• Thoughts on Storify

    Posted on December 11th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    As I’ve said in a previous post, I’m using Storify as my scholarly webtext platform. I just finished my rough draft for class. So far, I really think that my project has come a long way. My only concern is that it might be too lengthy. Hopefully, I’ll get some helpful feedback in class today so that I can effectively edit my work.

    Overall, I’m really happy that I chose to use Storify. I combine my text with articles, images, and videos. All of these sources definitely add something to my scholarly webext. I want to share a small excerpt from my rough draft that explains why Facebook is relaxing its privacy settings for teens. Also, it calls the site the “Mom Jeans” of social media:

    “Recently, Facebook has decided to “relax its rules” for teens since it’s becoming a non-hip social media site. Let’s be real, teens probably don’t want to see mom and grandma’s status updates… In the past, Facebook was very popular among teens because it allowed them to connect with one another through wall posts, status updates, and direct messages. Now that older users are joining the social media site, it has become much less appealing for teens to use. I can sympathize with this; I finally accepted my mom’s friend request after it lingered in my inbox for three months.”


  • Social Media Privacy

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I’ve been looking for more sources to use in my scholarly webtext. As I said in an earlier post, my topic is about teens and social media privacy. Are teens aware of the risks when their information is shared publicly? Do teens even understand the privacy policies on social media sites? Today, I found an awesome video that shows social media statistics as well as different social media sites’ privacy policies. If you’re planning on using a social media site, you should really be aware of its privacy policies before sharing information. I think that this video will definitely impact my final project.

    Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9pFMSKPXSk

  • The Swales Model: Is it Helpful for Academic Arguments?

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Last week, my Writing and Digital Media class period was dedicated to taking our scholarly webtext information and using “The Swales Model.” What’s the Swales Model, you ask? Here’s a little background info.

    Basically, the Swales Model contains three strategies that linguistics professor, John Swales, created to help refine an academic argument. The three steps are:

    1. Establish a territory

    2. Establish a niche

    3. Occupy the niche

    Under these steps, Swales suggests that you focus on specifics in order to improve the argument. The specifics included (1) claim centrality, make topic generalizations, or review items of previous research. (2) counter-claiming, indicating a gap, question-raising, or continuing a tradition. (3) outline purposes, announce present research, announce principal findings, or indicate structure of a research article. Following those guidelines, I gathered my information and began to fill it into a “mad libs” structured exercise. This is what I came up with for my topic that discusses privacy issues for teens on social media sites:

    “In recent discussions of social media privacy for teens, a controversial issue has been whether or not teens take much consideration into managing their privacy settings on social media sites. On the one hand, some argue that teens need custom privacy settings for their profiles. From this perspective, statistics show that only “9% [of teens] say they are ‘very’ concerned when it comes to third-parties accessing their data.” Today, teens seem much more willing to share their most intimate information with the general public. John Titlow, author of #Me: Instagram Narcissism and the Scourge of the Selfie, describes public sharing as “getting a feeling that you’re peeking through a window of a world you’re not supposed to have access to.”On the other hand, however, others argue that teens can handle the public profile life. In the words of Marwick and Boyd, two of this view’s main proponents, say “what matters is not whether or not teens are speaking in public, but how we support them as they try to learn how to responsibly navigate the networked public spaces that are central to contemporary life.” According to this view, Marwick and Boyd seem to make note of how allowing more relaxed privacy settings create a learning process for teens. In sum, then, the issue is whether teens need custom privacy settings or should they have the freedom to share their information through a public profile.

    My own view is that if teens are mature enough to have social media profiles, they should be able to manage their own privacy settings . Though I concede that custom privacy settings are beneficial for the younger generation, I still maintain that teens will try to tip-toe around privacy settings. For example, new Facebook users can easily lie about their age when signing up for the social media site to bypass any strict privacy settings. I was about thirteen when I made my Facebook account, and since that is considered “underage” for a profile, I lied and entered a different birth year. Although some might object that strict privacy settings will prevent privacy issues on social media for teens, I would reply that these settings will have to be further developed in order to do so. The issue is important because teens have the ability to disregard privacy settings on social media websites and share more personal information with the public.”

    This in-class exercise was so helpful. I think that I have a lot of information, so the Swales Model organized my information a lot better. We were asked to not use our Swales Model result word-for-word in our scholarly webtext, but I think it really helped me focus my idea. I was able to zero in on exactly what I wanted to talk about. Tomorrow in class, we are going to start moving our projects onto whatever platform each of us intends on using. I’m using Storify as my platform, and I can’t wait to see the final results of my project!

  • Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    For our Scholarly Webtext, we had to come to class with four different webtext citations. An article I used is titled Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. Here is the link to the article:


    I read through the article and took out some main points. A lot of the information was very useful for my overall topic regarding privacy issues for teens who use social media sites.

    Here is a little synopsis I wrote about the article:

    Teens do not seem to take much consideration into managing their privacy settings on social media sites. According to the article, “just 9% [of teens] say they are ‘very’ concerned” when it comes to third-parties accessing their data. These third parties include advertisers, businesses, and potential employers. The data and percentages included in the article clearly show an increase in teens that share information through their social media profiles. Is this increase a result of privacy settings being too difficult to use or is it because teens are just too naïve to use them? This article gives enough statistical information to think about exactly why teens may be disregarding privacy settings on social media websites and sharing more personal information with the public.

    I think that this article really makes great points about teens on social media websites. Why are so many more teens okay with the fact that complete strangers could have access to their information if they don’t have proper privacy settings? This is a question that I want to look into as I continue my research.

  • Photoshop Transformation

    Posted on December 4th, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    I was browsing Buzzfeed this morning, and I came across this page titled Watch Photoshop Transform This “Average” Woman Into a Real-Life Barbie in 37 Seconds.

    Here is the link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/maycie/powerful-video-shows-what-photoshop-can-do

    It’s crazy to think that Photoshop has the capability to completely change the way a person looks. The video shows the process that a natural looking woman goes through on a photo shoot set. In the end, she is transformed into a flawless, overly perfect-looking model. The beginning shows a natural-looking woman. Then, makeup, hair extensions, and new lighting are added and we can already see what a drastic change that makes to the “natural woman.” If that wasn’t enough of a change, the video shows the Photoshop editing process that occurs after the photo is taken. Here, editors make the woman’s eyes larger and her stomach skinnier. They also elongate the woman’s legs, neck, and arms. At the end, her hair and skin are lightened, making this picture very similar to those we see in magazine advertisements today.

    The video was created by GlobalDemocracy.com and the campaign requests that magazines and other publications  include a disclaimer on photos where models have been airbrushed or Photoshopped. A disclaimer of some sort would be very beneficial, especially since a lot of young girls deal with body image issues.

  • Scholarly Webtext: Refining My Idea

    Posted on December 3rd, 2013 msmith88 No comments

    Right now, I’m looking at my feedback from Dr. Warnick on the Unit 4 project. Unit 4 is a Scholarly Webtext, where I will select a topic related to an aspect of writing, technology, social media, or internet culture, and create a web-based artifact. The web-based artifact will incorporate outside sources that will make a specific argument designed to be read by an academic audience.

    My topic is very broad, and Dr. Warnick suggested that I refine it to create a more specific argument. I decided that I wanted to talk about Youth and Technology, but here is my problem… I need to figure out something much more specific. In my plan of action, I seemed to gravitate toward talking about the issue of privacy as it relates to youth and social media. I think that this topic will help me provide more specific information, so I can make a much clearer stance on my webtext. Also, I decided that I’d like to use Storify to present my final project. This way, I’ll be able to collect and arrange important artifacts from my sources while adding my own comments. I thought about using Medium; however, I think it might be a little too text-based for this project.

    Now, it’s time to refine my overall idea and find the right sources for it!