Project 2 Online Intervention

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For my online intervention I chose the blogging site Tumblr. All our exchanges, not just on Tumblr but on public social media sites in general, have warped into something very strange and funny. Sites like Tumblr blend public and private matters in a way that influences people to speak in ways they'd never speak off the net, in 'real life'.

Some people treat their blogs as diaries to note private thoughts that are paradoxically public, and a very weird tension arises in these spaces that are meant for your personal thoughts and yet allows these thoughts be shared by anyone. Mundane posts can for whatever reason resonate with people and become widespread -- for example, the "eggs" post that has reached almost 805k notes. Many times these personal posts you may expect just your followers to see can be picked up and scattered into different corners of the internet to the eyes of strangers who have never known you.

Because these interactions are all made knowing that they may be viewed by some wider public, every ask answered, every reply, every fleeting thought posted has some sort of humor to it, because these interactions are all made knowing that they may be viewed by some wider public. This environment fosters a strange kind of internet/Tumblr humor where every post feels like a performance. Some of these exchanges are more overt roleplays where people pretend to be characters or animals, but even when they aren't playing a specific role, it still feels like everyone's playing a bit of a part in everything they do.

People feel free to act braver or meaner or sillier online -- along with that, there's this feeling of having to perform and entertain the faceless internet users around you for approval, so some feel encouraged to goof off and turn everything, even their own private thoughts, into humor to get this approval.

I made a series of 10 comics based on these posts and interactions. These interactions feel less like conversations between real people and more like jokes between cartoon characters, and I found these strange pseudo-conversations to be very weird and entertaining to turn into comics. They translate very easily into comics -- it's actually harder to imagine any of these internet interactions as words any real person would speak.

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