I am a media creator because I have created an image of myself through the use of photography and stories posted on Facebook. I have expanded this role through this class by creating a website and blogging. While I am hesitant to use new technology, I also recognize that it will be an integral part of my future career and personal life. Website creation will be a useful skill for a future job. I also plan to blog during future travels. In the past, I have tried emailing and it is so much easier to create one message visible to all of my friends. This class is encouraging me to accept the importance of technology today by learning to better understand it and its uses.
Boyd's study of myspace culture reveals its importance, almost necessity, in youth culture. And yet, when questioned, youth can only describe their experience as "hanging out" or socializing. But myspace actually serves to foster "identity formation, status negotiation, and peer-to-peer sociality." One of the primary uses of the site is to acquire new music. Bands communicate through their music, and a users choice of music further communicates to others an aspect of their identity. Participation in myspace is truly communication, either through direct dialogue between "friends" or through the expression of self, such as music likes, education, favorite movies, quotes, etc. In these ways, users "write themselves into being". I find it interesting that the body loses its importance. In physical interaction, people are defined by their bodies, tall, blonde, brown-eyed, etc. In the virtual world, these characteristics of of little importance, furthermore they can be manipulated so as not to reflect the actual user. This has extended to create a new category of people, virtual people who do not necessarily reflect the "real world" from which they were created. People are defined in relation to their interests, their friends, and their self-description. In many cases, teens create identities for themselves online that they are unable to foster in real life. Boyd argues that teens are against adult publics, but I agree with Caroline that this may not be entirely true. Instead, I think that teens are trying to express themselves in ways that they wish they could in real life. Rather than being expressly against their parents, it is more about exploring themselves.
Jenkins and Boyd offer intriguing arguments in regard to the importance and meaning of internet culture. For a relatively uninvolved person like myself, these articles opened my eyes to what this culture is, and have sparked my interest in learning more.