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Assignment One Revised Part 2

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Assignment One Revised w/ Ashlyn's Feedback
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  Jennifer Trang UWRT 1103-021 Observation Notes: Instagram Figured World: A large group/community with rules and customs.    The figured world I chose to do my observations on is my home feed on the Instagram app. Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing and video-sharing social networking app created in 2010. The purpose of Instagram is to share photos or videos with your followers or everyone else (if your profile isn’t on private). It gives people an opportunity to express themselves freely through a single image. Users of this figured world enjoy sharing photos that are mainly about their daily lives, pets, vacations, photography, and many more. The most important type of communication is through commenting on other  people’s photos. Another type of communic ation is through their recently created direct messaging system where a user sends a picture to 1-15 users and write a message along with it and those users can reply to it, if they wanted. There aren’t a set of rules that are listed on Instagram. If there were any type of rules stated on Instagram, it would most likely be found in the “Terms of Services” that you must agree to when signing up for an account, even though no one really pays attention to it, and the fact that you must be 13 years or older in order to use the service. Usually, the rules are mainly unspoken and every user are expected to be responsible when using the app. For example, direct messaging a nudity picture of yourself, or someone else, to a user is unflattering and disrespectful. Eve n though it’s not a stated rule, it’s understood among everyone that it’s unnecessary. Everyone on Instagram, including users who are a part of this figured world, have the right to post any picture they like. However, they have to be responsible with what they upload on Instagram. Pictures that have offensive or explicit content should not  be shown on Instagram or any social networking websites. As for behavior, there really isn’t any specific type of behaviors that users must behave like when going on thi s figured world or Instagram, in general. On the app, the only way behavior is shown is through comments or direct message. Users can freely behave the way they want. Literacy Practices: A practice of manners or communications within a figured world.    Comments: When users post their pictures online, their followers or anyone, that is allowed to view a user’ s profile, can post any type of comment on the picture by clicking the button that says “comment” . Even though Instagram allows users to type as much as they want without a 140 characters limit, comments are usually short and simple (for example, “I love this!” or “Cute”). Most times, people would normally just type an emoji as their comment. For example, users would use an emoji that’s smiling with he arts as its eyes.    Likes: A box-shaped button below the picture, next to the comment button with a shape of a heart located inside. Instagram users would press this button whenever they see a  picture they like. Also, another way to like the photo is double tapping the picture and a heart will appear, showing that you “liked” the photo. Even though this literacy practice isn’t verbal, it’s considered a nonverbal communication. By “liking” a person’s photo, it  sends a notification to that person, telling them that someone has seen the photo and liked it. Artifact(s): Objects, ideas, and emotions that are important/shared in a figured world.    Pictures: The most important artifact in the figured world. Instagram is an app where users upload pictures and share them to everyone. Pictures are usually either selfies,  photography shots, etc. The significance of pictures is that it serves as the main purpose of the app and without it, there would be no Instagram.    Hashtags: A search tool for Instagram. Hashtags have played a significant role in today’s social networking. It can be found on Twitter, Facebook, or the media. Not only is it a search tool, but it helps users connect with other users on the social networking website or app. On Instagram, hashtags are used to categorize photos and make them searchable on the app. For example, if a user posts a picture of flowers and add to their caption “#flowers”, t he picture will show up on that specific tag when someone searches it up. Users can also click on the hashtag in the caption and it will directly take them to that specific tag.    Filters/Editing Features: When uploading pictures on Instagram, users are given an option to edit their photos before sharing them. Instagram comes with a variety of photographic-looking filters (Amaro, Mayfair, Rise, etc.) that users can apply to their images. Also, there is a tool that allows users to adjust the brightness, contrast, or saturation, sharpen the image, add highlights or shadows, or apply a luxurious effect to the photos. It helps the users give their pictures a more photographic look.    Videos: Videos were added to the Instagram app in June 2013 in a way to compete with the video-sharing app, Vine. It allows users to share a video that lasts up to 15 seconds. In order to record the video, the user must hold down the red circle button and it will record until you let go of the red button. Actor(s): A person who performs the expectations and practices of a specific figured world.    On Instagram, there are a numerous amount of users who uses the app on a daily basis. Actors are usually identified by their usernames. The actors that are a part of this figured world are those who show up on my home feed. In other words, the actors are users that I follow on Instagram. For example, “actors” that appear on my home feed are mostly friends and classmates who attended the same high school as I did. Other actors are either  photographers, who like to showcase their photography, celebrities, who posts photos to give their fans a look on their lives, or businesses that post pictures to advertise products. They all perform the expectations and practices of this figured world by posting and sharing their pictures to their followers. Examples:    @carolinatopshots: Carolina Top Shots is a small photography business created by Brian Mayhew in 2012. He specializes in mainly senior photo shoots but also takes pictures of sporting event, family photo shoots. He rose to popularity in 2013 when more seniors, who graduated in 2013, began asking him for senior photo shoots. He has over 8000 followers on Instagram and has his own website. In 2014, he won Best Photographer of Gaston County by the Gaston Gazette newspaper.     @bryannaaaxo: User bryannaaaxo, Bryanna Colon, is a high school graduate who was from New York and currently lives in Gastonia. She enjoys taking pictures of scenery and activities she does throughout the day. On her Instagram, most of her pictures are with her having fun with her friends, scenery photography, or food. Her Instagram is a way to show her life through pictures. Communities of Practices: A smaller group who shares the same ideas, goals, knowledge, etc in the figured world.    On Instagram, there are endless amounts of communities. There are communities who have users that like to showcase their photography, post pictures of them partying or clubbing, advertise products with unique photos, or mainly sharing what goes on in their lives. Even though there are different communities, they all share a common goal of showing their followers what’s going on in their daily lives through a single image.  Examples of Communities of Practice:    “Photographers”:  Those who are a part of this group are photography lovers who enjoy showcasing their skills to their followers. The types of pictures that they like to post are usually a field of flowers, landscapes, day or night skies, historic landmarks, and many more. Before sharing their photos, they would edit their photo by using apps like VSCOcam or Afterlight to give their photos a more attractive look since their editing features are more above and beyond than Instagram’s. They share a goal of showcasing their eye-catching photos to their followers while discovering new photo editing skills to improve on their photos.    “Carolina Top Shots Senior Spokesmodels ” : Those who are a part of this group usually like to post their pictures from their photo shoot that were taken by a photographer named Brian Mayhew, owner of Carolina Top Shots. He specializes in senior photo shoots, sport events, modeling, and more. Those who are a part of this group all share the same role as a spokesmodel. They share a goal of helping adver  tise Brian’s photography to their followers by showcasing his photos on their profiles. This group consists of mainly seniors, including previous seniors, who attend schools that are in the surrounding counties of NC and SC, most are usually from Gastonia, NC. Practices of the Community: Shared ways to achieve many tasks in a community.    Posting pictures: Instagram is a photo-sharing app so the only practice of the community of this figured world is posting pictures. It doesn’t really matter what kind of  pictures (e.g. selfie) you’re uploading. As long as the user is posting the photo and sharing it to everyone and their followers, they are following the practices that are a part of the community. Domain: Something that a community shares together as a group.    A domain that is shared within this figured world is the idea of freely posting any type of  pictures they like/want. Every user wants to be able to post anything they like and expressing themselves without the judgment of other users. The picture can be either foolish, hilarious, or amazing-looking. The user has a right to post whatever picture they  like, despite the disapproval that may be among some users. For example, a user could  post a picture of themselves doing drugs and it may not be pleasing to another user. *Note: Observations took place on certain days and times. After pictures are taken 1 or more hours ago, it will only show as “1 hr” or “2 hrs”   on the user’s post and doesn’t include minutes.  For example, if a picture was taken 1 hour a nd 15 minutes ago, it will only show as “1 hr”. *Note: I was able to receive permission to screenshot some of the photos. Observations One: *Note: Observations took place on my Instagram feed on Saturday September 13, 2014 at 9 p.m., starting with the last picture posted 1 hour ago. 1 hr (1 hr ago)  –    User and photographer “ carolinatopshots ” posts a picture from his fun evening teen photo shoot. The picture is taken most likely before nighttime and the teen modeling in this  photo is standing i n a lake. His caption says “Fun evening teen photo shoot with Emma. Schedule your shoot by calling or texting me”. 1 hr (1 hr ago)  –    User “ avamac99 ” wishes happy birthday to her friend by posting a picture of them together. In the picture, both girls are in a dressing room wearing their costumes in the musical, Footloose. She writes in her caption, “Happy Birthday to the fabulous Anna Hertel!! I’m so   glad that I met you this past year and that we’ve become good friends during Footloose. I hope you have the most amazing 15 th ! Love ya lots #Liquida”. 50 mins (50 mins ago)  –    User “ mar_velez ” shares a photo that has two McDonalds’ coffee cups. Both coffee cups must have a lot of cream and sugar in it as shown by the numerous amounts of used cream cups and sugar packs. It can be assumed that she is having a “coffee date” with a friend or she had two cups of coffee for herself. Her caption says “Ladies and gentlemen, McDonalds coffee”.
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