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(1/28): Pros and Cons of Blogging

TPB1988's picture

As is routine, we began the class by connecting ourselves to one another. Although this time a person would introduce another person and the latter would be the one to explain the connection. It was really interesting to see how at first what people had in common were very general things such as gender but as time went on it became dorms and even languages that linked people. I have to admit that at the start of this course I was not too fond of this exercise due to my horrible memory with names but as the days pass I am not only learning each person's name, but an interesting bit of information as well.

Following the “name game” we went around the class answering the question do we write/read blogs? This slowly turned into a small discussion as people began stating why they disliked or liked blogs and how they generally feel towards them. Some people said that blogs were annoying to them because they offered miniscule details of life that did not interest them, while others loved blogs due to the anonymity they could provide. As far as reading blogs, most of the class admitted that if they read any blogs it would be their friend's blogs which was a little ironic considering the massive amounts of blogs on the internet that are available to everyone offering to expand a person's “web”. It seems most people choose to stay within their familiar circle of friends. At this point I mentioned that the use of blogs that may be overlooked and although one might not follow a certain blog all the time, one does use blogs in everyday life. I offered the example of reading blogs when purchasing a laptop in order to gain a better perspective as to which is better a Mac or a PC.

With all the conversation about blogs it came to no surprise that the narcissism involved in blogs was brought up as the question whether we are the center of the world was posed, and if blogs themselves strengthen narcissism. Overall the responses were scattered as some people said yes and others said no. At this point the improvisation came up in discussion because many people came to the agreement that most blogs just end because people do not comment, or even worse (according to someone's opinion) they wrote the generic “oh yes I know exactly what you're talking about” offering no point of view and inadvertently no discussion. With improvisation the only way to keep it going is to say yes, that way there is always movement and something is always happening. If blogs were to that more often then the chances of it surviving would be increased.

Following the improvisation example, the accessibility of blogs was brought in to question assuming everything in the future was online. On this point the discussion became much more interesting as some thought that by having college papers online the students might feel that they are not required to be as formal and standards will lower. On the other side, some thought that the writing would become more appealing as students would be inspired to be more engaging knowing that others were reading their papers,not just one professor. Another person said that a student might be more comfortable writing only for their professors seeing as they do not like having their papers open to the world. Overall not many could deny the benefits of having everything online, for example being able to following cites by the click of a button, but not everyone agreed that it would be the best method seeing as it was more favorable to the extroverts and not so much the introverts. After this point the class time ran out but the many questions considering the usefulness of blogs or even the internet itself remained unanswered.




sweetp's picture

 Sometime near the beginning

 Sometime near the beginning of class, we talked about blogs and the annonymity they provide.  Pro and con opinions were shared.  Then we continued discussion from Tuesday's class esercise about Bryn Mawr's Engish department and what classes they currently offer and what SHOULD be offered.  There was dicussion about "a center," and as usual the U.S. was found to be the center of the focus.  The class found that relationships within different literatures need to be more of a focus; on that note, Anne brought up the idea that the English department had at one of its meetings about finding new faculty that's able to make English interdisciplinary.  Then Anne moved to talking about her idea to "rework class performance."  We decided to make a transition from raising hands to more of a conversation.  Anne then mentioned the guest bloggers she's going to have come speak to the class.  Played a name game.  Went around and talked about each of our own blogging experiences.  We heard how fun it is to have fake identities online.  Someone said it's nice to complete your own viewpoint by hearing someone else's view on a blog.  They're "a good outlet."  They're "angry people complaining."  We talked about the contempt out there for people who like to be recognized online.  The Iranian blogosphere was mentioned, then Anne scolded us for reading mostly personal blogs and told us there were a lot more possibilities than what we've experienced.  Is blogging changing the way we interact with one another?  Narcissism rules personal blogs.  Candle image from George Eliot, we are organizing events around ourselves.  is blogging intensfying our egos or helping us?  Then Anne spoke of her desire to change how academics talk to each other.  What might we gain/lose by putting our papers online?  What happens to our writing when we write online? 

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