By: Alex Massaad

Watch:
Surrogates (Mostow, 2009)

Read:
1) Weisbuch, Max, Zorana Ivcevic, and Nalini Ambady. "On being liked on the web and in the ” real world”: Consistency in first impressions across personal webpages and spontaneous behavior." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (May 2009): 573-576.
2) Langlois, Ganaele. "Networked Publics: The Double Articulation of Code and Politics on Facebook." Canadian Journal of Communications. 34. (2009): 415. Print.

My first week would be the first of two weeks about alternative realities and spaces that have been created through technology. The first week examines how technology can be used to emulate us in social situations such as social media websites (Facebook, MySpace, etc). The first connection that I saw for a film that portrays this sort social safe-haven was Surrogates (2009). The idea of insulating yourself from society via technology in the film is very similar to the reason I think people feel so comfortable using Facebook to interact. The first reading that I assigned (Weisbuch) takes a psychology-angled view at how social webpages are affecting the way society interacts. I felt that this might be an important study to read because it looks directly at the way technology is able to substitute for a first impressions via social media. As mentioned at the beginning of their study this is relevant since so many people are relying on personal webpages to judge friends, dates or even potential employees or students. The second article by Langlois would definitely be a “skim.” While the material in the article doesn’t teach anything directly related to media studies I think it shows how other disciplines are taking note of the importance of these imaginary “cyber-social-spaces.” The research was concerned with how people formed political associations during the 2007 Ontario election on Facebook and how this differed from associations “taking place in other media (Langlois 421).”