Media news roundup: Frenemies, Facebook and fat
- The Chronicle of Higher Education covered the "EnemyGraph," a Facebook app created by Dean Terry (director of the emerging-media program at UT Dallas) and grad student Bradley Griffith. The EnemyGraph lets users declare people and things to be their Facebook enemies as opposed to Facebook friends.
"What we all do in the program is help our students think critically about social media," he says, noting that that is the main goal of EnemyGraph. "On Facebook you're the product—it's commoditized expression," he argues, and he wants students and others to recognize that. "I'm not telling students not to use it, I'm just telling them to understand what's happening when they use it."
It's a really cool project, and I especially like the critical studies approach underlying the app. The article boosted my interest in learning some computer programming as there are obviously really salient applications for media studies. My favorite tid bit in the article was the fact that Facebook has officially banned app developers from using the word "dislike"....the obvious implication is that companies and advertisers are happy to have users "Like" their product, but not to allow users to indicate their disapproval. Read the full article here.
- Fox News published a story detailing a new study that suggests negative self-talk can lead to increased depression...shocking. Basically the researchers found that people who call themselves fat will have higher chance of depression and lower level of satisfaction with their body. The only reason I mention this study here is because the researchers specifically mentioned that their results contradict what has been found in media effects studies.
Arroyo said the researchers found the latter finding interesting because it contradicts published media effects research, which shows exposure to messages in the media can affect individuals' body image. "Interpersonally, however, this is not happening," Arroyo said. "It is the act of engaging in fat talk, rather than passively being exposed to it, that has these negative effects," she said.