#DidYouJustAssumeMyGender… History of Social Media

It’s 2017 and the world is a more open and accepting environment than ever before. Discrimination and hate do still exist but progress has been made in the direction of gender, sexuality and race equality. In the film industry, for example, there are more female protagonists, people of colour, and those whose gender is nonbinary nor their sexual orientation exclusively heterosexual. Moreover, it has become a social media trend (specifically in tweets and memes) to discuss issues of equality including the use of the phrase “Did you just assume my gender” as illustrated with this Wonder Woman meme.

#DidYouAssumeMyGender

 The meme depicts Wonder Woman interacting with a man for the first time. When she acknowledges and questions that he is a man, he claps back with the iconic phrase “Did you just assume my gender?”. The phrase has become popular following societal education regarding whether gender is non-binary and/or a social construct. It also examines how sex is determined at birth but an individual should determine gender for themselves. Therefore, just because outwardly someone may appear female/male one shouldn’t assume as such; they could be transgender or their gender may be ambiguous. While this meme might be funny to some, it could potentially be offensive to others and raises the question; how much is too much? If anyone can respond this, to any comment regarding gender, will society still function the same? Bathrooms would be redesigned… and what would happen to languages that use gendered pronouns? This alternative meme of the Titanic comically examines exactly that…

Titanic

CDs vs Pandora… The History of Technology

CDs aka the compact disc are a  digital storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony in 1982. Similar to a record, CDs often contain a particular album whereby users could listen to music wherever a CD player was accessible. With the introduction of the well-known compilation album “Now! That’s what I call music!” CDs began to showcase a variety of songs and artists, typically the TOP 20 most popular songs at the time of release…

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Regarding music consumption, streaming services are increasingly popular, including 17-year-old, American service ‘Pandora’. As a free smartphone or online app, users select an artist, album or song of their liking from which Pandora creates a corresponding ‘Radio’ station of a similar genre. User feedback: “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” alters song recommendations, further catering to an individuals taste. Pandora’s success is evident with over 250 million users and  $652.8 million of revenue in [early] 2014. Thus, enabling users to build a portable library of music specifically focused on their interests.

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While CDs remain as a prominent distribution method for the music industry, U.S. sales have dropped about 50% from their peak. In the digital age, streaming services, unlike CDs, are potentially more relevant going forward. Axel Bruns introduced the notion of “produsage” a collaboration of a “producer”, “consumer” and “user”. Pandora allows for this creative engagement of communities whereby users engage in the content, interact and alter it to meet personal specifications. Pandora contributes to a feature of produsage known as “unfinished artefacts” whereby users interaction modify’s the apps results and distributed output.

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