Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Electronic Tattoos

This is blog post #200 on here AND it's my 23rd birthday. You know what that means?

Damn straight. There is no better coincidence of events than this.

Of course, given this stupendous occasion, I feel the need to outdo myself and write a really epic post. However, I also have to work tonight (because silly me didn't take my birthday off from work) and so am working under some time constraints. Let's see what I can do.

We watched this Ted Talks video a few weeks ago in my management class and given my interest in social media, I thought it would be interesting to share here:

I think this is a fascinating way to think about social media. As someone who has both physical tattoos and a lot of electronic tattoos, I found this video really compelling. Not only did he use Greek mythology to discuss social media, which makes me want to fangirl uncontrollably, the idea that we only remain anonymous for fifteen minutes and are threatened with immortality through the internet is fascinating and kind of terrifying.

Add that into the issues discussed in this article from The Guardian, and things get even more complicated. Several posts I've written had dealt with nontroversy issues where a celebrity or some well-known figure allegedly said something but was misquoted in an interview or was never uttered by them in the first place. Not only can the Internet retain what we've said indefinitely, it can also also entirely misconstrue what we've said and ruin reputations because of it. Now, as the article discusses, some public figures won't say anything at all about various topics to media sources because they're so afraid of being misunderstood.

I've seen these present in two different sources - the What Would I Say? app and Lily Allen's new single, "Hard Out Here." Let me start with the app. I have been laughing my butt off about this thing for the last couple of days, enjoying the ridiculous randomness as it pieces together parts of my various posts and messages from Facebook to create new posts I might share. Here are a few of my favorites:

Hoping the weather stays this nice for the evil henchman. 

My God, I'm forced to be

It's ok; I'm restoring balance to the universe

It means Babe in Total Control of the differences between scotch and Irish whiskey

I was thinking the very difficult way? And God said, I set him on his horse and he's so lucky! Well, high five! You can talk about your host brothers. And then Rochester totally wipes out with Hercules and no Loki, but let's keep saying that I was at Target tonight.

Wow I am a badass empowered woman; don't mess with me.

While they are hilarious, some of the ones the app generated were... interesting. When all the content you've ever posted can get randomly thrown together, you're bound to see a few things that appear and make you think, "Wow, if I ever actually said that I would be in SOOOO much trouble." It is entertaining, but yet another reminder of what can happen with words when they're taken out of your hand (and mashed up by a robot that has limited concerns about grammar).

Next - Lily Allen. I've been listening to her new song, trying to decide how I feel about it. I like that it's a parody/attack on "Blurred Lines" but the music video has gotten controversy and I wonder if the lyrics are the best response to Robin Thicke's song. She states that "Sometimes it's hard to find the words to say/ I'll go ahead and say them anyway." This I think capitulates the entire song. Instead of saying nothing on the issue, she's made a statement, even though it can be misconstrued and misunderstood. Furthermore, there's an issue of what sort of language to use to address the issue - is the best approach to do what she's done and use the language of the oppressor and turn it on its head to fight back? Or should an entirely different language or way of speaking be used? And what would that form of speech look like? How exactly does one communicate through art and technology in a world where nothing ever quite sounds the way you think it does when it's repeated by someone else?

These are things I wonder about while trying not to think what I might find if I were to Google myself...

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