“R U Mine?” Talk and Text, the real difference…

Interactions have always been so fascinating. Whether they are physical or virtual, any interaction with another living thing has always perplexed me. So when social media was first introduced I was blown away. Instant messaging, tweets, snap-chats, memes, facebook posts and instagram all flooding me with information and constant involvement in conversations.

I’ve always preferred face-to-face interaction but social media has allowed me to have constant contact with people and to be constantly involved in the online conversation.

During my exploration of social media and interaction, I have found myself wanting to know more about how these things affect our emotions. Do we react stronger to things that we see on social media? Or do we react stronger when we see something in real life? For example, couples breaking up face-to-face or online. I know so many people who prefer to communicate online rather than face-to-face because they feel more comfortable doing so. They feel like they have a cushion of protection. This is the premise for my digital project for BCM240.

I want to explore the differences in human reactions via a video, comparing virtual and physical interactions. I will be using Nick Couldry’s concept of the “digital story-circle” in order to give my digital story depth and theoretical purpose. Couldry’s three dimensions of a digital story circle are “multiplications, spatializations and habits of mutual recognition” and I plan to use them as a guideline for conducting my research and assembling my project. I realise and recognise the limitations of time and digital development, but if I utilise the upcoming weeks ahead of me I feel like my project will be easily doable.

To curate this work, I will do all the research, filming, editing, story writing and production. I will be collaborating with some volunteer actors that will act the part. My idea stems from my interactions with social media and my experiences as a person who has not known a world without the Internet. In other words, from the perspective of someone from the connected generation. I will be examining how social media can be empowering and also I will investigate the damage social media can do by assessing how people react to information in a particular situation at a particular place.

Digital platforms that will help me aggregate information will include twitter, facebook messenger, snapchat, instagram and reddit. By using all these sources I will be able to gauge a better approach to my project which will hopefully allow me to focus on one form of social media to be used in my video. Gathering information will be done by interviewing people around the age bracket of 18-23 years old to gain a full perspective of the difference between virtual and physical interactions.

I will be presenting my findings in the form of a YouTube clip that will explore both physical and virtual interactions and the emotional affects each have on the individual. For example, from my studies so far, I have found that some of my friends tend to only talk about deep and meaningful things over social media because they feel more comfortable doing that rather than face-to-face. I will attempt to replicate and demonstrate this in my video.

Although my video is based on emotions and social interactions, I will make sure that the story is fictional by not using real examples. I realise that if I were to use true stories then that could cross some lines ethically, so I am not going to do that. My video’s purpose is not to offend but to educate and provoke conversation about why interaction has moved online rather than face-to-face? And if this is the case, is it for better or for worse? How do situations and place effect our emotional reaction to information we receive on social media? Food for thought.

(Any feedback and thoughts are welcome, just chuck ‘em down in the comments below)

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