Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Phatic Culture

Vincent Miller's article was quite confusing for me. I believe that Miller has not been exposed to the internet in the most productive way perhaps. He included a Facebook status about someone eating a hotdog. Yes, people post stuff like this, but it depends on who you have on your friends list. If you add people who are only interested in simple things such as what they are eating or who they are dating, that is all you are going to see. However, if you add friends who are interested in what is happening around the world, you will expose yourself to many different ideas and even events that are to your interest. To me, it seems as if Miller is saying that our generation is dumb through the statuses we post. He posts a "typical Twitter Profile" with the main name as "HappyWaffle" and their posts says "im in mah quicken, runnin duh numberz". If you add someone named "HappyWaffle", do you really expect them to post interesting things? Again, if you are not friends with intelligent people online, one has to expect to not see intelligent updates, posts, etc. He is looking at a narrow group, and I do not think this is fair to the generation of the internet. Here is an example of an intelligent and interesting blog written by a younger girl.

Things I understand:
From what I understand, Miller believe that social networking has created a culture of "communications which have purely social (networking)
and not informational or dialogic intents". I disagree as I believe that social networking gives people a broader way to communicate with others. Something as simple as Facebook chat allows students to talk about homework, friends to reconnect with eachother, and family to keep in touch. To me, small talk means a quick conversation about nothing in particular. However, people chat online for hours. People can have political debates on their blogs with other bloggers. There are many websites and online social networks that are specified to one's interests. Why would many of these people join these networks if they did not intend to contribute their opinions and thoughts? I believe that the world outside of the internet constricts broad communication more. When someone passes someone they know on the street, they are likely to say "Hey, how are you?" and keep on walking. However, if they are on the internet, they might have time to remember something they had to say to the person such as about the class they have together, or something they thought may interest the other person.

Things I don't understand:
I did not understand what phatic communion meant so I looked it up. It means "Speech to promote human warmth: that is as good a definition as any of the phatic aspect of language. For good or ill, we are social creatures and cannot bear to be cut off too long from our fellows, even if we have nothing really to say ... Also Known As: phatic speech, phatic communion, phatic language, social tokens..." (Dictionary.com). In other words, phatic communion is small talk from what I understand. I also do not understand where Miller gets his stereotypical data from.


Samantha said...

I like your points made. You are right, he didnt focus on the intelligent posts put up. There are millions of facebook accounts out there, did he check everyones status that was up? or every twitter up? GOOOD POINT!

Amanda said...

This reading was a little dense, which made it hard to completely understand.

Eva said...

i completely agree that you get what you ask for, and adding friends like "happy waffle" are going to get equal results.

great point. :)