Week 4- Social Media


In this week’s BCM111 seminar we looked at both western social media platforms and non-western platforms. We were even given the chance to explore a non-western social media platform, and lets just say I’m happy with the platforms I use and won’t be branching out anytime soon. I’m comfortable with my most used platforms.

This week we’ve been asked to discuss 1 social media platform and the way we use it to present a sense of self.

I love Instagram. I think it is an easy to use platform with the best functions to show each other our lives. I use my account to show my followers all the fun and exciting things I have done or am doing. I like to think my Instagram page represents an authentic version of myself but also a curated version of my life. The persona I present on my social media has been curated to only show the happy, fun loving version of myself. I have done this because I’m afraid of publicly showing my struggles and insecurities which make me uniquely me.

In my opinion Instagram has the best affordances. An affordance refers to the action potential that can be taken given a technology (Gibson, 1979; Hutchby, 2001; Leonardi, 2011; Majchrzak & Markus, 2013). Marshall McLuhan in 1967 noted “the social consequence of any medium-that is, of an extension of ourselves” thus if social media has the ability to function as an extension of ourselves, Instagram is the easiest platform that allows me to express myself. Instagram is the best medium for me to present myself through because its functions best suit my lifestyle.

Instagram allows me to follow my friends, celebrities and influencers, but I also have the ability to post photos, videos, live stream and comment to name the affordances I most commonly use on a daily basis, and yes I use my Instagram daily.Instagram gives me the ability to filter photos and selectively choose the photos and videos I post to make myself seem “perfect”.

I mainly market myself to an audience in my age bracket, ages from 16-22. I do this because I want to appear like every other 19 year old enjoying life with my friends and showing what my uni life is like. Instagram as a social media platform has also given my family the opportunity to see me mature into the girl I have become. Social media has been an amazing tool to connect with them when they live on the other side of the world.

Instagram has the affordance to make your account public or private. I have chosen after many years of owning a private account to now open my account to be publicly viewed by anyone. I made the change to allow me to publicly develop my online presence. In the society we currently live in, social media has the ability to consume us. Luckily for me, I have been able to differentiate the difference between real life and the social media lifestyle.

Instagram: @oliviajlopez https://www.instagram.com/oliviajlopez/

Fashion Instagram account: @oliviajlopezm https://www.instagram.com/oliviajlopezm/



Definition of SOCIAL MEDIA (2020), merriam-webster.com, viewed 27 August 2020, <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20media&gt;.

Instagram (2018), Instagram.com, viewed 27 August 2020, <https://www.instagram.com/&gt;.

Majchrzak, A, Faraj, S, Kane, GC & Azad, B (2013), ‘The Contradictory Influence of Social Media Affordances on Online Communal Knowledge Sharing’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 38–55, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jcc4.12030#:~:text=We%20theorize%20that%20social%20media,%2C%20and%20generative%20role%2Dtaking.&gt;.

Shane-Simpson, C, Manago, AM & Gaggi, N (2018), UC Santa Cruz UC Santa Cruz Previously Published Works Title, viewed 28 August 2020, <https://escholarship.org/content/qt9sq7z6gz/qt9sq7z6gz.pdf&gt;.



This week we studied global news, reporting and the dimensions of social media in citizen journalism.

First I want to clarify what citizen journalism is as “society is changing, as citizen journalism is gaining momentum and becoming a growing phenomenon” (The open news room, 2020).  Citizen journalism is the activity of recording or writing about news stories when this is done by ordinary people rather than trained reporters (Cambridge Dictionary, 2020). This means you reading this, has the ability and resources, because of the internet and social media, to report on a news worthy story.

Social media and the internet has had the ability to change the journalism industry. The way stories are reported and watched has been due to the ability for the ordinary citizen to post about and comment on news worthy stories. The internet and the media allow for almost instant news coverage from stories occurring in different countries by mainstream media companies and through the ordinary citizen.

So the questions of whether I believe citizen journalism through social media is good, bad or a bit of both? Why? are posed.

I believe citizen journalism through social media can be helpful and insightful. Let’s take the Black Lives Matter protests and recall how social media was covered with facts and coverage on the event. Our Instagrams and Facebooks, to name only 2 platforms, were covered with pictures of individuals who were live streaming, photographing and videoing the protests along with posting the facts. Our news outlets were filled with coverage using footage taken by their news reporters and with the footage of those present. Citizen journalism has the capacity to benefit us as witnesses can post eyewitness accounts on the internet when they happen or report and send their accounts to the media (The open news room, 2020). On the other hand, the constant overflow of coverage and opinions can and has obscured the importance and the facts of a story. The internet and social media have the power to create false news stories which can mislead audiences.

Having lived in Europe and most specifically in Spain, I decided to do some research to see what the citizen journalism and journalism in general is like in the country.

In 2008 Spain suffered a recession later turning into a depression which ultimately turned into their worst economic, political and social crisis the country had ever experienced. Due to this, Spain’s media, alongside many other sectors suffered (Sierra J, 2015).

“The crisis has impoverished and weakened traditional news media” – Juan Luis Cebrian, chairman of Grupo PRISA.

In 2014, Spain was ranked 35th by World Press Index, Reporters Without Borders, one ranking higher than the previous year and since then has slowly moved up in its ranking. As of 2020, Spain is ranked 29th.

When it comes to citizen journalism in Spain, it is sites such as Twitter, Flickr and Facebook that play a role that allow Spanish citizens to report on news stories. These social media platforms along with blogs such as Soitu.es (paying citizen journalists for stories that appear on the front page) and Bottup.com have taken the phenomenon of ordinary citizens reporting and used their stories as a way or receiving news(Maderazo W, J, 2008).

To sum up, it appears that although the media took a big hit during the 2008 recession,citizen journalism didn’t and rather increased as media companies shut down.

To learn more about any topic spoken about in the blog, I have hyperlinked websites as well as provided a reference list.

– Olivia

Reference List

Cambridge Dictionary 2020, CITIZEN JOURNALISM | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary, Cambridge.org, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/citizen-journalism&gt;.

Citizen Journalism: A primer on the definition, risks and benefits 2010, viewed 21 August 2020, <http://www.theopennewsroom.com/documents/Citizen_%20journalism_phenomenon.pdf&gt;.

Citizen Journalism Spreads in Spanish-Speaking World – MediaShift 2008, MediaShift, viewed 21 August 2020, <http://mediashift.org/2008/02/citizen-journalism-spreads-in-spanish-speaking-world060/&gt;.

Cochrane, T, Sissons, H, Mulrennan, D & Pamatatau, R 2013, ‘Journalism 2.0’, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 22–38, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://www.igi-global.com/article/content/78333&gt;.

Education resources for schools teachers and students – ABC Education 2020, Image, viewed 4 September 2020, <https://education.abc.net.au/home#!/topic/495732/planet-earth&gt;.

Freedom of the Press, Expression, and Information in Spain 2015, Opensocietyfoundations.org, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/publications/freedom-press-expression-and-information-spain&gt;.

Spain : Far-right breakthrough | Reporters without borders 2019, RSF, viewed 21 August 2020, <https://rsf.org/en/spain&gt;.

Week 2- Popular Culture


Popular culture is something we all consume and yet not always acknowledge, pay attention to or realise. Starting this semester off with popular culture, although it was a jam-packed lecture, was interesting and had my attention.

Everyone of us has our own ideologies and beliefs of what is considered to be part of popular culture. What I believe is part of popular culture may be different to what you may think is. This does not mean that one of us is wrong, it simply means we have different tastes which lead us to different beliefs and naturally to follow popular culture that is relevant to our own lives.

Giving me the question ‘what popular culture do you consume?’ is really like asking me to tell you everything I love, follow, watch, believe in and recreate myself.

But if I must give you a list, which if I must shorten for the purpose of not being here for 2 hours, I will. These are some of the popular culture pieces I consume, and almost on a daily basis.

Netflix: Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, How to Get Away with Murder, Dynasty, Keeping Up with the Kardashians (KUWTK), Money Heist, Elite and Lucifer

Netflix has been a part of my life for quite some time and I feel like I can safely assume this is the case for many too. Netflix is a platform that recommends to us shows or movies based on previous streams. The shows I listed are all shows that have been recommended to me by friends, family or I started watching them because they were popular on Netflix. These shows only became popular because we all have had them recommended to us in some way and somehow we love them because they align with our ideologies.

Some of the shows like Money Heist also known to me as La Casa De Papel and Elite, both Spanish shows, are shows that interest me because they come from Spain. If you knew me well, you would know why this is a valid point. I lived in Spain for the first part of my childhood and shows like these two would have been shows I would have watched even if they were produced in the US like the majority of what I watch.

Music: Anything from Ariana Grande, Post Malone and Beyonce, to name my top 3.

I consume music on the daily, while getting ready, in the car, because I’m sad or because I’m happy. Music taste is all unique. The reasons we love the music we do, is always up to the individual’s ideologies and beliefs. I was introduced to Post Malone by a friend who was loving his music. I grew up watching Ariana Grande on Victorious and Sam & Cat (both hugely popular Nickelodeon shows) and followed her into her music career. Beyonce came into my life because of my family who adored her music and what she stood for as a woman.


Our taste choices can be categorised into multiple categories such as age, class, religion, ethnic and racial background and place of residence.

I’m 19, live in Australia and have a European background which has had a heavy influence from American popular culture.


Reference List

Ideology | society | Britannica 2020, Encyclopædia Britannica, viewed 14th August 2020, <https://www.britannica.com/topic/ideology-society&gt;.

Gans, H 2010, Popular Culture and High Culture, Google Books, viewed 14th August 2020, <https://books.google.com.au/books?id=t3M4DgAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s&gt;.

Popular Culture 2017, obo, viewed 14th August 2020, <https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756384/obo-9780199756384-0193.xml&gt;.