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Subverting egotism is a lie

Selfies, self promotion and social media. A common trait in all three? Self-aggrandisment or is it determination? As our perceptions change and our way of promoting ourselves alter is it fair to judge someone for posting a shameless selfie, or for constantly posting paid ads on their feed? Are they merely showing off their good looks or are they making a name for themselves? We are seeing more and more models become famous through Instagram photos rather than their actual modelling work. Have we as a generation squashed the notion of egotism or is it all that we know?

  • Which came first the chicken or the egg? Is social media ballooning our narcissism or the other way around?I saw a hilarious interaction the other day. I was at a tourist site and a young parent asked her 7 year old to take a picture of her, the mom. I could not help but smile. It was the first time in my life I have seen a child take a picture of a mom. But I want to make sure that as I share this story that I do so without judging the mom. It was just a funny exchange of roles. – Munjeera 1 week ago
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  • This sounds like a cool topic! But in my opinion, even if selfies are becoming practical tools for furthering your success, like a shallow form of a resume, they are ultimately serving a goal that is largely Ego-driven-- your own personal success, which in our competitive culture is something that is done at the expense of other people for only your personal gain. – Calnamni 4 days ago
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Does social media enhance or hinder our communication skills?

It could be argued that communication is the central component of human life. It is necessary for every function of society, and verbal communication is what sets us apart from other species on Earth. With advancements in technology, communication has become easier than ever before. A person on the other side of the world can be reached in an instant, with the click of a button. There are however complications with online communications. Implications of messages are sometimes misconceived; there is an absence of gestures, tones and human actions that help translate meaning. The response of social media is to introduce Emojis, which help to counter these absences.

The ease of online communication could be seen to discourage people from participating in real life human interaction. It could be argued that the emergence of online dating positively or negatively impacts romance. Voice your opinion on the matter and answer the question, "Does social media enhance or hinder our communication skills?".

  • Social media has allowed for people to form real life friendships with people they would have never met otherwise. Friendships with people with similar interests which I believe enhances communication skills. – amberhall 4 weeks ago
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  • Social media acts as another facet to communication and gives us a wider platform on communication, considering all positives and negatives. – Paris Williment 4 weeks ago
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  • I do believe that Social Media does have its place in society but many people are becoming addicted to social media and it is starting to affect relationships and work prospects. – Sazadore 4 weeks ago
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  • I acknowledge that there are negatives in communicating so easily and regularly on social media and it is that it can negatively impact our own social skills in everyday environments. However, I think it's important to see the benefits it has for people who lack the skills to communicate as easily as everyone else. People with anxiety, depression and other disorders benefit from it immensely as they can chat with people regularly online. It provides an environment safe and secure enough for them to not feel anxious, yet also provides them with the communication essential for healthy human development. It's a stepping stone for them. – Sidney 3 weeks ago
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Taken by Sazadore (PM) 4 weeks ago.
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Social Media: Is it an advancement in communication or is it holding us back from having meaningful conversations?

Social media has evolved quite swiftly. We are able to watch the news on Facebook, while also reading and analyzing the opinions of others. On Instagram, we are able to view our favorite celebrities and their daily lives. Then there’s Snapchat, which has become a new medium for communication, interaction, and pointless "snaps" of our activities taking place at an exact moment.

Is this a good or bad thing? Have we grown closer to one another through the advancement of this form of news and communication or are we simply becoming obsessed, lazy, and judgemental?

  • No matter which direction the writer chooses for this I think it's important to talk about the impact of social media on long distance friendship. It may draw us away from people in our present space, but at the same time it allows us to maintain some sort of connection with the people we've had to leave behind as our culture becomes more spread out and even globalized. There's also the facet of this topic that could explore friendships which actually begin online. Are these any less real? – Mariel Tishma 7 months ago
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  • I agree with this topic a lot. I do not have ay form of social media, so when people want to get to know me more that ask to talk to me on SnapChat or Twitter. It is crazy how they are talking to me and telling me these things, then they can take 5 minutes out of their day to talk to me more. Some people do not like to talk directly to peoples faces, so I think they use this as a cover up. – aliyaa19 7 months ago
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  • With truth in reporting laws gone, we have a new problem of self-referential media. It's always been a problem in academia that academics have tried (and often failed) to be aware of... but now it's become a machine. Not sure how we break the chains... – staceysimmons 7 months ago
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  • I agree with a lot of this, but I feel like it could boil down to just being condescending towards millennials (Please don't! My intelligence isn't determined by my birth year!).Also, I think you discredit a lot of the positive aspects of social media. Pinterest is great for recipes, and rarely vapid or narcissistic. Twitter can be stupid, but it can also be humorous and effective in promoting social movements. And as much as I absolutely abhor Instagram, I have seen many younger people take an interest in legitimate photography (and not just 'selfies') because of it. Social media probably does more harm than good, but there are definitely positive aspects.But yeah, I have no defense of Snapchat, ha. – m-cubed 7 months ago
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  • There's definitely some potential to this topic. A cost/benefit argument can be made regarding social media. Whoever chooses to tackle this article should weigh the pros and cons. The benefits of keeping in touch with friends or family members who have moved hundreds of miles away is invaluable. Additionally, the ability to create a professional network can make or break some newly graduated or licensed professionals in their careers.That being said there are considerable cons to the prevalence of social media that could be addressed. Most notably, and already mentioned, the epidemic of fake news in today's society. As opposed to real journalistic integrity of obtaining sources and fake checking those sources, today's "media" relies on gotcha headlines and three degrees of hearsay to sway an audience into believing something that isn't true. – rtpnckly 6 months ago
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  • From a PR standpoint, social media is a great tool for storytelling. The ability to share one's experiences instantly (such as on Snapchat or live video) is valuable. Other platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are also great creative outlets for both everyday users and content creators. While there are disadvantages, such as the proliferation of "fake news" and cyberbullying, social media allows us to learn from one another and stay connected. – AaronJRobert 4 months ago
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  • I believe that this would be a valid topic to address and that there is a large amount of truth within this statement as well. It would be beneficial to prepare some subtopics to address with in this umbrella of information to better craft your argument towards specific objectives. I think this is a great topic to address, however, I do not see how well it fits into the more broad, categories Artifice offers for writings. – mmmarino 4 months ago
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  • Every new advancement in communication causes this response. People worried about newspapers, comics, telephone, the radio, etc. Maybe we are still humans. – lmunson 4 months ago
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  • Whoever writes this topic should check out the book Hamlet's Blackberry by William Powers. It has a lot of interesting background on the development of different technologies and how people have adapted them, as well as his own commentary on what social media is doing to us as a society. – itsverity 4 months ago
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Social Media Aesthetics and the Good Life

Discuss the rise of image-based social media often portraying stylized images of food, clothing and interiors. Do these portrayals (both seeing them and creating them) allow all of us to become artists, forcing us to appreciate visual beauty in the everyday? Or do they force us to value the narrowly beautiful at the expense of more complex encounters with beauty?

  • Would you be referring to reality TV here as well? – Munjeera 5 months ago
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  • Great topic. If everyone has a camera, can everyone therefore claim to be an artist? Are we snapping and sharing photos because beauty has truly resonated with us, or is it because our craving for admiration and likes compels us to capture and share everything we encounter? – bloom 5 months ago
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  • Wow this is definitely something I have been thinking about lately. Should we need images to appreciate the beauty of these things? Likewise, would we appreciate them if they weren't constantly blogged about/posted online? How are we defining art/beauty? I think the images almost create a barrier between us and experience--As if we are constantly viewing the world through a lens rather than actually being present. – Bfitts 5 months ago
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  • Brilliant topic: humans as lemmings; objectivity, subjectivity and beauty; the psychology of manipulation; natural vs. man made beauty; etc. – Tigey 4 months ago
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  • I feel like I'm in a permanently repeating matrix-world where everyday someone is sharing a new article about the harmful nature of image-based social media... it's exhausting and repetitive. However, as a visual person, the endless stream of perfectly colorful smoothie bowls and fresh-ass clean artistic barber cuts that flood my instagram feed are endlessly awe-inspiring and make me happy. I think the problem is a psychological one with people, not with "art" made in the modern world. – ssudekum 4 months ago
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Twitter and Election 2016

Today, many U.S. politicians are extending their public reach through Twitter accounts, and many other public figures are using Twitter as a platform to voice their opinions about those politicians. I think it would be interesting to explore the extent to which these Twitter presences affect broader public opinions of politicians. This topic could be applied to any current political figure or situation, but I think it could be particularly interesting to focus on Election 2016, given the consistent media attention devoted to tweets both by and about Trump, Clinton, and the other candidates throughout the process.

  • I think this would be interesting to talk about! Because of social media, certain candidates have become memes, and their reputations have gone up/down. One example is Tim Kaine; many tweets have described as a "soccer dad" which made him seem more affable. – seouljustice 8 months ago
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  • Although, this day and age are technologically advanced, the thought of candidates trying to extend their reach through twitter is very strange. This would be an article I would like to read about. – OrangeCitris 8 months ago
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  • Great topic. I'd love to see a chart showing numbers and trends of tweets reacting to some of the major bombshells, such as news of Hillary receiving debate questions prior to facing Sanders and Trump.Also, we may have seen another major shift in U.S. political strategy: Obama, a relative unknown, was elected president in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, Trump - a businessman with no public service track record - won the U.S. presidential election. In 2020, Waldo (of "Where's Waldo" fame) might be facing The Invisible Man for the Dem nod.No history it seems is better than bad history, ala the history of the Clintons as perceived by many U.S. citizens. The apparent new mantra: don't tweet 'til elected, don't tweet 'til elected. – Tigey 5 months ago
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  • Great topic. It is doable to collect all tweets talking about Trump and Hilary using Twitter stream API during a time. To gain a basic feeling of these comments, we can use machine learning to do sentiment analysis, and see whether people think them positively or negatively. – cicirao 5 months ago
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  • Don't forget Turkey's Erdagon deftly handling his country's uprising with Twitter. It is a powerful tool that allows politicians to bypass mainstream media. It seems as if whoever rules on Twitter wins. – Munjeera 5 months ago
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The Devil's Advocate in 140 Characters or Less

Is there still a role for Devil’s Advocacy in the age of social media trolls? Adopting a contrary position for the sake of debate has its origins in the Catholic Church and has become institutionalized in it’s use in refining academic writing as an "opposing view" or antithesis. But as social media trolling begins to have real-world consequences, from violence to criminal investigations, should we retire the Devil’s Advocate role once and for all? Or is there an affirmative role for a new kind of digital demon?

  • I kind of see what point you have, but I think you need to be a bit more specific. Do you have a specific instance that shows how devil's advocacy has "real-world consequences" that could support this argument well? – Suman 8 months ago
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  • I think an additional consideration for whoever writes this could also be how to handle trolls/Devil's Advocates in an academically sound and ethical matter in order to avoid whatever "real world consequences" you are referring to – Kevin 8 months ago
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  • I like the essence of this topic, but it seems too willing to dismiss the value of playing devil's advocate in an abstractly general sense simply because a very specific type of devil's advocate is exhausting its value. In other words, the topic seems too willing to dismiss the concept of contrarianism because there are people who misuse it. Suppose, hypothetically, that we got rid of all devil's advocates, what would happen then? Would people be prohibited from making opposing claims and arguments? – IsidoreIsou 8 months ago
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  • I think whoever writes this should be specific about *Where* they see these devil's advocates. As, echoing what Kevin said, the internet troll started out as a form of devil's advocacy but has since become something else. (There is a good PBS idea channel video about this topic). If we're talking about real life discussion though, there's potential for a useful form of this rousing. – Mariel 8 months ago
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Social Media and Mainstream Journalism

User-generated photographs or videos regularly dominate television bulletins and the front pages of newspapers, while opinionated blogging also gains significant traction in redefining the field of journalism. Analyze the impact of participatory action on social media in steering journalism, and the implications of this shift in control towards the individual consumer.

  • Very important topic. I think it's sad that our society is viewing a death in traditional journalism with the rise of sites such as Buzz Feed (where copying and pasting gifs off of blogs is more important than critical journalist skills) or even just popular magazines like peoples, etc. I think another interesting social media platform to explore with a topic like this is tumblr. A lot of people (especially young people) use the site as a way to vent their frustrations and write about heavily loaded topics without any sources, etc. It usually causes more harm then good with passion and opinions rising -- especially when these opinions are often skewed or lack research to back up claims. In a way, people use the sight to mimic aspects of journalism but do so incorrectly. – Mela 1 year ago
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  • The Illuminati runs the media. – Riccio 1 year ago
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  • Whenever you're dealing with the traditional journalism vs. citizen journalism debate, it's important to note that many citizen/alternative journalists still rely on traditional outlets to break stories (to the tune of more than 90%). The usual process is that traditional news brings the facts and citizen/alternative journalism brings near endless analysis. – Ian Miculan 1 year ago
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  • A documentarian in Newfoundland, Chris Brookes, had a fun quote about citizen journalists that might be worthwhile for quotation. "I don't particularly care for citizen journalism, I don't think it's good idea. I also don't want citizen doctors or dentists. We train for a reason." – Piper CJ 1 year ago
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  • Social media has an impact on the world, there is no doubt about it. However, social media often lacks: proper sourcing, critical analysis, depth of writing, and much more. Hard hitting journalism will for the foreseeable future be done by large outfits such as The New York Times and Washington Post. Pieces like the recent NYT's one on Amazons work place culture were incredibly insightful. Social media can be an asset, where people can gather and discuss ideas, but the anonymity it presents issues here as well. Twitter arguments are not known for their civility or nuance for a reason. They do provide however extremely important outlets for those who are in areas where traditional streams of information do not flow. Without social media the situation in Syria would be a lot darker than it it currently is. – Aridas 1 year ago
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  • It's a mixed bag with the Internet. I just read an article, "Lucy Bites the Dust," about the scientific debunking of Lucy as a human ancestor. As excellent as the article was, the comments section by scientists was even more interesting. Years ago I read an article on a website that sounded convincing, read a couple of others on the site and realized it was highly literate racist propaganda. Like most people, I assume, I believe in free speech, but also in the golden rule. That use of journalism is a disappointment.Also, keeping in mind the infamous Goebbels quote - "He who controls the medium controls the message. He who controls the message controls the masses" - how much of a thorn is the Internet to the powers who might benefit from keeping us in the dark, if in fact such entities exist? Are there examples of curtailing free speech on the Internet, etc.? – Tigey 11 months ago
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Professionals Using Crowdfunding

I’d like to see a topic on how and why celebrities and professional producers who have many more funding avenues available to them than amateurs still resort to using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter to fund high profile projects

  • I would imagine some famous people would prefer Crowdfunding because 1. it's easy to get money when you're already well known and 2. their creative vision won't be censored or shaped by whatever big film company would have funded them. This article should also look into the Veronica Mars case study though. The time skip movie after the show ended was offered up by the actors on kickstarter for fans to fund to help them make; however, the project got so popular the movie idea was bought out by a film company to produce when it had previously been rejected. How did the backers feel? Did they get ripped of in any way? – Slaidey 1 year ago
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