Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2009 Nicole E. Greene
The Internet has been a mystifying and nebulous concept since its birth in the early 90s (Kelly). Just two years ago in an infamous public address, former Senator Ted Stevens attempted to explain the internet to the masses, calling it a series of tubes (Doctorow). This statement was followed by a flurry of blog postings, YouTube videos and general mockery from the computer savvy communities, thus confirming the fact that most people, besides the geeks, still don't fully comprehend what the Internet is. At its inception, PHDs, scientists and professors of anthropology alike hailed the Internet as a potential "gaia of cultures," and an opportunity for global communication and the exchange of ideas (Harcourt 22). Currently, it would be hard to say that the Internet is only being used for such lofty pedagogical purposes, but true to those scholarly dreams, people around the globe are exchanging ideas, more specifically videos, on YouTube, the world's third most visited website ("Global Top"). After a number of search engines, the fifth and seventh most visited sites in the world are Facebook and MySpace ("Global Top"). These top sites require no qualifications, impressive resumes, or background checks. A working email address, username and password are all anyone needs to be published on the Internet. YouTube, Facebook and MySpace all exist solely for the same purpose - to host content posted by users for others to peruse. If one were to judge our current historical moment based on our websites of choice, it would be fair to say we are self-obsessed. We exist in a culture defined by its desire and ability to look at itself online.
Greene, Nicole E., "Real Life, Invented Selves: An Analysis of Online Self-Portraiture" (2009). Scripps Senior Theses. 10.