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2.4


Unit 2.4 The Major Project Proposal Tadporn Wudhinan (WUD11319508) MAGB&I


Introduction

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Brief

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Context

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Methodology

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Bibliography

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Introduction

Nowadays, online technology takes a big part of our lives. It drives our economy and society. As the birth of web2.0, the age of interactive website has begun. We started to interact with each other through online platform. We read, write and share contents and information as we have the power to control our experience and influence our experience to the others. The more we get into online society, the less we have face-to-face communication and social interaction. We keep building up our group online. We live our lives in online society until, without noticing, it plays an important role in our lives. Our online identity, whether it is real or not, starts to blend with our offline one and become another part of ourselves. Why are we so fascinated with this networking? Is it because it allows us to live our ideal lives?

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Brief


Brief

Research Question Does the social network allow us to have parallel lives? Aims and Objectives My aim and objective for this project is to investigate social network user’s behaviour, reaction, their identities and how it effects their lives both online and offline by creating easy to understand information about this area of study as it will be useful to apply and use it in other fields of work that related to online identity. Audience Social network users especially 18-34 year olds who are more obsessed with the network. Online involved workers/ organizations

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Context


Context Field of study

According to my design discourse, I started to have a broad focus in social media and the way people live their lives within it and I try to narrow it down to what interested me the most and what makes social media unique from other communication platforms. I found out that the interactions in online society are different from the outside world. People have different identities, communication and expression of feeling. Social networks affect our lives in the way we identify ourselves and interact with others and sometimes we cannot distinguish the differences at all because they have already blended and become a part of our lives. as Michelle Jana Chan mentioned in her article;

“

My feeling about it is you might create a character and enjoy the anonymity of it at first, but that character then becomes a bigger part of your life [...] In a virtual world, online identity is potentially much more flexible than real identity, allowing easily changes in race, class, gender, age, socio-economic background, and even species. It offers freer self-definition, including multiple identities and shared identity, within worlds lacking behavior guidelines or prescribed etiquette.� (Chan, 2007)

My broad field of study is based on two questions, how we used to live and how we live right now. I aim to obtain a clear understanding of what happens in these two worlds in terms of changes in technology and social interaction. 3


Context Field of study

Does the social network allow us to have parallel lives?

How we use to live

Before social network

How we live now

Social network

Increasing in technology Decreasing in social interaction

Before social network -- how we used to live

Back in 1991, The World Wide Web was released to public. It connected hyperlinks between webpages as a connection of spiderweb. From this characteristic and its easy-to-use function, we began to access to search engines, web portals and e-commerce websites. The browser acted like a book of resource that readers can only read and receive informations. Online society happened as an email and web board forum. Sharing information is not as easy as nowadays. The power of online network in this era is in web owners' hand, so the internet tended to use for e-businesses more than individual's pleasure. This can be said that we communicate to each other 4


Context Field of study

more offline. We used telephone more than going into chat room and had a face-to-face conversation with our friends and family more than using a computer keyboard. After social communication softwares such as AOL began to take part, people have more chances to interact through the tools in real time chatting conversation. And in some softwares, people was allowed to join chat room to communicate publicly at once in a group they chose. This started to change people's behaviour in the way they communicate. Instead of talking on the phone, they chose to communicate through characters on a screen. They started to chat and form new groups with people with the same interests with no boundaries. The real and the virtual world, public and private space started to connect.

Social network – how we live now

After the introduction of web 2.0, by the turn of the millennium, the first social networks and blogs were launched and the world started to change really fast as John Palfrey and Urs Gasser explained in their book, Born digital;

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Context Field of study

In 2001, Polaroid declared bankruptcy, just as sales of digital cameras started to take off. In 2006, Tower Records liquidated its stores; by 2008, iTunes had become the largest music retailer in the United States. Today, most young people in many societies around the world carry mobile devices — cell phones, Sidekicks, iPhones — at all times, and these devices don’t just make phone calls; they also send text messages, surf the internet, and download music.” (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008)

Now, we can connect to each other at anytime and anywhere through our mobile phones and portable gadgets that support more interaction in online society. As the technology is increasingly growth, our physical interaction is declined. People live their life faster and hardly meeting each other face-to-face.

Analysis

From the investigation in broad area, I can analyse the change in technology in three ways. Firstly, as the improvement of technology increases, we can connect to each other in just one click and through text message, reducing our interaction with each other in offline society. We can communicate but we cannot express our feeling very well through devices. This leads to changing in our relationship between people that is not as deep as before. As Meyrowitz mentioned about the significant of an expression; 6


Context Field of study

In terms of this distinction, one can start and stop communicating at will, but one cannot stop expressing. Communications are consciously given, but expressions are unconsciously “given off.” Expressions are constant and much less controllable than communications [...] Expressions are personal and idiosyncratic; we look to them to discover how a person feels and what he or she is “like.” For these reasons, most important decisions concerning relationships rely much more heavily on expressions than on communications.” (Meyrowitz, 1985)

Secondly, with the reducing in a significant of physical place, we inhabit more and more in online community. And in sometimes, we are not exactly where we are. Our perceptions are with the information we receive online. Finally, social network allows us to build our profile pages and select our online societies by our selves. The power is in our hands. It is easier to live in that world we have authority to control the informations by ourselves. That is the reason why people build more and more identities and their profile pages.

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Context Field of study

Visual Research: online identity Alter Ego: Avatars and their creators, photograph by Robbie Cooper, presented photography of people who play online virtual games, with his intension to compare each person with the online identity that they had created to interact with others.

Choi Seang Rak University professor Seoul, South Korea “I’m a professor. I teach economics and public policy at the Dongguk University in Seoul. [...] People buy more from my little girl dwarf compared to the old male dwarf I used to have, even though they sell the same things. Because I’m very polite, people think I really am a little girl. [...] For the past year, I have analyzed the game’s inner workings, compiling spreadsheets to find patterns in the economy -- the best places to hunt, the most profitable items to craft, and so on. I enjoy the challenge and so far I’ve stored up about [...] $15,000” 8


Aurelien Capdecomme (left) IT for national education Toulouse, France “In City of Heroes and in real life we like to have fun with our friends. Our characters are a couple, as are we. [...] We [...] have a group of companions with whom we play regularly. We have even met some of them and they have become friends in real life. So the City of Heroes universe has an important role in our lives.”

Jason Rowe Crosby, Texas, USA “The difference between me and my online character is pretty obvious. [...] I play online games because I get to interact with people. The computer screen is my window to the world. Online it doesn’t matter what you look like. Virtual worlds bring people together -- everyone is on common ground. In the real world, people can be uncomfortable around me [...] The internet eliminates how you look in real life, so you get to know a person by their mind and personality.”

Lee Taek Soo (male) Officer worker Seoul, South Korea “Like many young couples, we enjoy going to the movies, going out to dinner, or just hanging out. We also like playing video games together. It’s a very popular dating activity in Korea. [...] We’re not hardcore players. For us, there’s a clear boundary between the game and real life. Neither of us is deeply invested in our character. We play just for fun.”

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Context Project focus

Facebook plays an important role in this online world as it is the biggest online society. With the number of users at almost 600 million people, there are various activities that happen here. For Facebook users, it is not only a platform for communication but also the meeting place for friends, family, and their interested group. Therefore, I choose Facebook to be the main area to investigate with a focus on people’s interaction and the meaning behind them by using popular culture and philosophy to reflect people’s thoughts and analyse the effects, the differences and the similarities with their offline lives. I recently stumble upon my Facebook page and notice the differences between the action we do on the page and the action we do offline through its features. I selected the features that are unique as some of them become a model for the other social networking, such as, add as friend, like button and status sharing.

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Methodology


Methodology

Broad investigation

Does the social network allow us to have parallel lives?

How we used to live

Technology

How we live now

Social behaviour

Analysis

Why are people fascinated to social network?

Specific area investication

Living in ideal life as parallel life?

Facebook features

Amount of friends

Be friend/ unfriend

Gaining self esteem

Like/ dislike

Online identity; controlled/

Sharing status, Photo,

designed/ spliting/ various

Link, video, question

The way of communication

Poke

Conclusion

Event Group

Alternative prototype

Compare/ analysis

Reflecting/ parallel to

online and offine life

each other

Activity

Part of each other

Relationship

Different from each

Identity

other

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Out put


Methodology

Broad investigation

With my starting question “Does the social network allow us to have parallel lives?”. I began to analyse on my two broad areas of study, how we used to live and how we live now to get the big picture of society. I investigated each subject in two areas, change in technology and change in our society. My conclusion is social interaction and online technology are changing opposed to each other. The more online technology develops, the less social interaction in physical world happens. This guide me to the next question “why are we enjoying in this social life?.” After that, I found the interesting information from Sherry Turkle, MIT mentioned on the talk “Can you count on Facebook friends?” CBC Radio, DNTO podcast;

Because people put their ideal lives onto Facebook, not really the lives they necessarily have but their “ideal” lives. We even look at what our Facebook friends are doing and feel anxious and jealous that we’re not living the ideal lives that they’re seem to be living.” (Turkle, 2011)

Supporting by another articles, including Goodbye cruel world, I’m moving to the internet by Caitlin Moran, saying;

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Methodology

There’s a fairly strong argument that internet is, in fact, much, much better than the entire “real world”. It’s just easier being a human being there — not surprisingly, given that human beings invented it for human beings to be in; unlike the world, which we did not and are, let’s face it, still busking our way through.” (Moran, 2009)

My question “Does the social network allow us to have parallel lives?” tend to have and answer “yes”. Therefore, I have decided to leave this stage and go further to my specific area investigation which I chose Facebook to be my focus field of study to get a clearer perspective and to find the evidence to support the claim. Furthermore, if the answer is “yes”, I also want to know that to what extent it allows us to have another lives.

parallel occurring or existing at the same time or in a similar way; corresponding: a parallel universe they shared a flat in London while establishing parallel careers PHRASES in parallel occurring at the same time and having some connection. (Oxford Dictionary) 14


Methodology

Specific area investigation

Investigate on Facebook’s popular features that become phenomenon in online society;

Add as friend/ unfriend/ suggest friends Like/ unlike Share: status, photo, link, video, question Poke Event, Birthday wishes Group Relationship status

My hypothesis for this investigation is every reaction through these features has meaning behind it and it can reflect our online identities. Therefore, after researching this interaction through selected users in different demography, I will analyse the meaning of the actions in terms of activity, relationship with people, and individual identity. By using theory of social psychology as a reference, my aim is to understand the users identities, such as, split identity, multiple identity and shared identity that reflect their lives and try to connect them with the offline ones.

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Methodology

Primary research

Facebook users survey about their activities in online and offline world Collecting Facebook database and statistic about users behaviour from www.facebook.com/data and other related sources Visual experiment: to see the differences in users identity and how they live their lives between the two society Visual experiment for designed alternative prototype: to evaluate my final outcome

Secondary research

Facebook collected statistic and information from www.facebook.com and related sources Related books, articles, theory about social psychology, online identity and related fields. Visual research from existing design work that related to social network, online society and online identity

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Methodology

Evaluation

Design prototype Test on target audience Feedback from tutors and peers

Possible Output

Visual diary, book or website that show the information of people’s behaviour, reaction and identities on Facebook parallel to their offline lives. I will represent this in visual communication that is easy to understand such as using information graphic or photography.

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NATION

Schedule of work

Timetable

06

07

08

09

10

11

Define research question

Evaluation

Collect data

Data analysis

Survey

Reevaluate

Tutorial/ seminar

Alternative prototype

Hand-in

Develop output

Presentation

Output testing

Visual reacher

Final output

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Bibliography

Books

Cairncross, F. (2001). The death of distance: 2.0 : how the communications revolution will change our lives (2nd ed.). London: Texere. Cooper, R., Dibbell, J., & Spaight, T. (2007). Alter ego: avatars and their creators. London: Chris Boot. Johnson, S. (1997). Interface culture: how new technology transforms the way we create and communicate. San Francisco: HarperEdge. Jones, S. (1997). Virtual culture: identity and communication in cybersociety. London: Sage Publications. Meyrowitz, J. (1985). No sense of place: the impact of electronic media on social behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. Palfrey, J. G., & Gasser, U. (2008). Born digital: understanding the first generation of digital natives. New York: Basic Books. Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations. New York: Penguin Press. Slevin, J. (2000). The internet and society . Malden, MA: Polity. Wittkower, D. E. (2010). Facebook and philosophy: what’s on your mind?. Chicago: Open Court.

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Bibliography

Websites

Are we addicted to Facebook?. (n.d.). Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Minnesota. Retrieved June 7, 2011, from blog.lib.umn.edu/tel/blog/2010/09/are-we-addictedto-facebook.html Chan, M. J. (n.d.). Identity in a virtual world - CNN. Featured Articles from CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://articles.cnn.com/2007-06-07/tech/virtual_identity_1_virtual-world-identityavatar?_s=PM:TECH Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”. (n.d.). TED Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.htmlhttp:// Incompatible Browser | Facebook. (n.d.). Incompatible Browser | Facebook. Retrieved June 18, 2011, from http://www.facebook.com Incompatible Browser | Facebook. (n.d.). Incompatible Browser | Facebook. Retrieved June 1, 2011, from http://www.facebook.com/data What are you keeping track of? (04-30-11). (2011, March 5). RadioWeave: hear & be heard. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://radioweave.com/tu/wqy2/?c=27686&b=3648 landscape, o. t., it, w. d., buildings, t. i., come, b., & us., g. t. (2011, May 13). Why Online Communities Are Redefining the Concept of Local [OPINION]. Social Media News and Web Tips “Mashable“ The Social Media Guide. Retrieved May 14, 2011, from http:// mashable.com/2011/05/13/online-communities-new-local

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Major Project Proposal  
Major Project Proposal  

MA Major Project Proposal (report)

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