Week 9 Post

May 28, 2010

Doing things like facebook and using the internet was one thing. Facebook was just unresponsive and stale. It’s nice to see updates and such, as if it were some news, but it wasn’t the real thing. It’s a fake, clean environment. Nobody is going to post a horrible picture of themselves; there’s always a tinge of coolness. I just felt very… competitive. I felt like I had to put something clever or interesting in my status. I also felt like I had to be better than the people on my news feed. Like maybe it would be nice to win the lottery or something. I think online gaming could also apply in this case as well. You “use” people as your opponents and don’t give a care about them after playing with them. I think it’s just a big, giant system where people use each other as play things.

Then there’s meeting with real people. This was great because it was so natural. I liked seeing their faces, their expressions and emotions. You could smell their breath, hear their voices and get pissed off at them. It’s nice doing this form and it felt good when everyone was being nice and cooperative. I liked being able to hang out, whether it was eating or playing games with them. At the same time, I felt that the activities that I did here were more limited than being online. Online, I could play lots of games, but in real life, it was hard meeting specific kinds of people to do stuff that you wanted. So if I wanted to play basketball, it wouldn’t happen unless I found the right people. On a video game, you are automatically matched to gamers. But then again, in real life, you appreciate more of the subtle things.

Overall, I think both had their goods and bads. I think being offline is more freer and feels more accomplishing. Being online makes me feel that all my energy was spent on a computer, but the net physical result is that I’m sitting on my butt, just clicking my mouse, sort of what I’m doing now. Even going online, we still need to find the person physically before we add them on facebook. And when we add strangers on facebook or talk to them, they have to have something redeeming, say beauty or fame. I think that in real life, we meet people of all sorts and types. Meeting people definitely was the more challenging and rewarding of the two. I would like to meet people more, but some people I just can’t mesh with or do not talk to me and other times, people are too busy or don’t want to hang out.


Week 8 Dating

May 21, 2010

This is going to be one odd week experiment.  The article was interesting in showing how factors such as age, race and education levels had to do with online dating. For instance, to be even able to use the dating website, you have to have access to the internet. This is not available for everyone out there in the world. Another thing about online dating is that people will always put themselves in the best possible light. They will create a persona online that can be different than the one that they are in real life. People also hide facts such as marriage status or income. The profiles on the match website were no different. People obviously put pictures of themselves in the best light. They also wrote positively about themselves whether writing that they are ambitious, hard working, positive minded, etc. People will change themselves for what they want, not who they are. I guess that’s why I would really question using a website like this, especially if I pay for it.

My opinion on online dating is that it’s just one form of dating. While online dating has its merits, I think that certain aspects of dating, physical and emotion can not be replaced with digital versions. Another thing is that I think dating locally helps people get used to each other and have more similarities than someone out there in the world. I guess one aspect of natural dating is that you figure things about the person as you go. Online dating does the opposite, bringing the things you look for first, then the person that has it second. I think that it goes back to what I thought about Huxley’s Brave New World and Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. We only want the things we want. What I mean is that we think that if we just shoot for things like age, race, income, it’ll be the best for us. But I think the things that we do not want or like, help us grow most. We need to understand the mindset of people other than ourselves. So I think that cherry picking features we want is not the solution to our problems. I think being honest is the way to go, but definitely not the easiest.

Week 7 Stalking

May 13, 2010

My target is Julia Keplinger. She has 49 pictures in her profile, but over 1,500 in total of her. Many of them feature her and her friends. Others are just photos of things and taken in great angles. I assume she likes photography. She goes surfing quite a bit and enjoys doing so as she has many of these pictures. In her profile, she will graduate UCLA in 2010 and her birthday is the first of July. I assume she is either 21 or 22 years old.  She writes some notes in her profile. She has amazing pictures in one of her notes. She writes about a Christian song,  so I assume she is one.  She has a lot of Bible quotes in other posts and writes about several kids with poor conditions such as AIDs or who live in poverty. There is someone named Bethany Keplinger on her wall, perhaps that is her sister? She went to a high school with the team name Aztec. Her current post is of the situation where a girl named Nancy Salas has gone missing. Her major is Sociology (woo!) and her minor is film.

The chart that I saw was pretty interesting and scary. It’s amazing how it went from only a small portion of the sections being lighted, to everything but two, contact info and birthday being all filled and open to the internet. I remember when my sister introduced me to the program years ago. She said it was something about college and that people there use it. I didn’t care much for it. But now it’s something that has taken our lives under control. In fact, you would be weird to say you don’t have a facebook at college. Anyway, yea, this reminds me of a presentation one of my classmates did yesterday on the intrusiveness of facebook. They will take key words and use it to make advertisements that suit you. So if you put single and male, they will most likely put products that you would get like deodorants or have advertisements with girls. I remember when I first made facebook, I added fake information such as me living in Le Havre, France and my orientation being homosexual. I subsequently got advertisements for male parties and stuff. It was strange. But yea, this trend is scary and I think people need to be more aware. It’s like facebook appears to not have changed, but in the background, they are doing many, many things.

Week 6 Assignment

May 7, 2010

I read the artile and was not surprised too much. I liked how it coined the term friendsickness. I guess I did not experience it. I mean, I was so overwhelmed with experiencing what UCLA had to offer that going away for a while did not bother me too much. I think however, on the other side, my friends did want to hang out still. I remember inviting two of them over to my dorms to hang out. It was fun. I also like the points the article had made about how it would help those with low self-esteem and keeping relationships across distances. I suppose if you are a different person than the people around you locally, then it can be hard to find your identity by yourself. But facebook allows you to connect to another person around the world that shares interests with you. And finding this can help your self-esteem and make you feel that you are not alone.

Social capital is definitely something that arises out of facebook. The more you know, the more resources you have. I know I have been invited to many events through facebook that I would not recognize just by living my normal life. Facebook has also allowed to me get to know people who I wouldn’t know but are friends of someone else that I know. Then I can read about them and get to know them better in person. The article mentions about how social capital has a relationship with psychological health. I know that having someone to count on and support me is a good feeling. We’ve lost it with our neighbors, the people we see at work or the people we see in person at a restaurant. Instead we use facebook to fill this gap… people who are usually our age, but do not share the same physical situations we do. It’s a bit good, yet sad in a way. I’m waiting to see how facebook will help me get internship, jobs and other opportunities.

April 29th

April 30, 2010

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Brian Lee

Sociology 130

April 29, 2010

April 29th Assignment

I liked reading the article this week. It was very interesting hearing these two opposing opinions of what is ruining society. I had read Animal Farm and summaries of 1984 and Brave New World. I did not remember the author Huxley though. I think most people would remember 1984 more clearly as Big Brother taking over the minds of the people. What I think more simulates reality is Huxley’s interpretation. I think that we are too preoccupied with our pleasures to focus on what’s important in our lives. I’m on youtube almost everyday and reading about my hobbies rather than reading some paper about some disaster. We are so infatuated in consumer culture that we do not ask deeper questions such as how are my products made and how does it affect the global economy?

I guess I see it in today. I do not know if it’s just me, but I actively try to avoid advertisements. They will use attractive advertisements such as skimpy women or have a catchy song, logo or motto to catch customers. Then those customers use this and actual become advertisements themselves. It’s sad. I think education is the key. You need education to inform the people to make decisions for themselves in order to resist traps and manipulation tactics. You need freedom of choice and democratic voting to give everyone a say. The most interesting thing about the Huxleyan idea is that it lies in businesses and media. It’s not as overt as some overbearing government scheme, but it’s something that kids, teens and people identify as friends. It could be youtube, which we use everyday, or it could be the radio which we turn on as we drive. It’s an enemy we don’t even see because it’s pleasure. And as humans, we do not know our limits.


April 25, 2010


Follow up post to gamefaqs.


April 23, 2010


This is the forum that I posted in. The site is called Gamefaqs and it is a video game website. It is a fairly simple website that has hundreds or even thousands of users. The system includes a directory of many video game consoles. And of these consoles, nearly all the games released for the console are listed. I made a new account and I posted a thread in the Xbox 360 forums called, “What game has the best replay value?” This thread is about what game players think can be played over and over again without getting old. I believe that the games listed are online games, which people can play all the time. I got one post so far and he is just listing some games.

The reading was very interesting about the issues of having an online identity and comparing it to real life. I will say straight up that no online presence can replace the real thing. As professor Anderson would say: “We need bodily presence.” I can relate to the writer’s experience in meeting her online friends. I play Starcraft, a computer game and I had made friends on their who use online tags. I eventually met 1 of them and keep in contact with 2 more of them. I met the guy in Pasadena somewhere and it was interesting. We talked about stuff and he was somewhat different than how I expected him to be. We said our goodbyes and then we left. I still have him on facebook though.

Identity Construction on Homepage Assignment

April 22, 2010

This reading was interesting because I feel it goes over the more obscure facts about homepage use that most people do not see by themselves. The article goes into how the internet itself is not equal. Most people in Africa do not get access to the internet as we do in America. Even in America, access is not available to everyone. What we have at UCLA is a luxury that appears to be a freely given thing. There are people so dependent on the internet like myself who just do not know what to do when the internet is removed. Charles Cheung goes on to say a solution to this could be to broaden access of the internet to more users. The internet could be free and more widely available to include people of all sorts. In this paper, women make less homepages than men as they feel that the computer is a male-dominated field and feel intimidated by this.

I guess the world I’m looking for in this article is blog. I do not remember when blogs were just starting, but now they are quite plentiful. It’s still amazing for me to think that I was here when the internet was at its infancy, before the days of youtube, xanga or facebook. One of the concepts that is touched in the article is having multiple personalities in a blog. Cheung talks about how a person might not act the same towards their friends as they would do to their grandparents. I agree. I have friends of all sorts on facebook. I hae highschool friends I can joke around with. Sometimes these jokes can be a bit vulgar. Then I have friends I have made at church. I find the people here to be more conservative. I get conflicted because these groups would never interact together, yet I am a part of both. Do I leave one or the other? Or do I find a middle ground? It gets tougher, when this happens in real life. For example, I might invite my highschool friend to play games with a church friend. The stronger personality wins out and the others try to bend towards that.

Random Stranger Assignment

April 22, 2010

This assignment was also interesting. I had never used this website before. I had started earlier conversations, but many of my earlier conversations had ended in people disconnecting. I remember people in our class saying that they posed as some alternate identity, which I tried to do as well. Again, when I was starting this experiment, people just kept on disconnecting. Why would they do that? Is it because I need to respond right away? You do not get to choose your screen name, so why would they use this website if they were going to end it so fast? The first talk I wrote was very simple. It was just a small conversation, something on the surface. I keep thinking about the reason why this person had disconnected. Perhaps they are from another country and have no idea what honey nut clusters are? Or could it be that I just typed too much information and they were overwhelmed? Maybe they felt I was some sort of predator? Well, it was time to move on. The second one was longer, which was better, but still on the surface. I just went into what the person liked to do because I think that’s a more open question for them to answer. We discussed movies and how the person had a different taste than the one I just saw. I assume the person is a male, just out of probability. I added another question, but then the person added a movie called “The Crazies”, which I had no idea about. The conversation tapered off and they left.

The last conversation was the longest and most interesting. It was also the one which I had cut it off. I decided to do something differnet this time around. I made it fun and made them guessed information about me. I let them know I was in Calfornia by a set of clues. Then I told them I was a girl and that I was Jewish. I did not post any stereotypes… well eating matzah is a thing many Jewish people do. We talked about parties and alcohol, something I’m not too familiar with. I actually asked my roommates for some information when doing this. I found out this person is Irish and lives in Minnesota, or they appear to be. I told a fake story and then got a bit more personal, but then I called it. Overall, it was an interesting experiment.

Brave New World of Digital Intimacy Response

April 22, 2010

This article has sparked interested thoughts into my head. Zuckeberg made quite a move when he did not remove the News Feed feature of facebook. I think this move was for the better… at least in being more convenient. While people can go look at the facebook profiles of people that they know, it would be too much time going through the profiles of too many friends. I think what’s interesting is that it just shows how much we just tend to accept what happens and not make a stand on what we do not like. Sure there were people that were against this, but I think the majority just are too lazy to make any voice against the change. The part about how we might have a limit to how many friends we can naturally keep is interesting. I wonder how people would live with the fact that they can’t keep everyone they meet. The concept of “keeping” people as facebook friends is another phenomenon. It’s like owning people like a collection.

I guess the way I see it is that I’m not terribly afraid in sharing information about myself. In fact, I think it’s an honor that people would take their time to look through my information. It’s a concept that I learned in my sociology class of mass communication; even though you offer free videos or things to watch, time has become an important resource. Time is the resource that has been invented in our generation. The concept of ambient awareness is quite fascinating. Never before have we been so connected and passively alerted to the thoughts of the people around us. But an important thing to keep in mind is that these posts are filtered and controlled. We aren’t seeing every exact thought in the person’s head; we are only seeing what they want to show. My fear however, lies from what marketers and businesses can use from our information.