowed access. ‘Individuals, groups, or institutions to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated to others’ (Westin 1967, in Fuchs, 2011:142 & in Boyd, 2014:59).

Maria explained about privacy of social media posts. There have been many situations where celebrities or people in a job interview have been confronted by the content of their online history which has ruined careers. ‘Comments written weeks ago can easily be fodder for current dramas’ (Boyd, 2014: p66).

There is an option for opting out, meaning you can delete social media from your phone and not use it anymore but your account will still be there, so even though you’re not using it, people can still look you up and read details of your profile.

During the lesson Maria also mentioned the different types of privacy that isn’t on social networking sites – she questioned if prisoners have any privacy and this got me thinking if I actually have privacy in my own home!




LM111 Week 6

In today’s lesson Maria taught us about 2 different types of communities – territorially bound and virtual. Territorial communities are defined by physical location like the communities in the area you live in, and where people bond together. Virtual communities are ‘not tied directly to physical reality (Von Dijk, 1999: 250) so are based online, on the internet.

Maria also taught us about the very first virtual community that was established in 1990 called ‘The Well’. Within this community strangers would occasionally meet and share their interests, and then do the same online. ‘The interest can radically transform social interaction’ (Rheingold, 1994) – when ‘The Well’ got started it gave the opportunity for people to be free from the physical world with inherited identities without having to reveal their face or real name online, and where people were free to participate, communicate and discuss interests and politics. The type of text virtual communities are based on facilitated interaction but people also text about fandom, sexting, grass-root political action etc.

Maria also compared this to the online community that we have today and we also discussed this in the seminar after the lecture. Compared to the online community back in the 1990’s, the online community now don’t meet with each other – they are more likely to follow common interest on social media and consider that a community. However, to me being in a community is meeting with people in reality and enjoying their company, playing, talking about common interests which is more satisfying than ‘liking’ and commenting on social media.

LM111 Week 4

During today’s lesson, Maria taught me about the Information Society. Information, when used in relation to media technologies, refers to codified data that doesn’t have to be associated with context and meaning.

Digital media and information technologies has developed quickly becoming faster and more reliable (increased carriage capacity), cheaper (for information and transmission) and smarter (convergence). These improvements in digitalisation have led, and will continue to lead, to an increase in the volume of information we exchange.

Maria also taught me about the economic change – the economic value of information where significant wealth is generated by information processing activities and where industrial capital base activities are being displaced by information processing sectors. For example advanced capitalist economies (circa in the 1950s) such as the USA have seen information related services sector expanding 2x faster than the rest of the economy. This shift from production of goods to (information based) services represented emergence of post-industrial society/information society with consequent shifts in status and power (Bell, 1970).

I found this lesson quite difficult to concentrate on as the lesson was moved to Tuesday and I had had lessons all day before this one started. Apart from that I found this lesson really interesting because I learned about the development of digital information. The original definition is ‘which is answers to requests for instruction, guidance, directions… what? where? how?’ This is the exchanging of information between people to convey meaning.