So for an assignment for a uni class of mine, I was given the task of making a brief video in which I was to discuss the ways in which people constructed relationships online (which you will find at the bottom of this post, also linked here).
To do this, I wanted to look at how people constructed either sexual, romantic, or platonic relationships online, compared that to how sexual, romantic or platonic relationships are constructed offline, and then also briefly looked at how those relationships are maintained either online or offline by interviewing a couple of people.
Apart from messing around in a media class in high school a few years ago, and also making a 60 second video last year (again for a uni class – filmmaking) which focused on continuity (which is a completely different kettle of fish, let me tell you), this was the first solo video I’d ever put together by myself – and it was…. fun???. I absolutely loved making this, but going about making it had its own set of challenges.
See the class that I made this video for is called Exploring Digital Media: Contexts of Online Participation (ALC203 at Deakin University – should anyone out there be interested in taking this class), and in one of the first weeks of that class we looked at Copyright and Creative Commons.
What’s that you say? Glad you asked.
A Creative Commons license is a public copyright license that enables free distribution of work, and is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon their work – which in short means you’re allowed to use it in your own work without getting your ass sued (as long as you give the author credit).
Our teachers gave us the advice to either create our own content when making this video, or use this beautiful website right here to ‘ethically source’ material to use in our videos. So everything I used I either created myself, or found through the Creative Commons website.
To be able accurately discuss the topic of online relationships, I had to do a little bit of reading, and actually use scholarly sources (and no, Wikipedia is not a scholarly source). To do this I primarily used the readings which were given to us in class, but I also used a few other snippets of info which I found at the Deakin Uni library (online of course – who even has time to go to a library in person). Picking and choosing what to use was a little overwhelming – because despite there being so many good things to use, I couldn’t just copy and paste entire paragraphs and read that – but then I also couldn’t just go off on a rant of my own which has zero evidence to back it up; there’s a fine art to balancing scholarly information, and your own opinion… lets just hope I did okay.
Actually making the video was – to begin with – a little daunting. Talking to myself in front of a camera made me feel so weird, I have no idea how full time YouTubers do it. But once I got over the fear of looking like a fool on camera (which you can totally just edit out anyway), the whole experience was so much fun. Piecing everything together was a challenge in itself – as I found out while editing, I say “um” and “like” a lot.
If I could give a piece of advice to anyone who’s in the process of, or will in the future make a video, it would be to just go for it. Once you have all your research and everything done, you don’t need a fancy-schmancy editing program (I used Windows Movie Maker), or an amazing set up. Just do it, it’s actually great fun. Also give yourself plenty of time – anything that can go wrong, will definitely go wrong.
(Critical Reflection: 660 words)
My online activity for this unit, I feel, picked up in the second half of the unit. I used Twitter more, commented on YouTube videos more, I felt more engaged even politically through using media more. I found once I became more active, and posted things like online polls on Twitter (like this), or even just using gifs to show my current mood, other people became more engaged with me too.Becoming part of the conversation lead to even more conversations. I found that I became more visible, and once I connected with someone on one platform, I found them (or they found me) on another.
(Broader Online Engagement: 106 words)
Olmos // Hold Me
DeMasi, S 2011, ‘Shopping for love: online dating and the making of a cyber culture of romance’, in Seidman, S, Fischer, N and Meeks, C (eds.), Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, pp. 206-13
Marshall P D, 2010, ‘The promotion and presentation of the self: celebrity as marker of presentational media’, Celebrity Studies, vol 1, no 1, pg 35-48
O’Neill J, 2016, ‘ALC203 Portfolio Part 1’, My Online Identity(/ies), WordPress, 20th April, retrieved on 14/05/16, https://josieoblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/alc203-portfolio-part-1/
Poletti A, Rak J, 2013, Identity Technologies: constructing the self online, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.
Caberra-Frias L, 2013, Cyber Courtship: Computer Matchmaking Trends in Online Romance, Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics & Policy, Vol 4, Issue 1, page G:1-G:4.