Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: Week 1

As I read the beginning of this book I found myself reflecting on my own social media activity and relating it to the history of self-representation.

I recently decided to embark on a digital journey through Instagram when I was given a heart monitor to wear for two weeks. I decided to chronicle my adventure through daily pictures as I dealt with trivial ordeals presented from the wires and electrodes that had become my world. Though nothing dramatic or frightening had happened to me and the monitor was for a relatively risk-free precaution, I received more feedback from this journey (both online and off) than I had received from any previous social media foray – not counting announcing an engagement or other life milestone.

It seemed that my Instagram chronicles had brought attention to my generally unimportant day-to-day struggles living with a heart monitor. However, today people are often ridiculed for posting selfies. One piece of this book that has stuck with me was the paradox Jill Walker Rettberg brought to life: There was once a time in history where painting a self-portrait was viewed as more socially acceptable than writing about your own life. However, today taking a selfie is viewed as less acceptable than posting a status update.

Technology has made it easy to share pictures of ourselves, yet we are now being perceived as self-absorbed. It is human nature to chronicle ourselves and represent ourselves through the filter of our choosing.

As the book says “We are all at the center of our own world”.

However, Rettberg has framed this in a way that is all too commonplace in our society today. Who is being held back and scorned when selfies are condemned? Young women.

We are taught: women shouldn’t expose themselves.

Historically blogging or posting about oneself has been condemned or scoffed at. And historically these activities are more common with young women. Not to turn this blog into too heated of a feminist-power zone, but it’s easy to see the many ways that society still hasn’t allowed women to have a voice.




2 thoughts on “Seeing Ourselves Through Technology: Week 1

  1. jaycanaday says:

    While I was reading I was also struck by the women’s angle to selfies and online exposure. I hadn’t ever really thought about it as a feminist issue but it really is! When men post things about themselves or photos, no one really says anything about it, but think about all of the celebrity women out there who post selfies and get flack for them! Great post, our discussion in our Book Circle should be great this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lina says:

    Wow, this was such a reflective blog on this week’s book circle reading! I wish can write like this. As I read this post, I was reminded how I struggle as a student with required Canvas discussions and posts as such (even in writing this response). I know that my restrictions are my filters in blogging. I overthink everything: Does that make sense? Is it grammatically correct? I also feel these selfies and blogs are so permanent (and I don’t need the negative comments/judgments from others…I can do this just fine on my own). I really appreciated this post as it made me think more deeply. BTW, I love your last meme and this image quote you have at the end. 🙂


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