Author Archives: Michelle Xu

Comment on curating self by Michelle Xu

I thought your thoughts were really interesting and almost the opposite of what I would say about myself! I feel like I show a more diverse personality on the Internet just because of the number of different platforms that are available that allow me to really foster a particular interest of mine, but I can see how the amount of work you put into your songs/music might not completely translate. Upon further reflection, I guess it would be similar to my experience with dance – the amount of time I spend training is never shown on my social media platforms. Thank you for letting me learn something about myself!

Comment on who needs the most help: muggles vs. wizards? by Michelle Xu

Building on Luke’s comment a little (I don’t even know if he’ll see this), I think that’s where other media of social media interaction come into play. For example, something that doesn’t come across in text might come across through a photo tagged or a location checked in.

I feel like we have emoticons and acronyms that help a little with our online communication, but I really agree with your thoughts! Even with my closest friends, I still have a hard time figuring out their emotions through text. As someone who loves to capitalize all letters to show laughter, my friends don’t and I personally would take offense when they respond with “Looool” to my “LOOOL.” Key & Peele, a comedy duo, did a sketch about this exact problem – you should check it out if you have the time!

Comment on Curating the Self: An Exploration of My Social Media by Michelle Xu

I really loved how you concluded this blog post by reminding us that there are other ways of expressing ourselves and our lives than the popular media platforms that we are used to using. I think it’s easy to pigeon-hole ourselves to these platforms, especially when it seems like everyone else is on those platforms, all the time (not to mention that we are now incorporating social media lingo into our everyday speech).


Comment on Folder, File, Function – The Omnipresence of the Modern Computer Interface by Michelle Xu

I found your conclusion to be really insightful. Given all the potential negative consequences technology might have in the future (like in The Machine Stops), I will hand it to innovation that technology will only aim to be more and more intuitively designed for the consumer. So I think in that case, I don’t really see design changing dramatically if it’s already on a medium we understand well (like the computer or the phone). However, should there be a new Google Glass, I think it’s fair game.

I hate to admit that I am not in control, but I think this is a case of the horse and the carrot: we’re just being led to continue going forward as the carrot of technology continues to modernize and develop.


Comment on reading response: anonymity, free speech, and why i use reddit by Michelle Xu

As a new Reddit user, I really enjoyed your insights on the advantages of having a username on these sites. I think I experience a similar phenomenon on Tumblr. While I tend to stay relatively true to myself on my own profile (I used to have a profile picture in order for strangers to identify me), I know many other users who use Tumblr to curate a particular interest of theirs. There are entire profiles dedicated to shows and celebrities, and I imagine having that pseudonym allows the consumer to focus on the content as well as the owner to develop a space to express him/herself without possible backlash from his/her community outside the Internet.

Comment on A New definition of lonely by Michelle Xu

I thought it was very interesting that you talk about the concept of loneliness, and I am reminded of an article on thoughtcatalog that actually talks about the difference between being lonely and being alone. In a sentence, it argues that being lonely is what we commonly think of, the negative, isolated, unwanted feeling, but being alone simply means you’re comfortable in your own skin and to be in your own company. Maybe it’s because I’m a relatively independent person, but I truly believe that it’s necessary and healthy to feel alone once in a while. It takes a lot of confidence, in my opinion, to be comfortable with having nothing to do or to go to the movie theater alone. I sometimes worry that social media makes being alone seem unacceptable, loser-y, almost taboo by society?

Comment on Too much chat room? by Michelle Xu

This shift is definitely interesting, and two particular examples come into mind. Both of these examples are related to Obama: the first is that Obama’s recent State of the Union speech is considered to be one of the most readable SOTUs in history (about a 9th grade level comprehension is sufficient), and that Obama recently had a 45-minute long interview on YouTube.

The readability example (for anyone who’s currently in COMM106, I’m sure you’ve heard of this too) is interesting because I am curious as to what Obama’s intentions are for speaking at a “dumber” level. Is he hoping to catch the attention of the younger demographic, or is our American language evolving to be simpler? Does the increase in social media usage have to do with how we stylistically and linguistically communicate?

The second example really surprised because I think the general population still view YouTube as just a website to pass the time and watch viral videos. The fact that this entire interview was published makes YouTube seem, to me, more credible and legitimate as an information platform available to the general public. I think this is a concrete example showing the transition of the objective of using social media platforms.

Comment on The Machine Stops – The Dark Side of Roots and Visions by Michelle Xu

I just got around to reading this story, and it gave me chills! I’ve pasted some quotes below that I thought were extremely poignant.

“the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression” – This pretty much sums up Joe’s comment about how we are already unable to accurately deduct emotion behind texting, and I think another real-world example of this evolution is through anonymous apps such as Yik Yak, which might provide more incentive for the consumer to be more opinionated without dealing with immediate consequences.

“To most of these questions she replied with irritation – a growing quality in that accelerated age” – I am reminded of how much easier our lives are because of technology; a particular image that comes into mind is my sister (11 years old) complaining about the speed of our home internet, when I will always remember that dial-up tone as a part of my childhood. I think it’s hard to comprehend what it means for someone born today to be automatically involved in the Internet. To them, it’s as much of a staple as food.

“The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbour, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole” – This reminds me of the concept of the networked individual taken to the extreme. It makes me uncomfortable thinking that someone thought that society could end up like this, when for so long we were social creatures relying on each others’ social cues to survive.


Comment on Graded by Twitter by Michelle Xu

This was so eye-opening for me! I don’t use Twitter and I don’t follow basketball, so I found it extremely surprising that I have observed a very similar trend in a completely different topic: K-pop. K-pop, if you don’t know, is Korean pop and over the years (with artists like Girls’ Generation and Psy) has spread all over the world. A lot of K-pop groups are actually comprised of 5, 7, or even 12 members, so there DEFINITELY are certain groups that are more in the spotlight because of specific individuals within those groups. Those individuals really carry the name of the group, provide financial income for them and their agency, and have the most followers on social media. So while I don’t have much to add to your observation, I thought it was really interesting to witness such a similar phenomenon in a completely different field.