Digital Literacy

Riot Culture

1) Summary

Henry Jenkins, MIT Professor and author of Convergence Culture, defines the terms “media convergence” and “participatory culture” while connecting their meaning and importance to the world around us. Jenkins states that “media convergence” is “a world where every story, sound, brand, image, and relationship plays itself out across the maximum number of media channels.” We, as human beings, control the media as it makes its way through our everyday lives. Ultimately, convergence culture would not exist without us thriving off of it, which in part is where “participatory culture” comes into play. “Participatory culture” is described as a world where everybody participates by producing and sharing, thus media is taken into our own hands to do with as we wish. Since the middle of the 19th century, “participatory culture” has existed and formed from scenarios such as young kids producing their own publications and sharing them on a national scale. This phenomenon has continued to influence the youth of many generations to create new innovations across the world. For instance, the international underground zine movement that emerged from the punk music scene in the 1990s known as Riot Grrrl.

2) Response

To be honest, it took me a little while to comprehend the true meaning behind the logic of Henry Jenkins’ “media convergence” and “participatory culture”. However, after continuous repetition of the material, I feel that I have a better understanding of the topic, whereas before I was unsure of either subjects. Jenkins stated some interesting facts about the media culture and the affect that it has had on people over the years. I think one of the most engaging remarks that he made was that the “participatory culture” is not all about money, but rather about sharing and learning from each other through this connected world that we live in. He also brought up the subject about zines, more importantly the Riot Grrrl movement, which allowed young women to share their opinions and experiences of sexism, body image, and identity. Personally, I love the feminist punk culture that existed in the 1990s, which still exists today. yes okEver since listening to the band Bikini Kill, I researched about Riot Grrrl which Kathleen Hanna, the band’s lead singer, was known for as the voice of a generation. Hanna began with creating zines and performing spoken word poetry to advocate women’s rights, but soon realized that she should start a band, so that people would actually listen to what she was trying to say on a larger scale. This tactic relates back to “transmedia”, which Jenkins termed as meaning “across media.” By Hanna sharing zines, poetry, and singing about the current issues that women all over the world were and still are experiencing, she gained a following of people that wanted to be a part of the movement Riot Grrrl. 20 years later, that movement still exists; women and men are writing zines, being in bands, creating websites, and making art in order to change society through active and creative means.

P.S. If you want learn about the true meaning of feminism, watch this video here

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Digital Literacy

The Online Identity Crisis

1) Summary

As Wellesley College discusses, Online identity is universal in today’s technological world; it can have it’s advantages and disadvantages at times. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and the list goes on, are used to connect with people that you may or may not know. By sharing personal information through the internet, you are making your identity accessible to a larger number of people than you may think. On certain sites like Facebook, you can restrict your profile to be seen just by close friends and family because not everyone will want their identity to be as public. However, if you do want your profile to be available for public access, precautions may need to be taken to protect your online identity. For example, be careful about publishing personal contact information or activities that could jeopardize your safety. Keep in mind that once you post personal material to your site, it will remain accessible across the internet even after it is deleted. Additionally, be aware that future employers may view your sites because certain businesses have been known to make hiring decisions based on their opinion of your social media sites.

2) Response 

I think social media sites is an excellent way to connect with friends, family, and be introduced to new people from all over the world. I have various social media accounts and have had many positive experiences from each of them, especially Tumblr. For instance, I have virtually met many creative people that are my age and have even met some of them at concerts I have attended. One Tumblr friend from Portland, Oregon, even sent me a letter in the mail, along with a free copy of his band’s tape, which was reassuring to know that their are genuinely nice people still out there. Even though majority of my feedback for social media has been positive, having an online identity can make you vulnerable to negative criticism and just creeps in general, which I have somewhat experienced first hand from Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. One piece of advice I would give to anyone who is involved in social media sites is just go with your gut feeling on certain scenarios and most importantly think twice before you make a post.

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