Thursday, 27 March 2014

Digital Identities

There are many different digital identities available today; some are restrained than others whereas some reveal a persons personality extremely easily and effectively.

Facebook, for example, is one of the identities that is more restrained in that it now mainly consists of photos and does not reveal much about a persons identity, only what they have been doing. Although, there have been many incidents of 'catfishing' (based on the documentary), where people pretend to be somebody that they are not and therefore create a completely different identity than that of their own, or perhaps it is the identity that they wish they had.

Twitter is similar to Facebook in its ways of communication because it restrains a persons identity more than Tumblr, for example, but reveals it more than Facebook does. Twitter is very clever because it is a medium that allows a person to voice their thoughts and opinions as they would do in real life and are also able to connect with strangers from all over the world. This does not happen as much on Facebook, primarily because it is easier to find other people on Twitter. This move forward shows how the future of communication is based on the virtual world and that good friendships can be forged. (I know many people that have friends on Twitter that they have never actually met in real life.)

Tumblr is the most useful when trying to understand a persons identity or personality because it is such an open and non-judgemental space. Reblogging pictures, quotes and thoughts is the basis of Tumblr but it simply reveals so much about a person. Through Tumblr, communication with strangers is encouraged and because of this, a focus is placed more on the 'freedom of speech', therefore making a person feel that they can voice their thoughts and things that they perhaps cant say in the non-virtual world, with an emphasis again, on connecting with unknown people from all over the world. There are countless stories of couples that have met through Tumblr and this seems to be an extremely good way of communicating and meeting others. I believe that this is the most effective portrayal of identities because through Tumblr you can see into a persons real thoughts and perhaps the things that they are not brave enough to say, showing that this is not a changeable form of 'identity', but a persons real identity and indeed, their personality. As each user has to have a name, it is as if it creates the unrestrained alter ego that you wish you could be in real life.

Tumblr has a userbase of nearly 178 million blogs, showing that it is incredibly popular and what I believe to be the way forward. The way that is focuses on freedom and not having to hide allows you to communicate with others similar and with the same interests as you, creating an instantaneous link. Whereas Facebook is beginning to die out now, Tumblr is still on the rise and I think spaces that allow you to be your real self are the ones that are creating the most effective form of identity and are the future, telling us that Americans don't want to have to hide behind a socially acceptable identity anymore, but want to be able to be themselves and show that identity, proving that it is not in fact creating an identity that is important, but being able to show the one that you already have.


Digital Identity - YouTube

YouTube was created in 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim and bought by Google in 2006 for $1.6 Billion, it is based in California. It is a video sharing website which allows anyone in the world to post a video about anything in the world. The website is mainly used by individuals, but large corporations like BBC and ABC as well as music companies like Vevo also use it for uploading their content to allow users to view it more readily.

YouTube currently has more than 40,000 partners (users who get paid) with many making over $100,000 a year. All YouTube users upload roughly an hours worth of video every second. More than 3 Billion hours of video are watched every month and the majority of site visitors are from outside of the US.

Uniquely to YouTube is that it is able to be linked to other social media like Facebook and Twitter, which links to more than 500 YouTube videos every minute. It is also able to be embedded in websites meaning you don't have to go to its webpage to view its content. This means it is able to keep growing and expanding, meaning it is becoming ever more present in our lives.    

Digital Identity

There are many digital identities that are available to Americans, for example facebook, twitter, tumblr etc. These sites allow you to share personal info about you and your life or can be used as a forum to promote causes in which millions of people can connect and in a sense become your 'virtual friends'. These sites have allowed our world to become interconnected and we can be instantly up to date with the latest news. So in a way social network sites have managed to help America create a 'unified identity' as they are constantly aware with the issues in their society and have more chance of getting the message across.

 For future Americans the increase of technology is extremely important as their world will literally revolve around it. In terms of education there are already arguments that the way the children develop have changed and that education needs to be directed to these new patterns of thinking i.e. games that help you learn. In terms of job prospects everything is moving towards the internet and so the types of jobs could change. Therefore technology has changed Americans lives in the fact its more fast paced and social networking has helped with promoting issues and helping increase support in those - for example gay marriage.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Digital Identities - Twitter

One of the digital identities that are available in America is Twitter. It is a social media website that allows a person to expose their thoughts and what they are doing in their life's. Also the purpose of twitter is to see other peoples point of view. This is made clear by Twitter's slogan "Start a conversation, explore your interests, and be in the know." 

The role of followers and popularity plays a large role on Twitter. The more popular you are and well known you are the more followers you have. This, as a result, leads to some peoples view not being seen as much when compared to someone who is not a celebrity.  These imbalances on Twitter leads to some views being more credited, viewed and discussed when compared to others who may not be popular.
Because this is the case, there does seem to be a sort of fight for popularity. So rather than having writers, philosophers and lecturers having their say on important, interesting matters you are more likely to see a tweet by Justin Bieber saying how much he "loves his fans".

Popular people on Twitter seem to have the responsibility of portraying a certain character and perhaps having to melt down their true views and their personality. Therefore we see a social networking site with the most popular views being the views that are the least offensive or controversial. Because of this the people that go on Twitter are not necessarily "in the know" as Twitter proudly claims; instead the only thing that's known, to a degree, is the biggest superstars tour dates. There is an accidental censorship of controversial views on Twitter because of the importance of popularity on the site.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation argues in the opening paragraph of the website that what they are trying to enforce are traditional, American values that for that reason should be supported. So from that it is can be understood that what they believe Obamacare to be is un-American. They also believe that what they are promoting helps conserve old principles, which is likely to be a view that helps gain more support. The website, however, does in fact cover a range of topics and debates but does consider Obamacare a "hot topic".

  The website also has a focus on educating and informing the viewers of the website. They post videos and articles that support their ideas in order to add a perceived validity. Also the use of posting articles on the website helps to highlight the issues that they are informing us about are very much in the publics mind. Because it is shown to be a key issue in America people are more likely to be interested in what the website has to say.

Also the website argues that there is a growing impatience with Obamacsre and that it won't simply work and be accepted by Americans "Obamacare was pushed into law with the hope that the more Americans learned about it, the more they would like it. That has not happened." The website argues that Americans should pay for their own healthcare so they can be empowered. To this the website argues that costs should be reduced to help access be assured "Heritage’s Saving the American Dream proposal, that empowers patients, reduces costs, and ensures access."

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Obamacare opposal

The video is produced by a 'grassroots' political activists American for Progress. They believe in a limited government and that the individual states should make laws which reflect the needs of their people. This is why they oppose Obamacare as it is imposed upon people who did not vote for it or want it. The ad features the story of a woman named Tricia who is a cancer survivor and how she explains that having a supportive healthcare is extremely important. She implements the views of republicans that she feels imposed upon and the new system dehumanises people and she feels her family and herself are not in control of their healthcare. However, I feel that the video has an element of bias and hypocrisy as they reiterate that a healthcare system should be supportive, yet they are against making healthcare available for everyone and the finishing line is 'I want you to have the same' in regards to care. I can understand that the costs of insurance have gone up and that they are not able to choose the care that they want but there are Americans who have no access to healthcare and so their needs are not met which is inhumane. Therefore I cannot emphasise with these activists. is a campaign aimed at young people and showing them that alternatives to 'Obamacare' (Affordable Healthcare Act) are available. The scheme is run and paid for by Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan organisation, who describe themselves as a "free thinking, liberty loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of America: opportunity, creativity and freedom."

The campaign is aimed at young people and the website, although basic, has the main video of their message and the reasons why young people should opt out of 'Obamacare'. The advert is fairly short and set in a hospital and has a voice over stating the issues with the Affordable Healthcare Act, asking sarcastically was it the 'botched roll out' or the 'website crashing', the reason they give to the question 'why did our generation decide to opt out of Obamacare' was that they hadn't lost their minds and didn't want to pay an 'arm and a leg for a doomed government program'.

The advert itself is fairly poor, it states the 'botched roll out' and the 'website crashing' as two failures, but they are actually the same thing. Also they presume that 'our generation' has already opted out of 'Obamacare', which if true means there is no need for their campaign. At the end of the advert it states that their are alternatives, without actually giving any alternative suggestions. Overall, it doesn't persuade you to sign the petition below and from the numbers it states (16070) it doesn't seem to have persuaded many others.