"Understanding the self as a networked presence has almost become a commonplace" Lister, M. … [et al.], (2009)" #mscedc
— Nigel Painting (@nigelchpainting) February 8, 2017
This was a response to ‘Twitter chat’ on the reading for the current block but it’s also relevant to an earlier tweet / post on learners adapting to the locally prevalent culture, in that we are used to segueing between multiple versions of our digital self.
As an aside today I witnessed an example of ‘cultural norms’ in action. Distracted by eldest son while I was attempting to read one on this block’s papers I asked him whether he was on Snapchat. He was he replied, but he then wanted to know how I knew. “Because you’re doing that face” was my reply. “Oh the ‘selfie face’, yeah well it just works” was his retort.
The selfie face is clearly a cultural norm and there’s supposedly research that theorises why it exists, which is attributed to Farhod P. Karimov at the University of Brussels. I wasn’t able to authenticate the source but there’s some believable logic in the theories that are attributed to him. For example selfies are often taken with the camera held above head height pointing down toward the face. The theory here is that when someone is viewed from above they are seen as weaker and in need of protection, which sounds plausible. My theory is that the explanation is probably much simpler, pointing the camera down in this way eliminates a lot of the distracting background, it also stretches the neck and face making the subject of the photo appear slimmer.
In the context of this course the interesting point here is not that the phenomenon of the selfie face exists, but that it is a norm within an online community’s culture.