Ohh the world of twitter and microblogging….
The whole social media world is one crazy phenomenon in itself. And twitter is just another phenomena within that phenomenon. As a teen, I was exposed to and first used twitter a lot earlier than was needed… constantly connecting, engaging, learning and educating myself on what I valued as ‘interesting’ or beneficial to me at the time. And let me tell you that all that included was a bunch of hilarious vine videos, my favourite punk bands of the time and the tallest NBA players. So all in all… not so beneficial to all those around me, but great for me at the time as I was finding my niche on the internet. Yay for past me!
When walking into my first ever BCM325 tutorial and being told by lecturer Christopher Moore that we would be ‘live-tweeting’ over the course of the next 8 weeks, I could have burst out laughing. Or maybe I did? Not over the fact that we would be live-tweeting – was silently crying for this to happen already – but over the notion of having to pull up my old twitter account and search back through the downward spiral of my dark days on the internet. To say the least, I was an interesting teen with her head over the clouds. Turns out I deleted the account a year prior… phew.
From weeks 1 through to 8, our entire class was shown screenings of tv shows or films that explore the tensions along with concepts and ideas between the representation and reality of future digital cultures. Proving to be thought provoking, we were encouraged to interact with our peers on twitter to share our ideas and to converse with each other on the weekly topics that were being debated. Using the hashtag #BCM325, our tweets could surround the history, genre, narrative, reception, adaption and interpretation of the screening that week. So lots and lots and lots to talk about in a 120 word count… but thank goodness for the word count, because whilst we have so many thoughts and ideas in our head, it often proves to be difficult to project these into writing.
Now it’s time to explore all my tweets and interactions with my peers over the course of the 8 weeks…
WEEK ONE: GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995)
Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 anime science fiction film that explores the philosophical themes in a technologically advanced world. Being never exposed to anime before, I was intrigued by the films animation techniques and unique character building. The plot centres around Major who is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a soldier devoted to eradicating the world’s most dangerous criminals. Being the first of our live-tweets, I was skeptical as to how the experience would play out, but once I landed my first tweet, it felt like smooth sailing from there on.
In this screening, the majority of my tweets attempted to highlight how aspects of the technology presented in the film are already touching base with today’s world. My reference to beauty guru and make-up artist Jeffree Star shows how we are already adopting thought about phenomenas into society without even realising it. Who knew that self driving cars existed?! The rest of my tweets this week were on the humorous side, involving a number of gifs to reflect how I was feeling whilst typing.
WEEK 2: WESTWORLD
Being a 1973 thriller film, Westworld centres around the horrible malfunctioning of amusement parks androids, resulting in the deaths of multiple visitors. Most of my tweets this week (again) were involving humour accompanied by gifs, in my belief that it’s an effective way of tweeting. I also starting tweeting questions that gained interactions of comments and retweets. Yays !
WEEK 3: JOHNNY MNEMONIC
Johnny Mnemonic’s cybernetic brain implant that’s designed to store information is a crazy concept explored in the film Johnny Mnemonic that sparked my interest and resulted in my first ever twitter poll, which gained a total of 7 votes… a fair few more than I thought it would receive. I immediately fell in love with the films cyberpunk action thriller feels. Online I also continued in retweeting other classmates thoughts that I found interesting and/or thought provoking. My tweets continued to gain likes and I was starting to feel at home on twitter.
WEEK 4: THE MATRIX
The 1999 film The Matrix follows the story of a dystopian future in which reality is a simulated reality. Grossing over $460 billion worldwide, it was highly regarded by critics and ending up with a total of four academy awards. From a film perspective, it’s also famous for it’s popular ‘bullet time’ effect!
This week I started posting links to websites regarding the film and even sparked up some conversation with fellow classmates. A big step in the twittersphere! I also continued to voice my opinions in a comical way and by the end of the screening, realised that I had a total of 26 tweets (not including retweets)!! Can you tell I’m a little excited by this…?
WEEK 5: Black Mirror: S2 E1 ‘Be Right Back’ (2013)
When entering class in week 5, it was to my surprise that we would be screening one of my favourite tv shows, that is… Black Mirror! A tv show that explores how technology could spiral out of our control, particularly pointing out the negative that makes you question your own technology intake. This particular episode is from season 2 and is not one of my favourite episodes to be quietly honest, but is still one worthy of viewing. It explores the life of a woman who just encountered the death of her partner. By using technology that connects with the decease, Martha is able to reconnect with him.
This week I started another poll, however the number of votes lowered to a count of 3. I continued with some some retweets along with conversations with classmates and my teacher.
WEEK 6: ROBOT & FRANK
Week 6, I think would have to be my favourite screening so far in the Future Cultures classroom. Being such a beautiful film, Robot & Frank is a science fiction comedy film set in the near future and follows an elderly jewel thief after his son buys him a domestic robot. The cinematography of this film is what I believe made me fall in love, seamlessly piecing together beautiful scene after beautiful scene. It made me question the notion and ethics of robots helping in aged care.
In relation to my tweets, I started personalising them, bringing in personalities outside the classroom and past experiences of my own. I also brought to the table my vision of how I would personalise my own domestic robot, that is if it’s a possibility in the future, in an attempt to engage with my twitter audience on a conversational level. After looking back on this weeks screening, the majority centred around emotional saddened tweets that reflected the jewel thief’s connection with his domestic best friend and just how connected the audience was with this film. I think this film highlights the possibility of just how advanced technology could become in the near future, with Japan already having specialised robots as cleaning services in hotels.
Week 7 involved another screening of the science fiction tv show, Black Mirror, with this episode involving a murder mystery targeting people on a social media platform. The robotic bees that are committing these murders, I believe, are a metaphor for the continuous every day problem of online bullying in todays society. The core motion of Black Mirror is that is shows the lengths in which technology can stretch human emotions, which in itself is a horrifying thought.
In my tweets I focused on the ethical problem regarding the elimination of all living bees and the government’s attempt to replace them with robotic drone bees that function securely for pollination reasons. My tweets included facts to highlight the huge importance of bees in the earth’s cycle. Although the majority of my tweets didn’t receive many likes, I believe this is because the number of my tweets was more than most screenings, however there was one tweet that received popular attention.
WEEK 8: BLADE RUNNER
In the1983 neo-noir science fiction film Blade Runner, the notion of memory as an integral part of humanity is explored. It makes you question whether robotic memories could potentially act upon memory in the same way as us.
The majority of the classes tweets centred around the overall aesthetic atmosphere of the film, constantly commenting on the weather and colour of outside light. Even I was susceptible to these tweets. This weeks tweeting involved the most conversation in comparison to others and my retweets became even more regular.
After all that hard work, I feel like I’m going to be using twitter for a long time to come. So get ready for more cringy tweets 🙂 You’re welcome!