“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Reflection

Rettberg discusses how the advancements in technology have led to the advancements of the way people represent themselves. She mentions the evolution of cameras and the changes in how society interprets the way people present themselves. She also brings up the way society can attempt to influence or discipline people based on how they present themselves. She also mentions social media and modern methods of presenting yourself through things like “selfies.” 

I personally wasn’t particularly drawn in by this text. It seemed full of unnecessary, fluff information to me which made it feel very boring to read. In my opinion, it read like a it was written by a high schooler trying to reach a word count requirement, only in a slightly more complex way. I felt I was spent a lot of time sifting through unnecessarily long paragraphs to find anything important. While it was difficult for me to analyze the information, I’ll do my best to explain my thoughts on it. 

As for the actual premise of the piece, the base purpose and topic was actually somewhat interesting, particularly in the sections where society’s interpretation of how someone presents themselves is discussed. I found it interesting how she explained the growth of technology advancing the ways people present themselves. For example, when early cameras were introduced when people took self-portraits with a mirror they were forced to find ways to creatively integrate the camera into the portrait which I thought was fairly intriguing. 

The analogy of modern day methods of presenting one’s-self compared to Parmigianino painting himself using a convex mirror to demonstrate how our own thoughts, biases, and opinions can distort the way we see ourselves in comparison to the way others view us. The way we present ourselves can drastically affect the way it is interpreted by our culture and our society. 

It was interesting to me how prevalent the word “selfie” was towards the end of the text. It’s interesting to read about Rettberg’s perspective on a modern take of self-representation. Since she is from a different generation than the one that popularized selfies, it’s a unique perspective on the way different generations interact in our society. It’s a common opinion among older generations that modern day social media is bad for younger, up-and-coming generations and causes many of the issues faced by our culture today. 

In conclusion, I personally found the text to feature a compelling topic written in a mediocre way. It definitely doesn’t feel like it was written to be entertaining to read or to be presented in a quick and concise, “to-the-point” kind of way. Of course, this is just my own opinion. The writing does present some interesting topics in a very uninteresting way, as I said above, like a high schooler trying to reach a word count requirement. 

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