Ultimate Selfie vs. the Ultimate Self

The saying ‘there’s more than meets the eye’ is relevant to today’s society more than ever. The phenomenon of Facebook promised us the gift of connecting to friends and ultimately, getting to know people on a more personal level. But how realistic was that promise? Whilst we all may have thought Facebook had the best intentions, not only have we deceived each other, but ourselves.

So why is it that we think we know a person (on Facebook) and then realise that in person, they’re not the person you think they are. I believe it’s because on Facebook/any other social media website, we post our ‘ultimate selves’ aka our Mr. Brightside selves. We post pretty pictures, write a witty status, put a few hashtags in there and tell everyone about how awesome our saturday night was.

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Spongebob may not care, but your real friends do

The things that we neglect to post online is the other 20 photos we took in order to get that perfect shot, we sat there for 10 minutes thinking of the perfect way to say something and don’t tell the world about the epic hangover we get on a Sunday morning.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% guilty of this promotion of my ‘ultimate self.’ But lately I’ve been questioning why we do this? We complain that people don’t know the real us but the truth is that we don’t even know the real us, and even if we do, we don’t share it with anyone because we won’t get enough likes that way.

My sister and I
My sister and I. This was posted on Facebook as a family appreciation post. However what I neglected to acknowledge was my anxiousness about moving to a new place with new people and sadness about saying goodbye to my family.

We never seem to put out to the world when we need help, or need a shoulder to lean on, and maybe that’s a reason that we can’t get the help we need. I’m not saying that overnight the world will change and we’ll suddenly stop producing a false image of ourselves online, but I really do believe that if we start to make more intimate, genuine and caring relationships, then we can all live in a better world and live a happier life.

xxx A

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Over To You- Is It Facebook Official?

Yes it is! A Worldly Addiction now has it’s own Facebook page. So head on over to https://www.facebook.com/aworldlyaddiction, to like, share, comment and flick through some pictures.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 4.27.05 pm

Some of you may be wondering… ‘Why have a Facebook page for a blog?’ Well why not?! Like most current relationships in our technology dominant decade, it’s not official until it’s Facebook official.

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Now Over To YOU

With some exciting things planned for 2015, I’d like to hear from you, my incredible readers from across the globe. What do you want to see more of this year? Travel Tips, Destinations, Photography, Creative Writing, Opinions… Or something completely new and different? Please let me know in the comments below or on Facebook so I can continue to grow A Worldly Addiction and bring you along for the ride!

xxx

A

Is this really news?

We see it in newspapers, magazines, Facebook, Twitter… News. It’s everywhere. According to the free dictionary, news is defined as, Information about noteworthy recent events or happenings, especially as reported by newspapers, periodicals, radio, or television’ (the free dictionary). Whilst this definition is widely accepted, there are flaws which should be addressed. News is not justified purely by the media, because the media have the ability to skew perspectives, filter information and have biased (especially towards politics). What is important to the media is not necessarily important to us. Secondly, what defines what the general public should and shouldn’t know? This can also be skewed by biased and personal views from the reporter or company which can heavily influence the audiences view. It also fails to recognise the importance of social media in the role of delivering news. News and it’s definition is constantly changing and the following video explains the difficulty in defining and with news. 

This video taken from HBO’s the Newsroom, identifies the change from NEEDING to know information to WANTING to know such as celebrity idolisation. For example, Facebook and news companies like the Sydney Morning Herald ‘reported’ on Kim Kardashian being tackled at Paris Fashion Week. Is this a type of ‘pseudo event?’ Sukhmani Khorana explains that this is where there is no visible news but audiences still expect news to be full (Khorana, 2014). I argue that it is. Whilst the video stresses how Kim Kardashian could’ve been harmed, it’s really just a practical joke.

News has different values which contribute to its newsworthiness.

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Rarity or Continuity
  • Elite References
  • Negativity
  • Composition
  • Personalisation

The Kim Kardashian story plays on Elite References, Negativity and Composition yet hardly makes it newsworthy. It is obvious that this story is satisfying the audiences want and desire to relate and live the life on the one and only Kim Kardashian.

Whilst this story was being run, there are more important events unfolding in the world which can be lost in the pages of a newspaper or newsfeed. At the end of September, a young Al-Jazeera journalist, Abdullah Elshamy, was released from a prison in Egypt for apparently broadcasting false news of Egypt. A problem with these kinds of stories is the lack of follow ups, ‘it’s important that journalists who are serious about covering (stories), need to follow up, they can’t just cover the big moments. It’s important not to take a snapshot but to take a long video of what’s going on’ (Lee-Wright, pp. 1, 2012). Whilst this story did make the news, there are no follow up stories of Mr. Elshamy and his bid to fight for press freedom, where I’m sure we’ll continue to hear from the adventures of the Kardashians.

I believe it is important to question news and its newsworthiness. Also to look elsewhere from our morning paper or Facebook newsfeed and to actively engage in consuming the news to ensure we are finding out about events around the world that don’t necessarily involve Kim Kardashian.

References

Khorana, S. 2014, BCM111, ‘Who Counts in Global Media News Values’, lecture notes, accessed 24/09/2014, University of Wollongong.

Lee-Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, JOMEC Journal, University of London

Loveluck, L 2014, The Telegraph, ‘Abdullah Elshamy: ‘Freedom can’t be comprimised’, accessed 03/10/14, http://Http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/11119275/Abdullah-Elshamy-Freedom-cant-be-compromised.html

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Kim Kardashian tackled by Ukranian prankster at Paris Fashion Week’, accessed 02/10/2014, http://Http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/kim-kardashian-tackled-by-ukranian-prankster-at-paris-fashion-week-20140926-10masb.html

1 New Friend Request

‘Hey, yea I’m from (insert country here).’
‘Oh really? I want to go there one day.’
‘Ah well add me and when you come hit me up.

I’ve had this conversation so many times. And my facebook friends keep growing in number as you meet people from everywhere across the globe. There are so many places that I do wish to visit in the world and yes if you’ll let me crash on your lounge and take me out to your favourite bar, let’s do it. However, I just recently got to thinking about all the people you meet through your travels, you might have an amazing time with them, and you may never see them again, but you’ll always see their status updates and keep up to date on their life.

My Romanian/German friends overlooking the Danube River - Budapest, Hungary
My Romanian/German friends overlooking the Danube River – Budapest, Hungary

 Twenty years ago, you would’ve had a great time out with some cool people, went your separate ways, never saw them again, and they may cross your mind a few years later as you reminisce.
But now due to facebook, a night out turns into a virtual connection lasting a lifetime.
And it gets me thinking about what it really means to be someone’s friend, beyond a friendship request.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love scrolling down my news feed and seeing things in all different languages, with pictures from the snow, mountains or beaches. And I love the fact that at some point in our two very different lives, our paths crossed, we smiled at each other and formed a bond. The unfortunate thing really is, I still know everything that’s happening to you in your life, but I genuinely don’t know if I’ll ever see you again. And you’ll see what’s happening in this person’s life for years to come.
So how do you cut people out of your life now? You really can’t. Whereas 20 years ago, if you outgrew someone, that was it. But now it’s all so personal and people take great offence to being blocked or deleted. Life definitely needs those buttons to filter out those people who are no good for you, but does it have to be so public? It’s such a relief when you do realise that you don’t need certain people in your life and you can cut them out, but until then your friend requests keep rolling in.

The coolest roomates you could ask for in a hostel, French, Slovenian, American and German friends - Edinburgh, Scotland
The coolest roomates you could ask for in a hostel, French, Slovenian, American and German friends – Edinburgh, Scotland

Some of my closest friends that I have the fondest memories with , are people that you share intimate moments with. Whether it’s telling them your secrets, going on an adventure together, staying up until 3am just talking about nothing in particular, calling them when you’re in trouble and just someone to hug and who makes you feel at home. And it’s just a bonus if you can crash on their lounge when you go traveling to their home country. But it’s those relationships that last beyond that one night out, you message them, have your little inside jokes, have numerous photos with them and you’re already planning when you can see eachother again. You don’t necessarily have to talk everyday or skype once a week, but when you do talk, it’s like it was yesterday. And when you talk, you’re not telling them everything you’ve done for the past month, instead just having a general conversation filled with laughter that doesn’t really make sense.

My American friends at the Cliffs of Moher - Ireland
My American friends at the Cliffs of Moher – Ireland

It’s crazy how social media has changed friendships especially within the travel community, because back in the day if you really wanted to keep in touch with someone special, you would get their home address, print off some pictures, write a letter and send it across the world which could take weeks. But now everything is instantaneous. Night out. Take some photos. Have a good chat. Discuss future travel plans. ‘Oh add me.’ And done, you’re now friends for life, where that friendship once wouldn’t have exceeded that night.

And I’m not saying in any way that this is a bad thing at all, it’s fantastic. 20 years ago it would’ve been impossible to have pen pals from Brazil, America, Canada, Scotland, France, Sweden, China… all at the same time. I am so thankful for all the incredible people I’ve met in my travels from all across the world, and I probably follow you on facebook, Instagram or twitter. I wish you all of the best in your lives and really do hope I get to crash on your lounge at some point and my offer is always there, if you’re ever in Australia, please do come a visit. Until then keep the status updates, snapchats, tweets and posts coming.

Ciao

p.s (everyone in these photos are truly incredible! we shared some amazing times together and these photos are just a small reminder of the memories i’ll carry with my for life).

The Power is in Your Hands

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy 

Sourced from xaxor.com
Sourced from xaxor.com

In the interconnected world of ‘collective intelligence,’ everyone has unique knowledge, ideas and concepts which they can use to develop an individual idea or improve another. “Once you start contributing and sharing and connecting with the work of those who connect with yours, you’re engaging in something called produsage (Stewart, 2012). Produsage is encompassed by a larger concept – Citizen Journalism.

Citizen Journalism is where any individual, regardless of training, knowledge, background or education can contribute towards the media. (Bruns, 2007) The positive aspect of this new wave of journalism, is that it allows individuals in the midst of the action to instantaneously document and broadcast crucial information from their mobile phones, tablets or cameras (Hogg, 2009). The role of  this participatory culture is exemplified through technology’s role in the Arab Spring, where Twitter and Facebook are acknowledged for their unparalleled advances in disseminating information” (Duffy, 2011). However, critics say that Citizen Journalism is biased and shows little understanding of the bigger picture. (Hogg, 2009)

Sourced from http://www.tamaleaver.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/produsage.jpg
Sourced from http://www.tamaleaver.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/produsage.jpg

Because Tinder is a closed source technology, there are limited opportunities for people to contribute to the collective intelligence and produsage. However, Tinder embraces the characteristics of produsage of ‘organisational shift’ and ‘unfinished’ (Bruns, 2007). The organisational shift encompasses the shift from technological professionals running the app, to a wider population able to make positive contributions. Users and critics are able to criticise, make suggestions and complaints, and although the user cannot amend it themselves, all feedback is taken into consideration. Because of this ‘organisational shift’ Tinder is in a way, ‘unfinished.’ Significant improvements to security have already been conducted as a result of people’s contribution and Tinder will continue to evolve, improve and modify its components to give its audience what they desire.

Produsage may not greatly affect Tinder, however, it has many effects on other components of our lives which influence our decisions and attitudes towards using apps like Tinder in the first place.

References

Bonnie Stewart, What Produsage is and why it Matters, http://theory.cribchronicles.com/2012/07/03/what-produsage-is-and-why-it-matters/,  July 2012, accessed 11/03/14

Matt J. Duffy, Smartphones in the Arab Spring, International Press Institute 2011 Report, http://www.academia.edu/1911044/Smartphones_in_the_Arab_Spring, 2011, accessed 13/04/14

Axel Bruns, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation, page 4, http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf, 2007, accessed 11/04/14

Chris Hogg, Is There Creditability in Citizen Journalism? Digital Journal, http://digitaljournal.com/article/271657, May 2009, accessed 11/04/14