Friday, April 10, 2009

New Videocast: Formality/Informality

In this videocast I talk about the social boundary between what's formal and what's informal. The media example I refer to is HBO's new series In Treatment.

The questions I ask are:

1) Why are boundaries so very important?

2) What feeds informality in our day and age and how can it be managed?

3) What happens to privacy in modernity with regards to technology and the web?

4) How can one reconcile one's desire to engage the world with one's desire for privacy?

You may watch the episode here.

The episode is also uploaded on iTunes under the podcast series Gendering the Media with Brikena Ribaj.

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Dana said...

I like how you conclude: there can be a balance between privacy and cyber contributions.
p.s., I dug the red background.

Tina said...

I have also been annoyed by some people's erroneous expectations on sociality only because they know a thing or two about someone from the net. It made me think, so thanks.

JJ said...

The main struggle of the modern person is to negotiate private and public web space.
Well said. I enjoyed the red background as well.

JJ said...

The main struggle of the modern person is to negotiate private and public web space.
Well said. I enjoyed the red background as well.

Shaun said...

I like how relaxed and communicative this format is. And the red background.
Most importantly, I have also often thought about the dialog between the private/public and I also think that the person her/himself is fully justified in establishing clear boundaries.

Unknown said...

I really do not get it when people assume so much familiarity with total strangers.
I hear you!!

Unknown said...

Also, the red background in this videocast is awesome. It looks even better on the bigger screen on iTunes.

Sra said...

I was thinking a couple weeks ago about how informal I am in addressing others, and how I really ought to modify that, especially as I'm reentering academics and ultimately entering a rather formal profession. I tend to call people by first names regardless of register when I ought to be using titles and last names. I feel like my generation was raised very informally so this isn't natural to me. But some measure of formality is called for in many relationships.

As a blogger, I do tend to post things of a more personal nature than I would reveal in person. I don't quite know why I am comfortable with that.

In one of my beloved advice columns a few days ago, someone wrote in about Facebook and how some of her friends post very personal blurbs in status updates, and then they act like she's crossing a personal boundary when she brings those things up in person. I think Facebook is particularly prone to inviting this kind of blur between public and private. I think many people are more open online because they use online personas that allow some level of anonymity while also allowing more candid expression. But most people use their real life personas on Facebook but still expect there to be different formalities between online and offline interactions. It's bizarre and good food for thought.

The red background reminds me of Twin Peaks. Sweet!

Becca said...

Obviously, bringing up personal examples when making more general points does not mean that assumptions based on familiarity can be made about the utterer.
The discourse is at times full of informality and a sense of entitlement that drives me bonkers.
I appreciated this.
I was going to ask if you intend to cover etiquette one of these days and what it entails in modernity?

Anonymous said...

I second that!!

Billy said...

Ha! Precious!!
You are doing a close reading of the HBO show In Treatment in here and not providing anecdotes about B.R., yes?
I'm still laughing.
I liked.
I have a question about the whole onomastics issue and how it relates to primary identities, though. Any pieces coming up on the topic?

Dana said...

I actually 'read' the videocast as a general commentary on boundaries...? Was I right in making that assumption?
I also find it vexing when assumptions are made about topics and people simply because one has the 'Wikipedia' version of info on it.
But then again, I also rely on such things, too.
I reckon, the point you're making here, which the medievals are fully supporting :-), is that moderation and deep thought go hand in hand?

Dana said...

I dug what Sra said about the Twin Peaks reference. Very cool!

Will said...

I agree with the premise here. With so much info coming at us, it's difficult at times to be aware of the right form of discourse/rhetoric. thanks for the reminder.

B.R. said...

Right, the point of the episode was simply to deal with the relationship that exists between the private/public domain. Obviously, there are different levels of familiarity and verbal connectivity. As it is the case with most things, the activity of getting to know things is very hierarchical.
And, some would concur that being mindful of hierarchy is a good way of avoiding some measure of superbia.
Thank you for the comments.