Saturday, June 16, 2012

It is Finished

My research paper's final draft!!! Well... final for now, I suppose. My works cited page is available upon request, and thank you to all those that have helped me to form and refine ideas about these subjects. Although the official assignment is complete, I don't imagine I'll stop thinking about this paper just yet!...  In some ways, it's only getting started. 

Better Conversation in the Order of the Day

He calls, she texts.  He emails, she chats online.  He posts, she comments, and all the while they’re engaging in conversation.  In today's world, quick and efficient means of communication are seemingly endless.  Digital means in particular, like those involving social media and the Internet, are widely available and increasingly becoming part of the way the human race experiences daily life.  One aspect of human living that is inevitably influenced by these advances in technology is that of romantic relationships and the way they function and flourish.  According to Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson, “interpersonal relationships have experienced a transformation during the last decade of the twentieth century.  Relationships that previously were established and sustained primarily through face-to-face interaction have come to be complemented by a social technology that is creating a new genre of interpersonal relationships” (187).  That’s not to say that social technology has replaced face-to-face interaction, but it does indeed complement our interpersonal interactions and add another dimension to them. 

Quite obviously, not every generation in history has enjoyed the conveniences of digital technology.  Romantic relationships, on the other hand, have been part of human life since the beginning.  With the 1813 publication of the beloved novel Pride and Prejudice, the witty Jane Austen captured the essence of English social life that kept everyone on their toes: the quest for an advantageous marriage. She wrote of the different relationship types she saw in her society, boldly addressing their follies and even satirizing their participants.  In an evaluation of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the novel’s central relationship, many of the problems that arise between them seem to stem from certain limits that prevent more effective communication.  The limits of spatial proximity, social propriety and personal prejudice that are present in the novel as well as today, can be overcome by the use of modern digital technology, providing opportunities for better communication in romantic relationships than experienced by the characters of Pride and Prejudice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So We Had this Webinar...

Phew!  I just survived my first webinar!  What a rush.  It actually was so interesting and even fun!  I really enjoyed seeing lots of different people come together to discuss the things that the class has been talking about all semester.  As it turns out, people outside of our class have opinions about these topics and valuable things to say as well, which is what Professor Burton has been trying to teach us this whole time.  There is so much more out there than we realize, and digital media is an excellent way to access these hidden treasures of ideas and information.

I loved seeing people make comments more specifically about the research I had done and the topics I addressed.  Even after reading just a few my mind was reeling with new thoughts about research I could do!  I was also again reminded that technology's affect on relationships has so many different facets, you could take it in a million directions.  This was basically one hour of constant social proof.  With this kind of collaboration, think of what ideas could be created, expanded and even refined in an hour! 

This webinar thing was cool and I'm starting to think about how I could use it effectively in the future.  Now that I've done it once, I'm sure that I will try it again!  After all, I'm supposed to be digitally literate now, right?


Facebook Official

As I read into the research of others concerning technology and relationships, I decided to conduct a little research of my own.  A little while ago on Facebook, I posted this as my status:

What do you think about making a relationship "Facebook official?" What's the meaning behind it? I'm looking for opinions, so talk to me.

I got some decent responses, a couple positive, but mostly negative.   
  • It's a good way to tell other people to back off & to stop trying to steal your man ;) it worked well.
  • It's a good way to make everyone aware that you're engaged... but other than that I think it's pointless. just a way to get people to congratulate you when you get into a relationship and console you when it doesn't work out.
  • I think it means you are proud of who you are dating and it lets others know that you aren't ashamed of it.
  • Pointless. You don't need Internet to promote and make your relationship status known. Don't even have it showing at all.
  • I agree mostly with (comment #2), but I also think it's a personal call depending on how comfortable you are putting personal stuff like that on FB. I don't cringe when I see new relationships or anything. However, I hate saying that a couple are dating for real after it becomes "Facebook Official". As if it's the seal we all wait for for the relationship to mean something. Lame.
  • Facebook sells your private information to corporations. don't endanger your lover.
  • People do it to show that they are taken, in some cases Facebook official is used to finalize the relationship and make an announcement public for the world? haha its just stupid in my opinion ;) haha. 

    Interesting, isn't it?  These comments respond to how technology has become a part of defining relationships and point out why some people might choose to make such information public online.  Although many of the people behind these comments aren't the biggest fans of being "Facebook official," their responses do support the fact that relationships are increasingly acquiring technological aspects to them.

    Something even more interesting was the real response my post provoked.  My friends and close family started speculating, assuming and overreacting, thinking that I was considering going "official" with someone.  Right!  Like the first place I would go for advice about those kinds of things is Facebook itself... that's just not like me.  I was surprised by how many people actually approached me about it and I heard that a few others had mentioned it in curious conversation.  Good heavens!  Point proven once again that technology plays a role in the way we experience relationships.  Apparently those that found interest in my post had opinions about what going online official might mean.

    Whether technology affects relationships for the better or the worse isn't always clear... which got me thinking a lot about my paper's argument.  Would an argument for technology's negative influence on relationships be better???  In the end I decided to stick with my original idea; the positive might take a little more fun digging to support!  Both sides have their grounds, so I had better stand mine.



Monday, June 11, 2012

The Climb (Like Miley Says)

Wow.  What an interesting experience this class has been.  It turned out to be completely different from what I expected, but I feel that I have learned many valuable things as I've been thrust into the realm of digital literacy.  This semester's learning outcomes:

1- BYU-Idaho's Learning Model:

"Prepare, Teach One Another, Ponder and Prove."  I especially feel that I have been taught by my peers and classmates this semester, just through working with them, reading their papers, listening to their comments, and working to understand their perspectives.  I've really quite loved learning from the things that students of my age and field of study have floating around in their brains.  Pondering has been another big part of this class for me; I've had to do a lot of it!  These concepts of digital literacy and their potential connections with literature have caused me to think, wonder, worry, question, speculate, analyze... the list could go on.  I think I understand the term "self-directed learning" in a new light, as much of my learning took place as I practiced putting the things I was taught into place, trying them out, and pondering about them until they sunk in.  It's been a learning process that I don't usually experience, but as the end draws near I'm able to recognize the different person I've become because of it.

2- Write Substantially and Publicly About Literature:

Writing publicly was something that I'd had very little previous exposure to, and I didn't realize how self-conscious I was about taking my writing beyond the classroom or close friends and family.  I was comfortable in my usual environment, but I was surprised at how much more my writing began to mean to me as I put it out there for a larger audience (on the Internet, specifically).  I wanted my writing to improve and for my ideas to actually mean something.  Writing publicly also made me a little more of a perfectionist with my writing; I didn't want to post anything that I wasn't sure was ready and nicely put together, but I've realized that writing publicly doesn't necessarily mean writing perfectly.  Drafting is part of the process, and it's ok for others to publicly view your writing process.  It doesn't have to be some big secret but instead a great opportunity to share ideas and get people, including ourselves, to think in ways they haven't before. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Drafting Away


 Ok. This is essentially my "Paper in a Post" again.  As I began working on my rough draft, I also began to kind of tear it apart, not realizing that I didn't have sufficient information to back up all of the areas that I wanted to address.  I also am in mid-conversation(s) social proof wise and am trying to figure out what to incorporate where.  SO, consider it in a rebuilding and restructuring stage.  Also, I'm wondering, do the words "spatial proximity" even make sense?  Is there a better way that I could describe the distance between two people in a couple words?  Hmmm..
                                                 
                                                My EXTREMELY Rough Draft
In her novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen captures the essence of 1813 English social life that kept everyone on their toes: the quest for an advantageous marriage. She wrote of the different relationship types she saw in her society, boldly addressing their follies and even satirizing their participants.  In an evaluation of the novel's central relationships, many of the problems that arise seem to stem from certain limits that prevented more effective communication between the two people directly involved.  Introduction of two main relationships: Lizzy, Darcy, Jane, Bingley.  Refer to article on Austen's novel's romances. 
In today's world, digital means of communication such as social media and text messaging are widely available and increasingly becoming part of the way relationships function and flourish. Scholarly research.  When used properly, new technological tools of communication can positively affect romantic relationships by allowing us to overcome limits created by spatial proximity, social propriety and personal prejudice as found in the novel.
Spatial proximity plays a significant role in the inhibition of several of the novel's relationships. The permanent homes of the connected characters span the country; journeys might take several days and expect month-long stays. Use of numbers; create mental map. With the use of digital communication, distance is no longer a factor. Communication may take place instantaneously from country to country, let alone from Meryton to Pemberly.  Mention instant message/email, focus on use of Skype as "face-to-face" communication example.
  The social expectations and maintenance of propriety during Jane Austen's time were quite rigid and unforgiving. Info from Ottos’ (my friends that live in England).  Not only did men behave according to their rank, but women were limited to their assigned gender role of the time as well. The Internet today allows for a kind of social anonymity that allows an individual to be whom they will be. Focus on women’s anonymity.  According to Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson, individuals in face-to-face relationships lack in this anonymity and tend to reveal little information about themselves until they feel safe (190). For example, Mr. Darcy waited too long to reveal the truth about the deeds of Mr. Wickham and might have been more inclined to do so sooner if he had the "safety" of the Internet. Also, communication through this medium may have allowed for more private and personal conversations, as well as freed the women from the stereotypes that confined them.
To many people today, the use of digital communication may seem less sincere and effective. However, the technologies we have should be regarded as possible tools to positively affect the way we experience relationships. The limits don't need to be endured, and an exploration of these new means can remove the ignorance that, in Elizabeth Bennet's case, worked to build up her pride and bolster her prejudice.   

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lizzie with a Facebook




So this is the little trailer video for my research paper!  My lack of videography skills will be clearly evident, but it was my first time editing a video.  EVER.  That's a big deal. 

Lizzie would've had way too much fun with Facebook.  Let's not even think about Mrs. Bennet...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Free Sample: A Paper Draft


In her novel Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen captures the essence of 1813 English social life that kept everyone on their toes: the quest for an advantageous marriage.   She wrote of the different relationship types she saw in her society, boldly addressing their follies and even satirizing their participants.  In an evaluation of the novel's central relationships, many of the problems that arise seem to stem from certain limits that prevented more effective communication.  In today's world, digital means of communication such as social media and text messaging are widely available and increasingly becoming a part of the way relationships begin, function and flourish.  When used properly, new technological tools of communication can positively affect romantic relationships by allowing us to overcome limits created by spatial proximity, social propriety and personal prejudice as found in the novel.

Spatial proximity plays a significant role in the inhibition of several of the novel's relationships.  The permanent homes of the connected characters span the country; journeys might take several days and expect month-long stays.  With the use of digital communication, distance is no longer a factor.  Communication may take place instantaneously from country to country, let alone from Meryton to Pemberly. 

The social expectations and maintenance of propriety during Jane Austen's time were quite rigid and unforgiving.  Not only did men behave according to their rank, but women were limited to their assigned gender role of the time as well.  The Internet today allows for a kind of social anonymity that allows an individual to be whom they will be.  According to Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson, individuals in face-to-face relationships lack in this anonymity and tend to reveal little information about themselves until they feel safe (190).  For example, Mr. Darcy waited too long to reveal the truth about the deeds of Mr. Wickham and might have been more inclined to do so sooner if he had the "safety" of the Internet.  Also, communication through this medium may have allowed for more private and personal conversations, as well as freed the women from the stereotypes that confined them.

To many people today, the use of digital communication may seem less sincere and effective.  However, the technologies we have should be regarded as possible tools to positively affect the way we experience relationships.  The limits don't need to be endured, and an exploration of these new means can remove the ignorance that, in Elizabeth Bennet's case, worked to build up her pride and bolster her prejudice.