Go Greta!

First of all I would like to excuse my absence on this extremely hyped blog, sorry to all five of you. Yes, it actually seems like I gained one reader since the last post. The excuses of not blogging just keeps on coming, if it’s not Christmas break and road trips, it is Australian Open and vintage shopping. Guess I have to blame Melbourne and its opportunities for that. 

However, the good news is that I have created a podcast for you! In the podcast I talk about my fellow Swede, Greta Thunberg and her breakthrough on social media. The podcast’s main discussion reflects on how social media can be an important component of activism. Greta and her strive for change is then a perfect example of this. 

After consuming Greta since her breakthrough in Sweden I have followed and consumed her through her own channels as well as in news media which made the choice to use her as an example pretty easy. Combining Greta with reading an interesting text from Nolan Cabrera (2017) about activism vs slacktivism online it felt like an interesting discussion to bring into a podcast. 


Greta Thunberg by Streetsblog Denver (CC BY 2.0

With some mandatory research done I started creating my first own podcast. The fact is that I’ve participated in a couple of podcasts back in Sweden. But in those cases as a guest, coming up with some fun(?) or smart (?!) answers that did not demand too much effort. So to be the creator, host and guest was for me an interesting challenge.

The journey can therefore be divided in to three stages; preparation, execution and a reflection. The preparation stage consisted of researching, writing my script, trying to download and play with some podcasting programs (which of course did not always work perfectly). But after figuring out how to play with my newly found friend, GarageBand I however started the recording. This part really tested my patience, because how hard can it actually be to sound a bit relaxed while you are in fact reading a script? Really hard apparently. Then the struggle continued with technical procedures such as editing and adding music to the podcast. This was really time consuming but once I got my head around it, really fun as well. Now I can actually brag about something like fading out music in a recording program, big shout-out to Youtube for that!

When everything was done I just had to listen through everything a couple of times to analyse what I can do better until next time. Because podcasting is actually a thing that I could see myself doing on a regular basis in the future. I just need to find the specific area that attracts both me and potential listeners the most. What became quite obvious for me when I then listened to my recording is that I prefer listening to podcasts where it is a discussion rather than a monologue. I also enjoy having these discussions, so I probably should’ve involved another person in this podcast as well.

But so be it, you live, you learn as Alanis Morissette sings. Below you can tune in to my podcast, hopefully you’ll like it, otherwise it can work as a good option to counting sheeps. Enjoy!  

Click here to listen to the podcast on Soundcloud

References

Barclay, E, Resnick, B 2019, ’How big was the global climate strike? 4 million people, activists estimate.’, Vox, retrieved 14 January 2020, <https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/9/20/20876143/climate-strike-2019-september-20-crowd-estimate>.

Cabrera, N 2017, ’Activism or Slacktivism? The Potential and Pitfalls of Social Media’, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 400-415.

Ludlam, S 2014, ’The growing threat to Australia’s media plurality’, The Guardian, 24 March, retrieved 25 January 2020, <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/24/malcolm-turnbull-media-plurality-scott-ludlam>.

Music

’03 A Cool Rainy Night’  by Mike Durek (CC BY 4.0)

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Michael_Durek/Piano_Music_for_The_Broken_Hearted_1221/03_A_Cool_Rainy_Night

’Tulip Poplars’ by Evan Schaeffer (CC BY 4.0) 

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Evan_Schaeffer/Glow_1216/Evan_Schaeffer_-_11_-_Tulip_Poplars_1711

Me, Myself & My Online Identity

In my last blog post I finished with a cliffhanger so I really hope you’ve got your popcorn ready because here comes the climax. In that post I reflected on the time I spent online and if it adds any value to my everyday life. To continue with the reflection and even take the discussion to the next level I will change focus to another part of the subject online identity. 

The winding path I will lead you on today will consist of thoughts on whether my online identity is a part of my identity or not. Hopefully the destination will consist of a conclusion that is at least close to being thoughtworthy in some way. 

Took me a few days to follow up on the introduction.

I am one of the 3.5 billion people with an online platform(Ospina 2019). But does my social media accounts really represent who I am? Am I so called “true to myself” ? Am I the same person online as in real life? Am I funnier on Twitter than face to face? Should I behave in a certain way online?

The questions just keeps on coming. You might have had these thoughts yourself earlier. To be perfectly honest, I have not. Of course I’ve been thinking in terms of which of my Instagram pictures that looks kind of cool before posting and making sure that my Facebook timeline is in a good condition. But I haven’t really been thinking deeper on the average two hours per day I spend on social media platforms. Are they a part of me as a person?

‘The term ‘‘online identity’’ implies that there is a distinction between how people present themselves online and how they do offline. But any split between ‘‘online’’and ‘‘offline’’ identity is narrowing'(Marwick 2012, p.358).

This text (Marwick 2012), brings up a lot of interesting thoughts. While it was written in 2012 we’ve got to keep in mind that a lot has changed since then. It is impossible to ignore the evolution of social media and now I question if the split still exists? Is there a boundary between who I am online vs in real life?

A picture of me looking at my online me. Photocred: Anna Johansson 18 July 2019

Looking at myself and the society as a whole my answer to those questions are no. The online identity is actually one part of who I am as a person. I am responsible for who I am online as well as in real life. One big difference though is that I can actually control how I’m being perceived online whereas its harder in real life. With having that said, it doesn’t necessarily needs to mean that I am the exact same person online as in my everyday life. Even though parts of my “real life identity” will always be reflected online as well. 

The empathy seeker is a version of me that exists both online and in real life for example.

I totally agree with Emma Whatman (Social Media Stories 2019) saying that just because I don’t communicate in the same way online as in real life, it doesn’t mean that my online interaction is not authentic. It is just another way of presenting myself and adjusting it after my audience, just as I behave in a different way talking to my brother than talking to a future potential employer.

And reflecting on my evolution as a person I can draw parallels to my social media accounts as well. Growing older means that my behavior online has changed. If you look at the content and frequency of what I post now compared to 5-10 years ago it differs a lot. Both in a positive and negative way. Because now I probably take myself too seriously which prevents me from posting, expressing an opinion etc. online. Maybe should apply for the job as Mr.Trumps media advisor with that attribute though?

Whereas my behavior online changes depending on age and maturity so does the aim of it. Right now my two most important aims are to keep in contact with family and friends in Sweden and try to reach out to potential employers. However, these two aims, at least the second one will not be constant and therefore probably replaced by something else if i look 50 years ahead.

Or actually when I think about it, when I’m 76 I would just love to sit on my wineyard in Italy sipping on some Cabernet Sauvignon while playing Snake on a retro Nokia 3310.

So the windy path has finally reached its dead end. I could probably go one for another 800 words but restrictions are restrictions, right? This post has made me think deeper about my online identity, hopefully you feel the same. Thanks for reading and yes the online identity is a part of who I am!

References:

Marwick, A 2012, ‘Online Identity’, In Hartley, J., Burgess, J. and Bruns, A. (eds), A Companion to New Media Dynamics, pp. 355-364, retrieved 12 December 2019, http://www.tiara.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Marwick_Online_Identity.pdf.

Ospina, O.E 2019, ‘The rise of social media’, Our World in Data, retrieved 10 December 2019, https://ourworldindata.org/rise-of-social-media.

Social Media Stories: Authenticity – Episode 4 2019, Spotify, Adam Brown, 11 February, retrieved 8 December 2019, https://open.spotify.com/show/55SqFCG1Ju5U726shf7C3w?si=GUxjwEZLRXuq7Z9_E02NeQ.

Six minutes

Two weeks ago me and my classmates were asked to have a think and reflect on how we use our social media. The amount of time we got to do this was as the headline suggests, six minutes. Without sounding to dramatic or using expressions like the Swenglish ”Hallelujah-moment” I would say that this was a good start of possibly something new. 

Generally in life I think that reflection is key. It really helps you to understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and also if there is room for improvement or need to change things. It could be everything from reflecting on what matters in life to how you brush your teeth. 

To answer the latter, I’m usually going with the 2-2-2 rule which means brushing your teeth with two cm of toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day. 

Moving on to what’s more important and relevant to this blog post are my thoughts on my online identity and social media use. Because when I think of how many times I push the ”Ignore Screen Time Limit”-button and look at the hours I actually spend on my phone, daily, it kind of scares me. Especially knowing that most of those minutes and hours doesn’t really add any value to my everyday life. So, what I encourage you readers(all four of you) to do is to reflect on your social media usage and how it affects you. And in my next blog post I will dig deeper in this subject. What a cliffhanger, right…? 

I’m generally sceptic to online quizzes that tries to define who you are but a fun way to support(or not) your thoughts could be this online quiz.

Over and out!

Baby steps

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this part of my website. Here, I will continuously update you on my different thoughts, feelings and ideas that I get from living and studying in Melbourne, Australia.

The headline of this post suggests that I’m currently trying to learn something new and that’s exactly what I’m doing at this moment. Or actually, when I think about it in a wider perspective it’s actually three totally new things that I’m trying to get in control of.

First and foremost it’s the task of setting up a website, which is quite far from my previous learning experiences in life. I would certainly say that I’ve not really been gifted with a technical blessing. Guess I can partly blame my parents for that.

Second, it’s not just about creating a website, the website I’m creating should also contain some kind of blogish content. This is also really far from my previous online persona which was more about observing, stalking and once in a while post a picture on Instagram that doesn’t really say too much actually. Now I’m supposed to produce content that hopefully(?) will be read by some people and that’s a game changer for me.

The third thing that comes to my mind as being far away from my comfort zone is to do all of this in English and not my native language, Swedish. This means that you have to bear with me and some weird grammatical sentences once in a while.

To summarize this post, if someone would have told me a couple of years ago that I was about to set up a website I would probably just laugh at them. If they then told me I was about to share blogposts in English on the site I would’ve probably just laughed even harder. But here I am today and trying to learn it all with small baby steps. And the fact is, I’m enjoying it!

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