After rereading my blog posts from this semester, I saw a pretty apparent shift in the way in which I engaged with our class’ content each week. My first two blog posts seem more analytical, and examine themes in Feed from demand and consumption to human connection and disenchantment. My later three blog posts are much more critical of technology users and their expectations.
For instance, in my blog post titled, “Social Media Critics Need to Get Over It,” I express my frustration with social media users who are consistently dissatisfied with the platforms that they continue to commit time to despite their repetitive complaints. In my criticism of these types of technology users, I found that I often posed questions, like “What do theses people expect?” and “Will their technology use change because of these supposed shortcomings?” In “’Fixing’” Algorithm Biases,” I expressed a similar kind of cynicism about the present and future states of technology in the way that I assumed bias will always be present in computer algorithms. In my most recent blog post, “Why Facebook’s Ads Will Live as Long as It Does,” I furthered my criticism of technology-inspired complainers. I posed another question that complemented my cynical view about the future of Facebook ads. In asking why Facebook would ever want to lessen the credibility of their ads when such ads make the company so much money, I intended to play devil’s advocate, as I had in my previous two posts, for the reasons why technology’s alleged disadvantages are unlikely to be fixed.
I think that as the semester progressed, I attributed the common negative perspective of technology and social media that we’ve come to see as more our fault than the platform’s. Technology only serves as “an anxiety machine, an anger machine, and a resentment machine” to users who expect too much of it (Vaidhyanathan 51). Personally, I think the transformation in my blog posts is good! While cynicism itself might not be quite what I was going for, I think it’s important to be questionable of both sides of the equation, i.e. technology and those who use it (myself included). Ultimately, I’m glad to see myself having moved towards being skeptical of my own use of online platforms, rather than being one of the ones who dishes out oftentimes unfounded complaints, without acknowledging that the technology we rely on will never be perfect.