Write a short, critical review of Her (2013). In your review, develop a comparison of how “personhood” is understood within the film versus contemporary culture. How does that definition blur the line between the “human” and the “android,” “virtual” or “artificial?” Put your understanding into conversation with danah boyds analysis of identity in Its Complicated (pp. 29-53). How does the film confirm, complicate, or frustrate your understanding of social media or virtual cultures? Do these other “versions” of human life offer “better versions of [our]selves?” What is “most essential” about being “human” in the perspectives examined here?
b) More fully explore an online site that offers exploration of identity through virtual experience (ex: “Second Life,” “PostSecret,” “Chat Roulette,” etc.), then construct a critical understanding of the site. Focus your argument on how the site shifts or sustains your perspective on questions of identity, connectedness, anonymity, and web culture. Reconsider the site in terms posed by boyd in her chapter on privacy (pp. 54-76). How does her work force you to reconsider the line drawn between public and private worlds?
c) Read Tad Friends “Hollywood and Vine” at <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/15/hollywood-vine>. Then, in your own essay, examine what draws viewers to particular entertainment platforms online. Friend writes, “[D]igital platforms reveal what tweens and teens really like.” Define what “that” is in your argument. Explore specific online sites where “it” is available. Are movies and traditional TV “dead” as artistic forms? Are there other benefits or consequences to this new digital world? How, according to Friend, is “YouTube [where]…a generation admires itself?”
d) Read boyds chapter on “bullying” (pp. 128-52), then develop a definition of “cyberbullying” through boyds complication of the terms here. How do young adults understand “performative interpersonal conflict” such as “drama,” gossip, punking, meanness, or shaming? How do aspects of anonymity and identity play roles in your redefinition here? How does the phenomena of “digital self-harm” or “normalized drama” complicate your understanding?
e) Reconsider boyds analysis of race, social inequality, and expectations of ethnicity in “MySpace vs. Facebook” (pp. 167-71). Summarize central issues within boyds (and/or Craigs) analysis here. Explore your own assumptions regarding web culture and identity. How do you find points of (dis)agreement with their analyses? How do these impact your understanding of the United States as a “postracial society” or the web as “a great leveler?”
Remember that this is an argumentative essay, and as such, it requires you to build support and complication for a clearly defined thesis. As you build your argument, make specific points of contact with boyds work and/or your source(s). Develop points of summary for your source(s), then establish your own perspective with support. Quote the text and utilize in-text citations. If you use a film to set up a point of comparison, make reference to particular passages or scenes as you develop your argument. Feel free to uti