Friday, 16 August 2013

What Are The Odds Of It Being Even?

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Karl Marx - a bright mind undoubtedly, a revolutionary socialist and basically king when it came to beards - was at his ethos, all about power. Its concentration (Petray, 2013) and its relation were points of interest to Marx and these themes are focal for this post. 

For this assessment, the virtual network I will analyse is Snapchat. I’ve been a user of Snapchat prior to this assessment, but the nature of power in the detail afforded via our readings this week has given me "a kind of dual vision" similar to the flanuer described in ‘A Turtle On A Leash’(Prouty, 2009). 

Snapchat is empowering. In my experience, it’s a power relationship of “co-operation” (Petray, 2013). The interaction between myself and those I choose to interact with is based on trust. Power is equally distributed between myself and the user I interact with. I can choose the duration for my photo or video (‘snap’) to be seen, in addition to who sees it. As the sender, I can choose what to show. I interact with my very best and dear friends in this platform and I feel completely free to do so, which is in direct conflict with Turkle’s (1995) notion that accordance to “social norms are the enforcers of power within society”. My friends and I definitely do not conform to social norms when we Snapchat one another, for us the abornom is the norm! Is that to suggest that there is no power within our networked interactions? 

In a sense power is concentrated solely to the user, however, the site operator’s definitely do have more power over the users. My opinion is largely contingent upon recent articles which suggest that snaps may not disappear forever. A major selling point of Snapchat is the confidence that snaps after being viewed for the chosen duration of time disappear forever. Due to this, I reluctantly agree with Weber’s (1947) view that power is a zero sum problem – at least within Snapchat. 

Until next time, 


Reference List:
  1. Petray, T. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, narratives and the making of place, Lecture 2: Power. [Notes] Retrieved from
  2.  Prouty, R. (2009). In One-way street. Retrieved August 8, 2013 from
  3.  Petray, T. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, narratives and the making of place, Lecture 2: Power. [Notes] Retrieved from
  4.  Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the Screen: Identity in the age of the internet. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks.
  5. Weber, M. (1947), quoted by Petray, T. 2013 in BA1002: Our Space: Networks, narratives and the making of place, Lecture 2: Power. 
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1 comment:

  1. Hi Gabriel!

    I read through your blog with knowledge of my view of snap chat but now I have changed my current perspective of Snapchat. It’s interesting how you’ve said that you’ve read recent articles that, “snaps may not disappear forever.”

    What appears to be one thing can then dissolve into two different scenes as Wood, Ward and Abramms (2006, p.p1-2) discuss about two different truths. I always thought that “snaps” would be deleted because of how I familiarized myself with it but now I have a whole other perspective! I agree on how you suggested it to empowering but now finding this truth I feel rather disempowered by the creator. There really is not privacy these days!

    Reference List:

    Wood, D., Ward, K.L., & Abramms, B. (2006). The Multiple Truths of the Mappable World. In Seeing Through Maps: Many Ways to See the World. (p.p 1-2) Oxford, UK: New Internationalist.