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Feminism & Warner Brothers’ Suicide Squad

*This post contains spoilers for the movie Suicide Squad. Please stop reading now if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to be spoiled.

Hear me out.

I know what you’re thinking. Feminism, in a film where a female character is punched in the face just before the punchline, “She had a mouth,” is delivered? Feminism, in a film where countless characters threaten the female lead with violence, constantly stating that they don’t care that she’s a woman? Feminism, in a film that, to say the least, depicts an unhealthy romantic relationship as #goals?

I promise, there is.

When early promotional spots for Suicide Squad were released, many fans expected the film to be all about The Joker. Jared Leto was featured heavily in trailers, commercials, and interviews. His performance was continuously hyped up, and he received significantly more media attention than his co-stars (in fact, his name is top-billed on posters for the film and in the credits, despite the fact that his character appears for a mere fifteen total minutes out of a two-hour-plus movie). Co-star Margot Robbie, who was just as excited about playing Harley Quinn as Jared Leto was about playing The Joker, was somewhat overlooked as critics speculated what Leto would bring to the famed role.

Now that the film is out, and viewers have had a chance to digest the material, many are shocked at how little Joker scenes there were. Instead, much of the film focused on Robbie and Will Smith’s characters and the complex nature of their relationships with the film’s other characters. What was once billed as ‘The Joker Show’ has actually turned into Harley Quinn Land, and while many fans (and Leto himself) have expressed their disappointment at the amount of cut scenes… I don’t hate it.

I know that film studios think that women like me (read: women who love superhero films) don’t exist, but the truth is, we do, and we like it when a woman takes the lead. Suicide Squad puts Robbie’s character front and center, and doesn’t give the audience a chance to mind, because there is nothing to complain about. In the comic books, Harley Quinn is an undeniable badass, but she is also fanatically obsessed with The Joker, and lets the love that she has for him dictate her every move. Comic-Harley is defined by her love for The Joker. She is, first and foremost, The Joker’s girlfriend, and the fact that she is a complex character takes the backseat to The Joker’s will, always.

In the film, Harley Quinn is her own person. She has so many other things going on. Suicide Squad provides us with scenes that show so much emotional depth. The viewers learn about Quinn’s past, her present, her future. Her hopes and dreams are explored and surprise viewers because they are different from what we believe Harley to be. Harley never stops surprising the viewer, and, most importantly, the viewer never loses interest because the character has so much to offer. And, while we see so many of Harley’s relationships with the other characters explored so intimately, all we see from The Joker is how he feels about Harley.

Throughout Suicide Squad, Harley takes charge of her own life. She does not let The Joker define her. Harley makes friends, saves the world, loves and mourns The Joker but does not abandon the fundamental core of who she is in order to be with him. Meanwhile, The Joker’s every scene involves Harley Quinn. A majority of his lines are either to her or about her. When Quinn is imprisoned, The Joker lies on the floor, desolate and pining for her. The Joker is the one who does not know how to be when his love interest is not around.

Given that, in so many films, the female character is relegated to the ride-or-die love interest role, the feminist in me is thrilled to see a man as powerful as The Joker take the backseat for once. Rather than have Harley’s entire story line revolve around The Joker, as it has in past depictions of the character, Joker’s entire story line revolves around Harley. He spends the whole film chasing her. How many other movies can you say that about?

Shooting Suicide Squad from the perspective of Harley Quinn and showing only bits of The Joker was a smart choice by Warner Brother’s. No, I’m not kidding. After a list of (alleged) deleted scenes was leaked, fans took note that many scenes where Mr. J appears to be inflicting violence upon Harley were cut from the film. Fans were understandably upset – in the comics, Mr. J is incredibly abusive towards Harley, and fans were unsure how they felt about a more romantic version of the toxic couple they’d known for so long.

After having some time to think about it, and being a fan of both the comic and cinematic universes, I have decided that I enjoy the on-screen portrayal of their relationship much more than the abusive one. It is honestly thrilling to see Harley as the strong, independent badass she is. She still loves The Joker, and would do anything for him, but her obsession does not define her character or compromise the person she is when he isn’t around. Instead, the viewer is exposed to so many nuances of her personality, and we learn so much about who Harley really is, even without The Joker’s influence.

I understand why fans are disappointed. I understand why Jared Leto is disappointed. The Joker is an iconic, larger-than-life character. Fans expected him to be front-and-center during the film, and Leto dedicated himself to a role that he didn’t know would be thrust into the backseat. But I encourage everyone to give this version of the story a chance. While you might not find too many things outside of Margot Robbie’s performance enjoyable (though Will Smith remains a national treasure), this film is doing great things for the way women are treated in the superhero genre. This film understands that women love superhero movies, and that the summer blockbuster doesn’t always need a hot girl to play the doting girlfriend.

Women can be killers, can want to be mothers, can be prison inmates and sexy and violent and loving and all of these things, all at the same time. Female characters do not need to be defined by their boyfriends. Female characters can carry the film, because superhero films are not exclusively seen by men anymore. And an actress of Margot Robbie’s caliber certainly does not deserve to be pigeon-holed into a role where she merely play’s somebody’s girlfriend.

I applaud Warner Brothers and DC for taking this first step in the right direction. I hope I don’t regret this post when the Harley Quinn spin-off comes out.

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Dig. Comm Systems - May 2016

Dig. Comm Systems Response

So when my second semester started, I had plans to continue blogging every week or so, since I liked doing it so much for Intro to Dig. Comm. Obviously, that didn’t work out the way I planned, but I’m back again for a special guest post for Dig. Comm Systems.

The questions that I’m answering here are:

  1. Based on your experience with WordPress, what are your impressions with working with WordPress – the pros and cons? It started as a blogging platform but has evolved – should it still be relegated for small blogs, or do you see enterprise use?
  2. Are there any blogs you regularly follow? Pick one and critique it. Why do you like this blog? What is it about the content that makes you go back? How about the design/layout?

I’m going to start with the second question, because I can think of only one blog that I regularly check up on, and that’s Sharleen Joynt’s blog at AllThePrettyPandas.com. For those of you who aren’t criminally obsessed with reality television, Sharleen Joynt is an ex-contestant on The Bachelor who now posts recaps of the current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

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I like reading her recaps because she provides a behind-the-scenes look on how the show really works. Sharleen exposes just how “real” the show is, and has taught me a few things about how reality television works, including a term she calls “frankenbiting,” where sound bites of a contestant’s interview are spliced together to create quotes that were never actually said.

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Sharleen’s position as an ex-contestant provides a unique point of view to the generic recap that so many bloggers post every week. While I do read a few other Bachelor/ette recaps, Sharleen’s is the one I like the best, and so I continuously check her site for updates. The content is written well, but what keeps me coming back the most are the behind-the-scenes anecdotes she shares. I recommend it for anyone who likes The Bachelor/ette.

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In terms of layout and aesthetics, Sharleen’s site is easy to navigate and the recaps are clearly labelled and easily found. Though her site design is simple, it’s very clean and prompts engagement from the user. It helps that her writing is excellent, but I really just see her intelligent use of language as an added bonus to everything else she does so well.

Regarding the first question, I would say that the biggest pro of using WordPress is how user-friendly it is. I can pretty much figure out how the site works on my own, even when using it for the first time, but if there was ever anything I didn’t knowhow to do, it was easily fixed with a simple Google search. For me, user-friendliness is so, so important, especially with a blogging platform.

I like WordPress so much, that I’m not certain I even have a con for using it. Hopefully one of my classmates can come up with something – I’ve been using WordPress since undergrad, and I’ve yet to have any huge issues. The site really is user-friendly, clean, easy to navigate, and awesome.

However, I’m not sure that WordPress has the capabilities to evolve beyond small blog use. I think WordPress does small blog use so well that it doesn’t make much sense for the site to try to expand. WordPress is the leading blogging platform for anyone who wants to set up a site, and I think it should stick to what it knows best. WordPress doesn’t need to change – the site is great enough at what it already does, and I don’t think that its users are looking to have anything major changed. The design and functionality are so great, though they are catered towards the small blogging platform.

If WordPress was to expand, it would have to change some elements of its site, and I think this would upset users who enjoy the way things are. WordPress should stick to what it knows and does well, because what it does well it does very well.

Hopefully I can jump back on here to do a semester wrap-up or recap, and get back into the swing of things (i.e – blogging regularly) soon! For now, let me know what your thoughts are on WordPress – are you as big a fan of the platform as I am?

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DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 11: Course Wrap-Up and Case Study

 

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So I know I wrote last week’s blog post with a depressing air of finality, but I Just couldn’t let you guys not see the fruits of my labor.

For the past six weeks, each of us taking Intro to Dig Comm has been working on a case study. We got to pick our own topics, so every presentation that was given last night (during our last class – sob!) was insanely interesting. When people research a topic they’re passionate about, the interest shows, and this project gave us a lot of freedom to look into some really cool things.

Basically, what we had to do was pick a company or brand who used digital media in an interesting way, and explain how and why the campaign worked. Some of my favorite presentations were about Disney, Marvel, and Coca-Cola – name brands we interact with every day, who are leading in innovation and changing the digital media game as we know it.

But my project was a little different. Rather than analyze an entire company who upped their social media presence over the course of a few campaigns, I decided to try something else. For my case study, I looked at the 2016 film Deadpool, which, as you might have heard, raked in over $600 million dollars so far despite having a budget of just $58 million – a budget that Ryan Reynolds himself, the star, quipped was usually just the ‘cocaine budget’ for other Superhero films.

Deadpool smashed records nationwide, even breaking 50 Shades of Grey’s box office opening weekend record. For 20th Century Fox and Marvel, it was a winner from the moment it premiered, and they didn’t even have to spend millions of dollars on flashy trailers and expensive TV commercial spots to make it happen.

So how did they make it happen? Innovative social media marketing and viral content creation.

In my paper, I analyze the campaign used to sell Deadpool to consumers in a way that’s meant to be neutral but probably comes off as more praising – I really, really, really loved the film, okay?

Here’s a link to my paper. If you haven’t seen the film, GO SEE IT NOW. Hopefully my case study will still interest you if you haven’t, but I promise you won’t regret it.

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As for the semester’s end, I don’t think there’s anything more I can say that I didn’t squeeze into my blog last week or tweet about, but, just because I don’t think it can be said enough: I had a great time in class this semester. To date, Intro to Dig Comm has been one of the best classes I’ve taken (undergrad included, since it’s my first grad school class!).

This course has been such a great start to my graduate school experience. I can’t wait to finally meet everyone at the Immersion on Friday (and I’m sorry for rushing through my presentation. I was really excited).

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DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 10 Reflection: What’s in Store for the Future

I can’t believe the semester is over already. The last ten weeks absolutely flew by, and I’m not sure how I can condense everything I’ve learned and all my thoughts on so many complex topics into a blog post, but I’m going to try.

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This week’s lecture was centered around the future of communications and how everything we’ve been studying is going to continue to progress over time. I sat down this weekend and gave each topic we studied a lot of thought and considered what the future for each might be in turn. Across the board, there were some obvious similarities – more of what we have now. More wearables, more customization, more interaction, more of the same but easier, faster, and more convenient – everything we’ve come to expect out of our technology.

At the same time, I look at the current state of technology – for example, Apple products – and I wonder how much more can be done. The iPad has proven to be the most overhyped electronic device in recent years. It is mostly just a larger iPhone. The Apple Watch has had its criticisms too, and the Amazon Echo, Google’s Cortana, and, of course, Siri, are not each without their faults. So, when it comes to the future of communication, what would make consumers happy?

Looking at the criticisms of “smart personal assistants,” people seem to want a completely artificially-intelligent robot PA, a la Her, but when things that fit this bill are created, they are received by mixed reviews. We mentioned this creation during the live session (her name is Sophia) and, while some people thought this idea held promise and was potentially very cool) most of us were horrified as soon as we heard that she has cameras in her eyes that will recognize a person’s face. Maybe it’s movies that have made us so fearful of artificial intelligence, but, personally, I just don’t feel ready for something like Sophia to become mainstream.

So where is the field of communications headed? This is a broad question, and when it comes to looking towards the future of things like mobile devices, interactivity, virtual reality and customization, how can anyone really predict where an ever-changing field like communications might be in a month or two, much less ten years? New technological developments happen every day. Popularity of certain mediums wanes and waxes. Facebook is the new MySpace, and in another year or two, Twitter will probably have completely eclipsed Facebook. Given that social networks are just a small fraction of communication as a whole, and this example is one tiny afterthought to a very complex discussion, how can I begin to tackle the future of an entire industry in one measly blog post?

I look forward to seeing how things will evolve in the field. There’s not much I can say about the future of communication technology that we didn’t cover during the live session. My classmates are an intelligent bunch, and we were largely in agreement about my earlier point that we will see more convenience, faster, and with the added (and cooler) bonus of things like holograms and virtual reality. So rather than harp on about points we’ve already discussed at length, I’ll use this time to reflect on the class in general and how I felt about my first semester as a Communications@Syracuse student.

In the course evaluation for this class, I wrote that this course was a good Intro course without feeling too Intro-y. This course provided a great background to the program and what we were going to learn, while still teaching me something new every week. I was a Communications major in undergrad, but I know that not everyone else was. This course catered to those who needed the extra help without making students like me bored with the content and feeling like we were slowly going over the basics every week.

Maybe our section was just blessed with a great group of students, but the live sessions were my favorite part of this course. In my undergraduate classes, I never felt like I received a diverse range of perspectives, because so many of the students in my classes were people similar to me. My undergrad classmates were from the same part of the country, had the same upbringing, and all looked the same. No two people have the exact same life experience, but for the most part, we were similar. So far, I feel as though I have been exposed to lots of different professions, people, and parts of the country, which has made for a robust discussion throughout the semester.

Wrapping up this course is bittersweet. I’ll miss our Monday night talks as much as I’ll miss watching The Bachelor right after them, but the takeaway I’ve gotten from this course – mainly, the fresh perspective I now have on the industry and my deeper understanding of the topics we’ve studied – balances out the sadness of the course’s end.

Thanks for everything, Intro to Dig. Comm. I can’t wait to meet you all next week!

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DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 9 Reflection: The Business of Persuasion

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Finally! The class I’ve been waiting for all semester: public relations and advertising.

I’ve known that I wanted to work in public relations since I was a freshman in high school, and in the field of communications even longer than that. I remembered thinking how glamorous the field seemed – on TV (most notably the show that got me hooked, The Spin Crowd) it seemed that public relations mostly involved hanging out with celebrities and attending red carpet events.

Fast forward eight or so years, and now I’m here: a professional intern whose day mostly consists of pitching reporters, compiling media lists, and attending a grand total of zero fantastic parties.

That’s not to say that the industry isn’t everything I thought it’d be – it is, and more. I absolutely love working in the field and can’t imagine myself with any other career. Who doesn’t want to think creatively, work with cool brands, and tell stories all day long? I get paid to do something I already do all day – lurk social media news feeds and talk about trending topics. At my job, I’m in charge of monitoring for celebrity feuds in case the opportunity for newsjacking presents itself. For someone who loves pop culture and eagerly devours trashy tabloids, this is a dream come true.

But I digress. This isn’t an autobiographical post about how I got my job and how much I love it. This is meant to be about this week’s class, during which we mostly talked about advertising and I hogged the quick Intro to PR we snuck in at the end.

Still, public relations is a pretty big part of a brand’s day-to-day concerns nowadays, maybe even more than advertising is. Both are insanely important when it comes to garnering brand recognition, loyalty, and consumer sales – if in different ways. The fact of the matter is that both fields are constantly evolving, adapting to new technologies and practices in ways that other industries, such as print media, are having a harder time doing.

Which brings me to our discussion in class, which was mostly based around how digital technology and new media has changed advertising. We discussed targeted ads (based on my opinion on data mining, I’m sure you can guess how I feel about those) and whether digital media has made advertising more effective. I felt there wasn’t much more to be said on the topic than what was covered in the synchronous content – of course digital media has made advertising more effective. For proof, look no further than this week’s TopShop example.

TopShop’s translation of the hottest London Fashion Week items into strategically placed live Twitter billboards was a stroke of marketing genius. For those of you who forget, TopShop pulled pieces from its own clothing line that mimicked trends that were straight off the runway from London Fashion Week. These outfits were projected on digital billboards, all within ten miles of a TopShop retail store. Consumers were encouraged to engage with a brand hashtag, and those who did were sent a personalized list of clothing items to shop from. You think targeted advertising is creepy? I see your opinion, and raise you TopShop’s Top Trends initiative.

Who doesn’t want something like online shopping, where thousands of outfits and hundreds of sizes, styles, and colors can finally be sorted from a confusing mess into a personalized experience, hand tailored to their own interests? Are you really so concerned about your privacy that you would forgo something this convenient?

I sound incredibly “millennial” right now, don’t I?

Regardless, I am in favor of targeted ads. I am even in favor of native ads. As I mentioned during the live session, I find native ads less intrusive than full page pop-ups or pop-unders, and, after years and years spent online, I am able to spot them and ignore them seamlessly. Do I consider them dishonest? Not really. As long as they are labeled, I don’t feel that it is the company’s problem if a consumer misses the label at-a-glance or is confused by it. Native advertising is smart, and effective. Like targeted advertising, it just makes sense, especially with the way digital media is changing virtually every industry out there.

Advertising and public relations have adapted to these changes in ways that I feel are not too out-there or extreme. Other industries have yet to catch up, and, sure, there are places within advertising and PR that aren’t perfected yet, but I think most would agree that these two industries have found a way to keep up with younger, more digital generations in ways that are, for the most part, effective and quietly, impressively seamless.

I like working in public relations. I like using digital media on a daily basis and I really do feel that it has kept me more current than some of my other peers who never studied communications. Both industries have their merits and are insanely important, not just to an ever-changing digital landscape, but to brands, companies, other fields of study, and consumers.

It’s our job to tell the stories. We have to make them make sense, and we have to make them relatable. Understanding the way digital communication is changing is an important part of that.

I know I say this every week, but I really enjoyed this week’s class discussion. Maybe it was because I got to talk more about something I’m knowledgeable in, but I found this week’s live session engaging and interesting – and thought-provocative. Gaining another perspective on a field I consider myself an expert in was, for lack of a better word, cool. It’s always nice to see something you think you know completely through a different set of eyes.

Moving forward, I look forward to hearing people’s semester wrap-ups now that Intro to Digital Communications is (unbelievably) almost over. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more on this topic as people present their case studies, and I can’t wait to see some real-life examples to supplement our abstract discussion on how digital media has changed two hugely important industries.

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DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 8 Reflection: In the defense of Citizen Journalism

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This week’s class was largely discussion based, and we had an interesting and complex talk about citizen journalism. My views on citizen journalism have always been complex. Of course I agree that paid journalists are paid because they are dedicated professionals, and I have always felt that journalists deserve our respect for the work they do, but I don’t think that feeling this way means I have to discredit citizen journalism.

The fact of the matter is that citizen journalism is insanely important. During the live session, it seemed (at least to me) that most of my classmates could sort of concede to that point, but, for the most part, they felt that citizen journalism is not as important as ‘real’ journalism. In my opinion, it’s a fine line. I agree that citizen journalists might not be as passionate as some professionals. I agree that citizen journalists might not vet their sources like professional journalists (hopefully) do. And yet, at the same time, we should all be aware that when we talk about professional journalists in such high regard, not all professional journalists deserve it.

To disregard citizen journalists so blatantly just doesn’t sit well with me. To say that citizen journalists cannot have the same amount of passion and professionalism that a professional journalist has even seems classist – many chefs have never been to culinary school. Yet there is little discrimination among professionals in the kitchen. Not everyone can afford to go to school. So why are citizen journalists considered lesser than their “educated” counterparts?

Maybe the issue is that people are reluctant to accept the way journalism is changing. Though it seems obvious that journalism is moving online, there will probably always be people who don’t “trust” the news unless it comes from a seasoned New York Times columnist. Yet, as a media student, I am well aware of the way that any news can be manipulated. The ease of digital manipulation is another criticism to citizen journalism – even though this isn’t something new to the industry. News channels and publications have always considered the interest of their network and the higher-ups when planning a story. Facts have always been omitted – sometimes the wrong news even gets reported to further a network’s interests. What is it about citizen journalism that makes people think there will be more deceit than we’re already used to?

But my main defense of citizen journalism is that, so often, it tells a side of the story that the media is obscuring. A quick Google search for “what the media won’t show you in Ferguson” brings literally hundreds of thousands of results. Many articles are filled with images of community love and togetherness that did not fit the mainstream media’s narrative of riots and chaos. Yet, in a situation like what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year, isn’t it incredibly important that this side of the story is shown?

Citizen journalists are able to tell these stories because they only answer to one person: themselves. Citizen journalists fact-check the media and call them out when they make mistakes. Citizen journalists do what “professionals” are unable to do, and I don’t think that ordinary people would act this way if they weren’t passionate about the truths they were trying to tell. And for those who argue that it is impossible to trust what citizen journalists say, I ask you to remember all the times that “professional” journalists have lied to us in the past.

All media should be consumed with a grain of salt and a heavy dose of cynicism. Yet when I log onto Twitter and check the hashtags of protests, political rallies, and events, I am more likely to believe a tweet from a “regular” person than a journalist. Advocacy journalism has been so heavily biased recently that I, and many others, look to bloggers, tweeters, and other strangers on social media for accurate information. There is something about these people on Twitter that is innately honest – I almost feel as though I’m reading a tweet from a friend. There are very few journalists that I trust this way.

Maybe that’s the journalists’ fault.

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What I’m trying to say is that I don’t feel we should discredit citizen journalists so easily. “Professional” journalists have certainly made mistakes, yet no one looks at journalism they way they look at politics – as a dishonest industry. Citizen journalists should be granted the same respect – at least until they prove they are not deserving of it.

I enjoyed this week’s class discussion. As always, I liked listening to others’ perspectives on issues that are important to me. But I was surprised that, really, only myself and one other student argued in favor of citizen journalism. After doing some more research on the topic when it came time to write this blog, I realized that a majority of people are actually against citizen journalism; I am not in the minority just in class.

Maybe people need to be more open to change, or more critical of both sides of the issue and more aware of the gray area between respecting professionals and commending the work of amateurs. Citizen journalists have done some great things. This isn’t to discount the incredible work professional journalists have done over the years – I don’t see why applauding either side has to be at the detriment to the other. Why does there even have to be sides?

If nothing else, I hope this blog inspired those who feel one way about the issue to consider the other side’s point of view. It’s what an unbiased journalist would want.

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DigComm - Jan 2016

Week 7 Reflection: Data, Data, and more Data

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This week’s class discussion on big data was particularly awesome. I’ve enjoyed splitting into groups during class, as exploring my classmates’ perspectives in smaller groups has been interesting. With the amount of time we’ve gotten to talk, I’ve really gotten to learn others’ thoughts on the issues and why they feel that way – what experiences they’ve had to lead them to feel that way. My feelings on big data (data mining in general) are pretty clear cut (I don’t really care how much data is collected on me or what it’s used for) so it’s been cool to see how others think and why they think it.

Maybe I’m so unconcerned about data mining because I’m unmarried, not a homeowner, have no children, and my credit is in pretty good shape. Maybe I’m so open about my online life because my online life is boring. Maybe I would be more concerned about my privacy if I had something to hide – so I don’t. I call my bank to tell them when I’m going on vacation because I don’t want my debit card frozen when I get to a new area. I post my location on Instagram because people don’t really stalk other people on social media, do they? I make friends online and I’m forthcoming with things like my Facebook, my SnapChat username, and even my email address because, honestly, what’s going to happen?

During the live session, I stated that I don’t care what data is collected if it makes my life easier. I feel fairly strongly about this. For example – I frequently sell old clothes on eBay. To do this, you have to set up a PayPal account. To receive your money from PayPal, you have to either request a check by mail (which takes a long time, and might not even be an option soon enough) or input your banking information, including your checking account and routing number, and a form of identity verification, such as your social security number. I didn’t think twice about providing PayPal with this information. Now my money is directly deposited into my checking account. My employer also has this information – my paychecks are directly deposited. Syracuse even has this information – I pay my tuition online.

Am I worried about getting hacked? Not really. Should I be? Probably. If there’s one thing we’ve seen in the news lately, it’s that hacking is very real and apparently very easy (probably even easier now that I’ve told the Internet what information I have out there). And yet, in all this time that I’ve been building my online presence, my debit card was only replaced once. That’s pretty good, considering I’ve had a debit card since I wa about fourteen.

So how safe is the internet, really? What information is being collected from us, and for what purpose? This was something we explored during the live session. But it was hard for us to come up with answers. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of more than a handful of things institutions like the banks might want from me, and coming up with reasons why they might want that information was even harder. Do they just want to know? Is it a matter of being nosy, or determining demographics and statistical information? I’m still not sure I understand it entirely, even after the live discussion this week.

Moving forward, I think it’s time I look more into this issue. I distinctly remember, during our private group, that Tracey remarked how us surprised she was that us fresh-out-of-college kids don’t seem to care what data of ours is out there. She seemed particularly surprised. Maybe my cavalier attitude is worrying. Maybe I should be more aware of what’s going on, and more concerned about where my data is and who’s accessing it. But the truth of the matter is that I just don’t know enough about the process to be concerned. Maybe the uncertainty should worry me! There are a lot of maybes. The only thing I know for sure, is that I should do some research and educate myself more on this topic.

What we covered in the live session this week and in the asynchronous material was great – it definitely provided me with a background on the issue and some preliminary information on the topic. But if I really want to understand who’s accessing my data and what they’re doing with it, I need to learn more. Big data isn’t something that just applies to companies and people with mortgages and children – this issue is very relevant to me, and this week made me realize that I need to care more about it.

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