V is for, Ven-det mask coming off?

Admit it, we’ve all done it. Carefully selecting the perfect Instagram filter, getting just the right pose and going on scenic adventures just to get a good Insta pic. We pick and choose every element of our online presence whether it be intentional or unintentional. This selection and way of presenting ourselves is our online persona, and we show the world only what we want them to see. Masks generally have negative connotations, concealing our true nature and aiding us to be someone we are not. The film “V for Vendetta” for example, shows us that masks can liberate and aid us to fight against oppression. In that scenario, masks are not negative thing at all, instead they provide the courage and identity needed to defend a society in crisis.


The word persona itself derives from the Greek word “prosōpon” meaning face or mask. So it’s safe to say that our personas are in fact our masks. Not to say that the mask isn’t the real you, but it projects what you want your audience to see as the real you. The fiters, touch-ups, makeup, clothing are all things that we use to change our appearances in hopes to change other people perceptions of us. Although I mentioned that our mask/persona can be a positive tool, I personally believe that we are trapped in a world that values how awesome of a person you are by the number of Instagram followers we have.


The duck-face phase and doggy-filter uploads to Instagram are a thing of the past (at least for me) and I am now one of those boring Instagram users whose profile is on private, only uploading once a week (sometimes less) with pictures of views, family and friends (the occasional selfie of course) and our family dog. I’d rather be boring than pretentious and I am all for being natural and true to myself. But if you think about it, even that is my online persona. I still select which images I want my friends to see. I don’t take pictures of my-self doing boring things like applying pimple cream to my face while waiting for the iron to turn on; instead, I upload pictures of myself on a tropical getaway on Waikiki beach.

I realise that the term ‘mask’ seems a little dramatic and that it has negative connotations, but I honestly believe that technology and social media is trapping and luring users into a pretentious world and giving people false impressions of what life really is about. Yeah sure, some people can really use their photoshopped bikini snaps and full faces of makeup to their advantage, but its not real life and I assure you those people do not ‘wake up like that’! The online galaxy has great powers of bringing people from all over the world together and connecting us, but how can we distinguish between who we actually are and who we want the world to see?


Iphone vs. Android

When I first heard of the phrase ‘hardware platform’ I immediately thought of a big box for a computer hardware on a platform. Don’t laugh, I’m not tech savy! What it really is, is a set of compatible hardware on which software applications can be run. Programs must be built specifically for a platform that involves a standardized type of processor and associated hardware pieces. For example, Instagram announced that they will be making an app for Android smartphones which is an example of convergent media platforms favouring generative platforms as opposed to locked appliances. This is because it enables apps such as Instagram to widen their market share over other applications.


The IOS operating system that Iphones have is called a closed or locked system, which means that the user of the phone does not have the ability to customise and change things. This is a factor that many phone buyers consider and may be a reason for people to not choose IOS systems.


However this locked system gives some consumers (such as myself) a sense of comfort, knowing that there isn’t really too much than can be fiddled around or tampered with!

after-having-an-iphone-since-day-then-recently-switching-to-an-android-phone-22230.jpgAndroids on the other hand are open and unrestricted
and you can change almost anything according to your needs. I personally have always preferred Iphones over Android because of how easy they are to navigate but I can understand why people don’t like the limited adaptability of it.

Its creative, Comm’on!

So imagine yourself typing away at your keyboard trying to finish that essay due tomorrow morning. You’re super duper tired and you have run out of idea. Lets be honest, we have ALL turned to Google for some sort of help. Then you find a sentence or an idea that you like and want to put in your essay so you copy and paste it because why not? Well hey, thats illegal. But do not threat; Creative Commons licenses are there for the rescue! Creative Commons are a set of copyright licenses which tell you what you can do with content licensed. There is also material available that you can use without infringement. Moving away from academic situations, copyright can potentially strangle creativity.Unknown.jpeg

Memes are the simplest example of this. Matt Furie’s Boy’s Club is the comic series where Pepe the infamous internet meme came from. So imagine if they sued every single person who made a Pepe meme….not likely but possible.

pepe-the-frog-o-shi-meme-lord-dat-boi-dup-2415775.pngTake 3D printing for example, if a certain design that you want to print is protected by copyright, you are infringing someones copyright by printing it and companies can sue for damages if someone recreates and shares their design. So printing a Storm Trooper could bring you face-to-face with a serious law suit. Since using multiple mediums is so popular these days, is it even possible to get the same message across without using a common image/phrase/material? I really don’t think it would be as affective and as engaging if people didn’t have a common means of knowledge.

Transmedia = $$$

With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other forms of social media, users now have an expectation of engagement. We want to be able to feel engaged in what we are being exposed to. Theres no doubt that you have heard of 50 Shades of Grey, but did you know it derived from an online FanFiction? This is an example of Transmedia which is telling a story or experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital.

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By creating other outlets for user engagement multiple points of entry are created into the story world of the franchise. For example after the film ‘Matrix’ was released several games were created for further fan engagement. Several parts of the game included cut outs directly from the film. In traditional hollywood, money is spent on traditional advertising methods and is only recouped through conversion. The box office sales are the only way to recoup marketing dollars. Transmedia creates multiple payoff possibilities for marketing dollars because money is spent on transmedia marketing and not only recouped through conversion but also through the individual sales of the transmedia components. Everything we are exposed to in the media is designed to sell us something, and with the extensive rise of Transmedia, people are lead from one medium to another.

JPZxNge.jpg.png So if a Star Wars fan sees an advertisement for a new Star Wars video game, they are likely to go out and purchase it. Thus, connections breed interaction, which breeds community, which breeds excitement, which breeds the big bucks!