So it wasn’t all that bad…

Today I figured I wouldn’t be doing anything different, especially as I’m still nursing this migraine (day 2, but at least I’m not in zombie mode today!), but….

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Image: Pullover via Look Human

This is beginning to sound like a set up to a grand spectacular, but today was the first time I tried Periscope. Oh what’s that, I can’t hear your response over your eyes rolling. LOOK GUYS I’M 29 AND I THOUGHT MYSPACE WAS GOING TO BE THE ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA I WAS EVER GOING TO NEED. That was 2006, and you know how much arm twisting was involved to get on board with Facebook in 2008? This much.

fujiwara
In black and white, because 2006 and the mere mention of Myspace  was eons ago in internet years.  Image: Fujiwara Armbar  , unknown author, via fujiwaraarmbar.blogspot

Followed by my immediate reaction once I joined, and needed to send requests to *everyone*, figure out how it all works THEN finding out I couldn’t customise my profile page.

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Image: Yuji Nagata, New Japan Professional Wrestling (NJPW) via Fight Network

So in retrospect, joining another network after 12 years of social media usage is a big deal. I was there for Hi-5, Bebo, Elftown, LiveJournal and Xanga to name a few of the early year models of social media (you do know there is more to the big 3 of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, right?) and after many years of updating profiles, forgetting passwords, forgetting email addresses, forgetting usernames and even social networks – it all becomes same-same and tiresome. However, I want to pursue a career that involves digital communications, particularly internet based communications, so it’s time to get back and see what all the kids are up to.

Re-wind to the beginning of this course and finding out that I needed to be using Twitter for this course (Blogging and Online Communication Techniques ALC708) and #realtalk, I was annoyed. This was my inner dialogue “Uhhhhh why? Who uses Twitter besides for sharing memes and jokes? Please let this be optional. Oh….it’s not. CRAP. How does this work again? Ah shhhhhhhhhhhhish kebabs I gotta go find a photo for my profile….OMMMMMMGGGG Y U DO THIS 2 ME ADAM?”. Melodrama aside, I was finding myself a little frustrated with needing to use a social media network that I had decided wasn’t “for me”, and I had already made up my mind about it’s worth without really giving it a proper try. This has been the tone I have taken previously with the advent of joining new social media networks. For instance, I only joined Instagram in 2015, Pinterest in 2016, I don’t have SnapChat or What’s App even though I know they’re a big deal and I never got on board with Vine – but now they’re gone so that’s one less network for me to worry about. I had Tumblr for a grand total of < 1 week. My exhaustion continues to grow when you comes across this list on Wikipedia that contains over 100 social media websites, and they mention “this list is not exhaustive”.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST?

THERE’S MORE?!

too-much
GIF: Unknown author via Tiny House Community

Apart from all this, I knew that I really needed to get out of my own head and give it a try. The motto of this subject is learning by doing, so how else am I going to get that HD? 😉 I joined Periscope and was immediately feeling:

  1. Awkward
  2. Very nervous
  3. Curious

I sated my curiosity and I made a response to a live broadcast that was streamed earlier today via ALC708 students during a tutorial session. Here’s my very first Periscope.

After today’s experiment here’s what I have learned:

  1. Periscope can be a little creepy in that it’s live and anyone can view your video anytime once it’s going.
  2. People can comment on your videos, which can be encouraging or as I saw today; grubby.
  3. There are periscopes of EVERYTHING. I stumbled across a Periscope of someone filming their horse, in their yard, at night, eating.
  4. It’s really not that bad.

Number 4 is the take home message for me. Trying a new social network is really not that bad. The worst case scenario was that I loathed it and never use it again. That being said, I’m not entirely sure how often I will use Periscope. I don’t think I have an amazing highlight reel to share with people, but I’m beginning to understand that more people want to see glimpse’s of people’s lives. Not always see the fancy frills, some people want to see no frills. That’s a topic of discussion for another day, but sometimes I feel that part of why I feel so overwhelmed with social media is the pressures and insecurities it can create, but I forget the positive things that being socially connected can bring, such as the group of friends I made in the US over 6 years ago, and we still keep in touch daily, across several platforms. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another time. This experience has made me a little more understanding of trying new social networks, although I do still find it overwhelming. At least I won’t have to fill out any profile info for Periscope, so that’s a plus 😉

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2 Comments

  1. Great stuff Eleni – I’m glad you blogged about this. I could hazard a guess or two about your experience (based on my own experience), but this is revealing in a few different ways too. I genuinely doubt many viewers would believe it was your first go – and as much as I don’t push students into the ‘live broadcast’ arena, it’s becoming an increasingly important skill. In seminars yesterday, we were talking about ‘in the moment’ media and its growing prominence (not least of all via live video on FB, Twitter, Insta, and so on… Perhaps it’s because the heavy editing of contentional vlogging and other visual media is making ‘in the moment’ media seem (feel?) more authentic? I don’t know the answer to this, but there’s certainly something to it – and the fact you’ve dipped your toes in like this means you’ll be ahead of the majority in finding out whatever that *it* is… congrats 🙂

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  2. Thanks Adam.
    I’m still finding my feet with in the moment media. By nature I am a planner, and I find it really difficult to think on the spur of the moment! I’m more of a research type, so I want to make sure I can figure it out before I say something, which isn’t really possible with this style of media! I understand “live” media is becoming increasingly common these days, and in the zoom sessions I wanted to say that I think it offers another level of authenticity. It’s refreshing to see how “everyday people” use media, and not have it go through multi-level production to give a polished product. Of course, polished content has its place, but sometimes a periscope or snapchat seems to convey a feeling that can be unknowingly removed during production/editing.

    This will probably be my biggest challenge in this course; that I am uncomfortable going unscripted/live. The point moving forward is figuring out what I can discover about the nature of this medium and how I can incorporate it with my personal communication style 🙂

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