I’m halfway through a two-week Summer Doctoral Programme at the Oxford Internet Institute. With 4 to 5 seminars/lectures each day on research findings, methods instruction, and project proposals, it has been equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. Oxford University has such a rich intellectual history and the people at the OII are shaping how researchers and policy makers worldwide are helping us all understand life our increasingly digital milieu.
Track the goings-on with OII SDP on Twitter
As a semi-thesis at Fuller I wrote a paper on Secular Religion in the Showtime series Dexter. After a revision, I incorporated Charles Taylor’s concept of the Immanent Frame, and it was recently published in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.
It’s possible we binged Dexter harder and faster than any other show, ever. Man it was so good… especially the first four season.
In one of my first journal articles, which can be found here, I explored the difference (in terms of self-reported loneliness) on CREATING social media (commenting, adding a new post, replying to someone, etc.) and CONSUMING social media (reading, browsing, scrolling, liking). I found no difference between the two, because BOTH were associated with decreased loneliness. This is congruent with other part of this study that found an increase in affinity for (and use of) social media was also associated with less loneliness.
Again, there are causality questions: are social media MAKING people less lonely, or are less lonely people just more likely to use social media more often, perhaps since they have more social connections? This is part of what I’ll be investigating with my dissertation, which draws heavily upon Media Multiplexity Theory (like this article). Perhaps, as the above image indicates, there are relevant differences in the specific platforms or devices people use for creating and consuming?
We celebrated Caroline Jack’s first birthday this past weekend, and I think she liked the cupcakes.On a side note, I think Vicky has a possible career as a party planner if she ever has any free time…
My friend Sean goes on an annual fishing trip to where the Deschutes meets the Columbia every year. This year his usual buddies couldn’t make it, and he invited me. Even though I’m not really into fishing, I figured I had to go, since
a) I live in Oregon now, and salmon are like hoppy beer and coffee: plentiful and delicious in the northwest.
b) He provided EVERYTHING I would need… waders, tent, fishing rod, lures, lessons, and patience.
c) it would mean 2 days of camping with Sean, and he has a epicurean talent unlike anyone I’ve ever known. He cooked steak sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and spaghetti for us all without a campfire. When I camp, I eat cliff bars and crusty PB & Js. When I camp with Sean, I eat better than I do at most restaurants.
so I went, and now we’ll have Chinook for dinner sometime soon!
Summer is here! The weather is hot, spring classes are done, and I get to spend more time on my own research. I’m pretty excited about some experiments this summer and a new media lab we are getting this fall.
Summer also means fun movies (Jurassic World was delightful, but Mad Max was so incredible I almost feel bad for other movies coming out this year), and fabulous professor in our SOJC gave us some tickets to the Oregon Bach Festival. Opening night was a moving performance of Haydn’s Creation. We don’t frequent the symphony but, dare I say, we laughed, we cried, we… got to feel very fancy for a few hours. And it was fun.
The final week of every term is always a chaotic flurry of activity. A colleague I’ve been working with has a whiteboard at home (for individual project use), but I decided to get one to help me keep track of all ongoing projects. It is incredibly freeing and helps me focus on ONE research item at a time, instead of having the vague cloud of ominous and insurmountable deadlines looming on the horizon. This will help my summer be more productive AND relaxing.
This winter in Oregon has been confusing….frozen nights, then 60’s and sunny during the day.
On a side note, Black Mirror has adequately blown my mind.