This page has some of the projects I have worked on during my time in college.

Digital Archaeology

There were a lot of challenges with this project but most of it was rewarding. The point of this project was to find a device, research either the prehistory, lived history, or the afterlife of the device, and to make it into a timeline. I decided to find the prehistory of a 2012 Macbook Air. The reason this was challenging was mainly because of how secretive Apple is. I learned some new and interesting things along the way through the research.

Apple is a very secretive company and during the research process it was very difficult to find information about the afterlife of my device. I still do not have a clear answer as to where the parts of my device will end up. Finding information of the prehistory wasn’t too hard except for the microphone manufacturer. There were not a lot of articles about it. I wish I could have found more information on that, but I did my best for what I could find. It was rewarding when I would find the information I wanted on a manufacturer after going down a rabbit hole of googling. Another challenging part of this assignment was trying to put all of my information into the timeline google sheet. It was something I had to adjust to but, after starting over for the third time I finally got the hang of it.

Everything I had to research was new information to me. I didn’t find it necessary before DGST 101 to look into the specifics of my computer. I didn’t know a lot about it or the parts of it but, after completing this assignment I learned a lot. The most interesting thing I learned was that my device has parts that were manufactured in different places around the world. I didn’t realize how many companies Apple works with to create their devices. 

 Overall, I am very proud of the output from this assignment. One thing I would change about my approach to this project is finding a device I could have disassembled in order to get exact dates so the timeline could be more spread out.

Methodology: Networks

Networks a system of elements or entities that are connected by explicit relations, according to JDruker in Network Analysis. Networks can be used to track anything that has a connection. The author, JDrucker brought up a good example of epidemiologists tracking the spread of diseases from the connections among people. Given what is happening right now that is interesting to read because doctors are figuring out who is carrying coronavirus and who they have infected with it through the people they have been around. That is a very beneficial way to help finding out who is spreading a disease and contain it after finding out who they have been in contact with. 

The question I thought of was how are people are connected on social media? I was going to do this with was my Facebook friends but that became overwhelming, so I decided to try and recreate that network but with a smaller number of people. I decided to use the characters from my favorite show, Parks and Recreation to try and mock my facebook friends. In the chart almost all of the characters are connected to the parks department. The people connected to the parks department have relationships with others who are connected to the parks department. This is how I imagine my Facebook friends to be connected but on a smaller scale. 

I used Kumu in order to make my chart. It was easy to navigate after reading through the instructions. It was a good way to show the connections using different color strings. I used purple to show the characters who are married, orange to show friendships, red to show co-worker relationships and also these were the connections to the parks department, and green to show the people who have dated in the past.

Culture: Selfies

History of Selfies:

The first selfie was taken in 1839 by Robert Cornelius. He used a daguerreotype camera to take the picture of himself.  According to “History of The Selfie: A Photo Phenomenon” by Emma Backer, in the early 1900s photographers would experiment with attempting to hold their camera arm’s length away and taking a picture of themselves. In the 1970s, when instant cameras were released it became easier to take self-portraits because the camera was lighter and easier to carry around. In 2003, Sony introduced the first mobile phone with a front facing camera which made it easier to take selfies. As technology improved so did the selfies that were being taken. In 2015, the selfie stick was created and allowed more people to be included. Selfies have been proven to be dangerous because now people are trying to one up each other by trying to take riskier selfies. But selfies are now used to document moments in one’s life. 

Selfie Culture:

This generation of teens and young adults use selfies often. Some people see it as a sign of narcissism which is mainly the older generation as stated in an article titled “The Truth About Selfie Culture” by Michele Moses. However, others view it as a sign of self-love or a boost to their self-esteem. It can be used to help others, the CNN article “Selfies hurt self-esteem. No, they help. Scientists can’t make up their minds” by Karla Pequenino talks about the #healthy selfie hashtag on Instagram. It connects people who are trying to live a healthy lifestyle and spreads positivity through selfies.  Selfies are also used to create communities on social media and gives people a way to share their experiences. Even with all of the positive effects selfies can be harmful to self-esteem especially in young children because according to an article called “The Good and the Bad behind ‘Selfie’ Culture” by Lily Low. 

Analysis of Research:

My group was interested in the reactions different people give when asked to take a selfie. In order to see the results from our research we decided to use google forms. Although our data is mainly from our friend groups it is very useful information. We asked people if they would like to take a selfie and most people were willing to take pictures.  When taking the picture, we monitored if they prepped for the picture and if they asked to retake it after. From the data we gathered from the google form the majority of people didn’t do anything to prepare for the selfie and didn’t ask to retake the picture. Overall, the information we gathered from our survey is that most people didn’t mind their appearance in a selfie.

Creativity: GIFs

GIF was created in 1987 by Steve Wlihite and he first created it to compress large images according to A Brief History of Animated GIF Art, Part One by Paddy Johnson.Overtime it became an important role to the internet community as new technology was created and new forms of social media. In A Brief History of Animated GIF Art, Part Two, Paddy Johnson brought up how GIFs were made popular by myspace in the early years because it was a place where artists would share the GIFs they created. GIFs continue to remain popular because of social media platforms and because of how easy it is to use through keyboards like the iPhone keyboard for example. 

Tumblr became a vital part of the development and the spread of GIFs. Even if it didn’t start this way, because according toPaddy Johnsonwhen Tumblr was first created it only allowed 1 megabyte of an animated GIF, Tumblr has become a big platform for GIFs to be created and shared. This is because Tumblr’s dashboard makes it easy to use and has a feature inside the application where you can create GIFs. In A Brief History of Animated GIF Art, Part Threeby Paddy Johnson, on Tumblr, people without a fine art education tend to use features as the smooth animation loops, spinning circular forms, etc. While people with fine art education tend to use more in their animated GIFs and make it look more aesthetic. 

When it was time to create my own GIFs I read The Complete Guide to Making Animated GIFs byEric Ravenscraft and Gloria Sin to decide which platform to use. I used Giphy to create them because it was the most popular. It was an easy process to create the GIFs because all I had to do was to upload the video and edit it a little. Two of the GIFs I created are from ultimate frisbee. Since I run the social media for the club frisbee team at UMW I am able to use these kinds of GIFs to showcase some of the skills on the team and to share some of the funny moments from games. The other two GIFs I created were memes because I love sharing memes with my friends and I thought it would be fun to create.