Photographic Sub-Plots: Maggie Walsh

An event or place means something different to every person. We all have very unique experiences, and our memories are shaped by these experiences.

When I travel, I hold my memories in the photos I take. If I am bored, I will scroll through the endless shots to reminisce. I remember what I felt like at the moment I took the picture. When I take a photo, I usually will capture friends, architecture, or a beautiful landscape, and most of the time strangers fill these shots. I mean, imagine how many times you appear in the back of a photograph without knowing. I decided to take the time to notice these strangers, and here are my results.

As I looked through my pictures, I never noticed the other people in the shots to any large degree. But, sometimes, one individual would stand out to me. It is interesting to think that the people walking by you on the street are experiencing an entire life completely separate from your own, but for that brief moment, you are sharing an experience together.

I took some of my favorite photos, and highlighted some people (and animals ;)). I wish I could go back to the moment these photos were taken, and put myself into their shoes. **If you click them and enlarge them, they are better quality**

Feel free to comment what you think these people may be thinking! 🙂


Entrance to Chinatown in London
IMG_8241


Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand at Coney Island
B and W 2


Street Art in Soho, New York
B and W 1


South African performance in Brighton, UKIMG_9033


Friend posing for pictures in Bath, UKIMG_9306


Candids of friends at the Oktoberfest in Munich, GermanyIMG_9803


Watching Fireworks on the Hudson River in New YorkW and B 3


A performance of the Lion King at Disneyland Hong KongW and B 4


Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong

W and B 6


Sister’s Senior Ball

W and B 7


People celebrating the Notting Hill CarnivalW and B 8

W and B 9

Ideas for Final Paper

Ideas for Final Paper

  1. Political Action generated through media is more “No!” than “Go!” I wonder if a media will develop that can effectively generate a “Go!”
  • How will people start coming up with collective solutions rather than just collective ideas? Is this even possible?

2. Social Capital: Instituting a house system at NYU Shanghai.

  • We talked about this briefly in class, and I know it is something the Student Government is looking into. I think it would be fun to thoroughly analyze the benefits and potential repercussions of instituting a system like this.

3. Does Censorship actually encourage political action?

  • Censorship creates an “against the institution” feeling among the netizens. This generates a common enemy, which is a good group-forming characteristic.
  • I think it would be interesting to analyze whether or not censorship can encourage people to be more politically active. In a country where there is mass freedom of speech, there is also mass apathy toward the information coming in.

Getting a little “Jetsons” up in here

I think a participatory media that allows people to simulate real life interaction would be incredibly interesting. I know this concept takes a lot of technological knowledge, and scientific understanding, neither of which I possess to any large degree, but I would like to describe my idea, regardless of whether it obeys scientific fact or not.

As someone who lives thousands of miles away from people she loves quite a lot, it is sometimes hard to manage a gap of this magnitude. What if Skype, Facetime, or Google hangouts had a feature which allowed one to enter into a space and physically interact with someone across the planet (or perhaps across the hall, depending on your level of motivation that day). Maybe this requires someone to wear a body suit full of sensors, or goggles that have a screen inside them. If there is anyway to simulate an experience through technology, without actually having that “physical experience,” it would be so much easier to connect the world.

I know we spoke about how technology does not duplicate real life interaction, for if it did, the airline market would not be in operation today. But, I think something of this character could be the next step in achieving “real life interaction” across mass distances, or at least, the closest thing to it.

Of course, who knows if this is a good thing! I think there is a certain charm and adventure to being somewhere different in the world. It is an experience and something special, but most technology doesn’t preserve “nostaligia.” It strives on innovation, and if this is the notion we seek to live by, I think something more than video call is next in line. Who knows, maybe teleportation is coming sooner than we think. 🙂

200

Organizations that deal with Old People.

Not a great title, I know, but one thing that has always intrigued me about social media is how different groups interact with it. I use Facebook TOTALLY different than my mom uses Facebook. My comment might at most be “Haha, that was funny, miss you!” But if you translate this into mom-speak you get a five paragraph long story divulging every detail of the family’s latest trip to the Grand Canyon and the Cat’s unfortunate encounter with a skunk. I think institutions all need to be wary of their interaction with their audience.

I am not sure how accurate this assumption is, but I want to say that as a whole, my generation is a bit more passive when it comes to media. I can scan through a newsfeed and pick out whats important and leave what isn’t. Older people have not had as much experience with this mass amount of information. Statistically, the older someone is, the less Facebook friends they tend to have. They have less information to scan through. This also means most of their friends on Facebook (I am using this social media just as an example) are strong ties, or at least stronger than the majority of my friends. As Tricia Wang spoke in her video, this means there is a higher sense of trust in this social network. Therefore, I believe older people have a higher sense of trust for the posts on their walls.

But how does a company break into this barrier of trust? As a person who is overloaded with Facebook friends, the chances of a company getting noticed by me is quite high. I have a large network. But, how will my grandma see the same thing? She has a total of 8 friends. I think organizations that are new and are trying to advertise to a social media audience that is slightly more conservative will have the most difficult time.

Mob Mentality

Looking at the list of Dead Media, I was quite perplexed. Initially, I found it difficult to comprehend how Four Loko, among other things, was considered media. After some reading it became a bit clearer.

I chose human sacrifice because it reminds me a lot of a phenomenon I am very intrigued by. The concept of mob mentality is very odd, and I find it to be present in many media practices. It is quite apparent that human sacrifice relies heavily on the human mind’s natural state when placed within the context of a mob. When a person is alone, he or she can think for himself or herself. But, when a group of people is executing an action, it becomes easier and easier to do things one may have never done on their own.

The question everyone’s parents ask, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” becomes harder and harder to answer honestly as the number of friends jumping of said bridge grows. Now, when you are in a circumstance of human sacrifice, historically a very religious practice, amidst a group of people who believe that killing a person for the betterment of humanity is a positive action, it is difficult to formulate your own opinion. One becomes caught up in the idea of the “mob” and it becomes almost impossible to think for your self, thus there is condoned behavior that would never occur without the support many.

I believe there has been an evolution of morality that has made the idea of human sacrifice almost universally immoral. But, one could argue we still see human sacrifice today, one of the most apparent examples being war. Human sacrifice was an effective method to communicate the message of religion, and I would argue that this method is not necessarily a dead practice. As morality evolves our use of human sacrifice becomes more humane, but it fails to disappear entirely. And as long as human nature leans toward a mob mentality, morals can only stand up to a certain amount of pressure. Media works well to convey a message, but it is often hard to decipher the message. When people convey information, and receive information without questioning it, they are reverting to a mob mentality. This is when media becomes dangerous and immoral.

Lets Kickstart this Skype Call

Kickstarter is a platform where innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and the kid down the street can all pitch an idea in the hopes that strangers will have faith in them. These benefactors are asked to donate money in return for a list of incentives, varying in quality directly with the amount of money one chooses to donate. Now, if you have a small pool of people willing to donate, the chances they’ll choose you, or even find your campaign are super small. In reality you’d rely on your friends to give you money, and even then, that’s more effectively achieved in person. Kickstarter does involve media campaigning on various other formats, such as Twitter and Facebook in order to get the word out. It operates in a similar social manner to Youtube, where your campaign wont come into the public view until it has generated enough views, or sponsorships that deem it worthy. When you go to the Kickstarter homepage, the majority of the trending ideas are already fully, if not overly funded. In order for Kickstarter to operate in its intended manner, you need to generate enough hype behind your campaign to secure the funding you desire, and this is far better achieved at a large scale.

I believe Skype would crash to the floor if it operated at a large scale. Skype functions well as a communication method between few people, I mean Skype only allows up to 25 people to participate in a group call. They know the service wouldn’t work beyond that, and in practicality, it probably wouldn’t extend beyond the magic number 6. I’ve held meetings over Skype and the productivity level plummets without the ability to read body language and the relationships between other members of the group. Additionally, how often is one multi-tasking and Skyping? For example, I keep a Facebook page up when I Skype my mom occasionally. Multiply that distraction by the number of people in the group, and you get a situation similar to everyone sitting on their cell phone at a dinner table. Except, this is far worse. Skype operates sufficiently at a small scale because it isn’t meant for you to meet anyone new, it is meant to help sustain and solidify connections you’ve already created in real life.

Every Day I’m Tumbl-ing

Tumblr is an interesting place. The idea that I just referred to it as a “place” is peculiar enough. I guess its not really a place, but when I type the “tu..” into the search engine, and it takes me to Tumblr before I can even finish typing the word, it feels like a mini journey to somewhere else. To think it isn’t a place is quite odd too. Am I spending an absurdly large portion of my day, well, nowhere? What exactly defines a “place?” Dictionary.com defines it “as a particular portion of space, whether of definite or indefinite extent.” So, I think Tumblr is a place. Yes. I’ve decided. It is a place.

So it is a place, but what do I do there? Lots of stuff I guess. Tumblr is a collection of blogs, and I happen to be the contributor to three separate blogs. Each of which aid me in different ways.

My first blog is dedicated to reposting pictures of cats, funny memes from The Office, occasional motivational quotes and when I’m feeling up to it I post some of my photography. My readership consists of primarily people I do not know. Other people out there who care to see the same cute animals and funny stuff I appreciate.

My Second Blog is one in which I only post original content. It is called maggieinshanghai.tumblr.com. I take more pride in this blog because I put the effort into creating it, rather than just sharing it and giggling. The followers of this blog are mostly my family and friends, a few anonymous folks, but for the most part I know my readers and talk to them on a regular basis beyond the context of this blog.

My third blog is a secret. It is a blog where I post my philosophical epiphanies. You can see why I keep it secret. I have one follower, and she is one of my best friends who also shares the same zest for philosophy. Its an easier medium to communicate our ideas than texting paragraphs on paragraphs, and it makes me think that maybe someone out there might stumble upon it and find it interesting.

I think Tumblr is a unique social media. It has communities within it, the fitness community, the fashion community, the feminism community, whether it is proud of it or not, the porn community, and it is the home to every Fandom on Earth. I feel as if I get to mingle with members of communities I would not necessarily stumble upon in real life.

I could go on for quite some time with my thoughts on Tumblr, but I shall conclude it here. 🙂