Tag: internet (page 1 of 11)

Parasocial relationships through digital media

I think we’ve all felt a close affinity and, dare I say, relationship with people who wouldn’t know who we were if we met them in real life. In fact, I’ve kind of experienced the other side of this due to my TEDx Talk and the TIDE podcast. People at events would come and talk to me as if they knew me.

It’s nice, in a way, although it makes for very one-sided conversations until you get to know people. I think it’s likely to happen again with the Tao of WAO podcast

Over the past decade, it has become increasingly common for people to develop intense one-sided relationships with famous people on the internet. What are called parasocial relationships (meaning almost social, or perversely social) have spread almost everywhere. For example, John Mulaney fans share concern over his recently messy personal life as much as they laugh at his jokes. Fans of K-pop groups like Blackpink (called Blinks) and Twice (called Onces) flood YouTube videos with millions of comments in support of their favorite performers. (“Rosé has worked so hard for this moment, let’s support her as much as we can!!”) Zoomers goof off in the chat for hours watching Twitch livestreamers play Minecraft or PUBG. Even Peloton trainers are marketed as supporting us on our fitness journeys rather than coaches who simply encourage us to sweat.

The hosts of podcasts in particular are the subject of these intense feelings of connection, as many observers, like Rachel Aroesti in this Guardian piece for instance, have pointed out. I have a few parasocial podcast obsessions myself, particularly the podcasting family the McElroy Brothers, who make the comedy advice show My Brother, My Brother and Me and the “actual play” Dungeons and Dragons podcast The Adventure Zone, among other things. I follow fan subreddits, chuckle at McElroy memes, and buy merch to support the good good boys (as they are called). I have become as much a fan of the McElroys “themselves” as I am a fan of their content. I know their childhood nicknames, their struggles with depression and social anxiety, and I know about the time Justin got fired from Blockbuster for stealing a Fight Club DVD.

Source: Why Can’t We Be Friends | Real Life

Criminals’ right to be forgotten

This is interesting: the Associated Press are no longer going to name people involved in minor crimes. I have to agree with their rationale.

These minor stories, which only cover an arrest, have long lives on the internet. AP’s broad distribution network can make it difficult for the suspects named in such items to later gain employment or just move on in their lives.

Broadly speaking, when evaluating such stories, we should consider first whether the story is worthy of our news report, and if distributing it is indeed useful to our members and customers. If the answer is yes, in keeping with AP’s commitment to fairness, we now will no longer name suspects in brief stories about minor crimes in which there is little chance AP will provide coverage beyond the initial arrest.

Source: AP Definitive Source | Why we’re no longer naming suspects in minor crime stories

Nostalgia, friction, and read/write literacy 

I probably need to revisit this (and the references) but I really enjoyed reading Silvio Lorusso’s essay on computer agency and behaviour.

Alan Kay’s pioneering work on interfaces was guided by the idea that the computer should be a medium rather than a vehicle, its function not pre-established (like that of the car or the television) but reformulable by the user (like in the case of paper and clay). For Kay, the computer had to be a general-purpose device. He also elaborated a notion of computer literacy which would include the ability to read the content of a medium (the tools and materials generated by others) but also the ability to write in a medium. Writing on the computer medium would not only include the production of materials, but also of tools. That is for Kay authentic computer literacy: “In print writing, the tools you generate are rhetorical; they demonstrate and convince. In computer writing, the tools you generate are processes; they simulate and decide.”

Source: The User Condition, Silvio Lorusso