Thesis Statement: Revision III
- Excessive exposure to social media platforms is detrimental to normal social development, and if one is not aware of this negative impact, it can lead to anti-social behaviour. To illustrate awareness of this negative social impact, an interactive installation will be created that will utilize live social-media interaction and allegorical imagery to reveal both the nature of the participant’s social self-awareness and the negative aspects of social-media.
Research has shown that social media platforms such as Twitter can lead to an introverted and distorted view of reality. Excessive online social media users display and are exposed to obsessive behaviour, virtual bullying, online prey/predatory behaviours and addiction, to name just a few examples.
Obsessive use distorts the users own interpretation of reality. Their world exists in the virtual world and not the physical world. Their perception of themselves and their identity is determined and influenced more by their virtual social media platform and virtual contacts than the physical contacts and relationships in their real world.
This very easily leads a social-media addict to make decisions in their life that negatively impact their social welfare and mental development.
This is where the danger lies. If a social-media user is not aware of these dangers than they could also fall into this obsessive behaviour that will result in decision making that is detrimental to their social development and their lives.
I will create an interactive sculptural installation that will demonstrate the negative impact of social media on a user’s social and mental development.
A large screen will face the audience. Viewers will be prompted to ‘sign up’ or tweet with the sculpture. The sculpture will then tweet a message back. This is where the initial image will begin. The user’s tweets will initiate a game or ‘play thing.’ Continued tweets generate a response or movement from the graphics on the screen. The graphic response will suggest progression of some sort to initiate further responses from the user to continue tweeting or to continue interaction. At a predetermined number of tweets a second interactive ‘play thing’ will initiate partially on top of the previous ‘play thing’ and ask the user to sign up and ‘tweet with me.’
This means that the user will be maintaining two tweet sessions at once. The newer session, however, will compete for the user’s attention. The ‘newer’ session will appear more playful and rewarding than the original session. But, continued tweeting with the newer session will be detrimental to the original session. Gravitating back to the original session will help progress the play of session one, but session two will start to tweet negative and manipulative comments to you. The user’s decisions and actions will affect the outcome of each session. Session one is meant to represent the real social identity of the user and session two is meant to represent the virtual, twitter-verse identity of the user. Completed interaction with the sculpture occurs when session one completes its goals or when session two commands enough attention to destroy session one.
-Carl Jung (pioneer in psychological development of humans) coined the phrase ego and the id.
-The ego is the development of the self-realization component of our psyche and our projected self-image; The Id is the inner-self.
-An unbalance of the ego and id, according to Jung, can lead to many social and psychological disorders. A common one termed by Jung was the ‘mid-life crisis.’
- The ego and id balance is crucial for informed and balanced decision making. The ego will make decisions based on itself, while the id will construct decisions based on how it will affect others. A continued imbalance of ego and id, according to Jung, will lead to a social developmental imbalance and possible anti-social behavior. This is especially true if the ego is the psychological component of the psyche in charge.
-Many researchers into the mental health of excessive social-media users have warned of the dangers of the user’s virtual social universe being ‘ego’ driven.
-An ego-driven psyche, as claimed by researchers, will make decisions for their own personal gain and not consider the impact of their decisions on others.
-To demonstrate this social-media psychological pit-fall in the installation piece I will not only use the split tweet sessions, but each session will have its own unique graphic imagery that will further support this claim through visual metaphor.
- Visual metaphors – The Journey
-The study of visual metaphors used throughout history by various western cultures has created a library of images and language that has evolved into a common collection of meaning that is continued to be used today in various forms of visual communication.
-Carl Jung was particularly fascinated by man’s use of symbols and notes in his watershed book, Man and His Symbols, that the continued social and psychological development of man throughout his life time had often been graphically and linguistically symbolized in art by the metaphor of, ‘the journey.’
-The journey metaphor was also initiated by the writings of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. He notes that the mental and physical progression of man throughout their life could be symbolized as a journey.
-Our maturation and continued life experiences are often thought of today as a journey – The journey of birth, life, and death.
-the writing of this thesis has been a journey…
-Session 1 of the interactive piece, which as stated, will represent the real social identity of the user, thus will visually demonstrate the journey metaphor.
-It should be noted here, that traditionally the journey in art and literature contains three main narrative sections. One, you are given a task and the journey begins. Two, your path towards your goal is wrought with obstacles. Three, you reach your goal, or the end of your journey.
-Initial possible visual metaphor for session 1 could be a row boat with a person starting from one edge of the screen and whose goal it is to reach the other side of the screen. The more the user tweets with session one, the further the boat moves across the screen.
-After a certain number of tweets, session 2 appears, but only as a small portion of the screen and on top of session 1. Each time the user interacts with session two, a visual metaphor of a circle being filled in with a color, for example, could appear. The visual metaphor of a circle indicates wholeness, and it has been argued that subconsciously, humans like to visually fill objects in. So each tweet will fill in a circle. Every three tweets might completely fill in a circle. Once a circle is filled you may be prompted with a “congratulations, you have added a new friend.” The circle could then animate to an area in session 2 screen that would act as a counter. Interaction with Session 2 will not only halt the progress of session 1, but as a new circle is filled out in session 2, it may animate to also plunge into the water of session 1 and transform into a sea creature, or a rock that falls into the boat to weigh it down, or create waves that make the water a little rougher. These are initial thoughts, but all results are meant to hinder the journey of the boat in session one.
-Session two may also graphically have a central eye icon that will have a friendly appearance, blink, and look around when not prompted by a tweet. Session two, if you recall, is meant to represent the ego-centric and virtual, twitter-verse identity of the user. Thus, if the user is involved in session one, session two’s ego may indicate a darker form by visually changing from the normal round pupil and happy eye, to a darker reptilian pupil or cat pupil metaphorically representing evil or the devil.
-The tweeted messages received from session two will also become more and more dark, manipulative, and self-identify delusional to reflect the dangers and negative impact of the ego-driven twitter-verse.
-The decision to interact with session one or session two will reflect the current social development of the user. Interaction with session one will successfully complete the game but will require an acknowledgement of the ego-centric self and ego-centric twitter universe. The user decision to focus interaction with session two will have repercussions in the destruction of session one and the metaphoric destruction of the balanced self.
-Interaction with the installation should help the user be more aware of the negative impact of excessive social-media exposure on the social-development of the self.