Tag Archives: Coleman

Avatar Facebook: Blog Post 9


With Beth Coleman and Clay Shirky stating how “media changes the user” I don’t quite agree with them entirely. Yes in certain aspects media changes the user, but not fully. The C3’s, Communication, Community, and Collaboration have definantely changed in the past decade, but has it really changed everyone or the user in general? For sites such as Facebook and Twitter it depends on the person, whether or not they change due to the media they are using. For communication, yes most people have changed how they communicate amongst each other thanks to Facebook and other social media sites. “… we have had live voice, and text connection and on occasion, as with videp conferencing, a live two-way channel on video stream” (128). What this is, is examples of how people can communicate nowadays. For a community, on some sites, a person could create a group or page where people can ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ and people who are interested in the same thing could come together as a community if they please. Now whether that changes a user isn’t so clear. Maybe in how those people get together but not just a single user. This can go the same way for collaboration as well. In protests, or trying to have an event, social media sites have helped people in having the ability in collaborating with each other in how the protest/event would be held. But again, it doesn’t nessecarily change the user, just how some ideas or activities change in collaborating.

Blog #9- Your Third Arm


In today’s world, social media sites have become a part of the human persona. Acting as a third arm, websites such as Facebook or Twitter have often become how people know each other best, and are a large part of how they perceive others. This directly reflects Coleman and Shirky’s idea of the media changing the user.

The internet has become, as Coleman describes, a place where humans mentally reside in X-Reality, and can control how others perceive them. Coleman states on X-Reality, “…people are making their networked worlds inhabitable. In other words, the makers are making themselves at home by way of their avatars.” This control is, as the quote states, allowing humans to create a world to reside to, what they think is escaping from reality. But these “avatars” are becoming who people know us as, and as Coleman suggests, are changing us. For example, a person who is shy face to face may be very social when they are behind a screen, posting picture with friends and generally interacting more with people than in their actual reality.

Overall, both Coleman and Shirky’s theory is clearly reflected in the actions taken by social media’s users. It is clear that “avatars” are becoming more a more a part of who we are, growing into why we could call our third arm, as it is a s much a part of human’s personas as their  appearance.



I have a Facebook page and most of my family does too. The main reason I have a Facebook page is for entertainment when I’m bored I just scroll down my comments and basically read all of them. Another reason I have a Facebook page is to keep in touch with family members around the world. Through Facebook I talk to my childhood friends who live in California, I talk to relatives that live in Texas and I even talk to relatives in Mexico. It’s cheaper to keep in touch with my relatives in Mexico through Facebook. I can message them and see pictures of them without either of us paying. Although Facebook is an easy resource to keep in touch with people around the world is not the same as having a real face to face conversation. Coleman suggests that “there is no return to an unmediated world, a bucolic face-to-face exchange…”  We have got to take good advantage of technology and new media. Like Coleman said in page 135 “it is not media technologies that reposition us, but rather how we engage them…”  Coleman theorizes to keep on moving forward just like technology has.

Social Media and The User


Coleman discusses that in the virtual world people “appeared to be cooler than in life” (pg.125). This can relate to how media changes the user because on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr someone can create an account and post pictures that are not truly pictures of themselves but of someone more attractive in order to get attention from other people. Anyone can log onto these social networks and become someone that they are not. Media allows the person to think that they are able to get away with pretending to be someone else. These social networks also allow people to be more outgoing then they would be face to face. For example, on Facebook someone could talk about how much they hang out with their friends and about all the crazy things they go out and do but face to face this person is really shy and doesn’t hang out with anyone. Coleman also references Albert Bandura’s model of agency in which he states “people’s belief about their capabilities to exercise control over events that affect their lives” (pg.136). Being a psychologist, Bandura accounts for how people think of not only themselves but how others will perceive them. This falls into Coleman’s definition of agency that says agency is how we understand ourselves as actors in an environment as well as how the environment will react to us. In my opinion this plays a major role in the way that social networks are used and how their influence can change the user.



Coleman says that “…media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies but also new facets of ourselves” (140). In the example of Facebook, we discover that people act differently on Facebook than they do in person. For example, a person can be a comic on Facebook when in real life the person is very shy. We discover that people have many faces using Facebook. If there was no Facebook, we wouldn’t know that that person could be capable of being a comic. I find this with everyone, including me. Its as though we have a virtual representation of ourselves online. The virtual me is always better than the real me. On Facebook, you can be anyone. You can post pictures of all the fancy places that you’ve been at. For all we know, those pictures were photoshopped. Coleman refers to this as an “online identity” (135). Coleman goes on to talk about the theory of an agency. It is the idea that we understand that we ourselves are actors in our own environments. The problem with being an actor on Facebook is that we do not continue developing those much needed social skills to interact with other individuals. Its easy to message someone on Facebook, I know. Coleman said that media changes the user. Its necessarily not a bad thing. Its just something to consider while being on Facebook.

Blog Post #9


Media use that changes the user can be seen throughout society just by the way people change over the medium in which they use. For example, on page 19 Coleman talks about the X-reality which is essentially a reality that mixes (and relies on) both the virtual and the physical world together. In my opinion, the X-reality is experienced but does not necessarily itself immerse the user but rather the user can still experience the difference between the physical and the virtual world. Personally, this medium (such as a computer) would change the way I interact between the people I know over the internet and the people I know in real life. I am usually unsocial and would not openly talk to people; however, during my time using said medium, I am much more social and open to talking to people. This is just an interpretation of the X-reality. Another interpretation would talk about how the use of media (or medium) would change the person in such a way that they would integrate the medium into their own daily life. This is very apparent in modern society as the many college courses are starting to rely heavily on the use of the internet, laptops as well as the growing need for communication using cell phones and other portable communication devices. The choice is intention; however, it requires participation. If no one participates then there would be no growth in the adoption of media use; thus, there would be little to no change in the people who do use it as the community that does use this media is relatively small and so the reliance on it is relatively small.

How Social Media Affects the User

@MyDtcAccount – Jonathan Crabtree

Just like everything in this world, social media can be very advantageous in small amounts, or very dangerous in large amounts. Coleman states that “media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies, but also new facets of ourselves” (page 49 within the text). However, I would argue that, while her statement is true, it doesn’t touch on the whole picture. Social media, with each change, has brought with it an ability to bring surprising facts about ourselves to the surface, but it has also suppressed other truths about ourselves from being discovered. For example, if someone is constantly interacting with others on Facebook instead of in real life, how are they to know and develop the social skills necessary to survive in the work force? If someone becomes so engaged in reading 140-character-or-less tweets that they decide to stop reading books, how then are they expected to maintain an attention span long enough for them to sit down in a classroom or a meeting and be able to learn for an extended lecture/presentation? Social media certainly has the ability to change the user for the better, and it does in some people. I do not believe that social media is inherently evil or anything of the sort. What I do believe is that most people abuse the power that they have to be constantly connected, and it is going to hurt them in the long run. Although it sounds corny in this setting, as technology evolves, I think it is going to be important to remember that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Blog Post 9- Coleman


Coleman states that “media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies, but also new facets of ourselves,” (49). Going back to one of Coleman’s three C’s of Networked Media, media users can see how communication can shift “human perspective” as our “concepts of space, place, and time are impacted” (Coleman 49).  We can apply this idea to Facebook and Twitter, two popular social media sites.

My personal example of how media use of Facebook has changed me is through the communication with my sister in North Dakota. Previously, my sister and I had no need to communicate through Facebook, we lived together. Now, she lives thousands of miles away, and the only way we can talk is through Facebook. Yet, Facebook has eliminated that gap between us. No longer are we limited by snail mail, which arrives days after an exciting event. Furthermore, from using Facebook I have become more technologically advanced than I previously was. I learned how to post and share videos with friends, and to link sites I like on my personal page. I can show my friends in Germany a video instantly, instead of waiting until their time zone matches mine to call them.

I am no longer limited to a location or specific time to meet my friends, when we can just chat online. As Coleman mentions I now have an “online identity” that I use to represent myself during information exchange (39).