Public Screen Project – Design Iterations – Concept

Our task is to create an interactive info graphic to be displayed on one of the public screens in Weymouth House using Processing. Media concepts to be communicated in these designs should be related to technologies or could be media theory related for example relating to semiotics or identity and representations. These representations can be both direct information or can be an abstract interpretation.

I will be exploring the rise of social media, and the constant need to reveal personal information online in order to create an online social presence. The concepts I will look at will include a representation of privacy and surveillance, the blurring of private and public boundaries and the idealized online self.

The forever rising popularity of social networking websites presents the necessity to create and share an idealized online persona, in order to generate a response from others online or to simply feel accepted. Andrejevic (2007) clearly states that “we are becoming habituated to a culture in which we are all expected to monitor one another”. Katz and Rice (2002) explain that users of social media are presented of an illusion of privacy, often revealing too much information online, thus blurring private and public boundaries. In order to simply browse popular social media website Facebook, one must first register an account to become a user by providing their full name, email address, birthday and gender.

Social network sites can be used to measure online popularity. Nearly all social network sites are known to do exactly this, and measure how much effect your interaction has with other people and the online community. This is evident in many sites, for example Twitter measures how many ‘retweets’ and ‘favorites’ your tweets achieve, and subsequently how many people choose to follow your tweets. On Facebook one many measure the number of ‘likes’ ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ a post may get. Instagram, an online photo sharing site, measures popularity according to how many ‘likes’ your photos may achieve, and how many people follow your posts. These of measures of popularity could have an effect on people’s perceptions of self-worth.

It is evident that with the development of digital media and the increase of new social media platforms, the nature of communication has altered. We use social media to create an online presence, this can be used to boost self-esteem, on the other hand could also lower it. Online activity is used as a means of self-representation and a tool of identity formation.

I would like my idea to reflect the concept of online and offline personas, and how online representations can be used as a means of self-representation. The message I would like to communicate is the difference between popularity online and on social media, and how online performances may affect a persons self-esteem.

References

Andrejevic, M., 2007. iSpy Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era. University of Kansas, 212-240.

Barnes, S. B., 2006. A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States. First Monday, 11(9).

Bentham, J., 1791. Panopticon or the inspection house, 2(1).

Katz, J. E. and Rice, R. E., 2002. Social consequences of Internet use: Access, involvement, and interaction. MIT press.

 

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