Pinterest Boards: Steampunk and Augmented Reality/Human Perceptions

I was inspired to learn about augmented reality because when I first read it I imagined it being something similar to technological imaginary, ideology of technology, and technological determinism, which we have already touched on this semester. I hoped that it would be similar to the ideas listed above as well as Alberti’s Window, because I found those ideas very interesting and stimulating to think about. I wanted to examine this topic for one of my boards. Although these are not directly related to augmented reality, it does have to do with perception. The difference is that the others are more theoretical and having to do with mental perspective and augmented reality is visual. It does have a lot to do with perspective, but it is more of a direct connection between the eyes and the brain.

When I was looking through different ideas, I knew I wanted to focus my boards on something I did not know about previously, that way I could really get the most out of the assignment. When I started to look for information on the topic I found that steampunk had risen out of a literary genre and had multiple parts to it. It has become a unique interest that is becoming more and more popular each year. I wanted my boards to show all those different aspects, such as clothing, sex, and gender roles and how it became what it is today. The sites and different media that I found and chose to pin, I did so because I felt that they portrayed and explained the topic of steampunk the best and did so in a way that I thought would make most sense to the class, to myself, and also to other people on Pinterest who might enjoy the board and have an interest in the topic.

I tried my best to look at all different kinds of information that related to the topics. I wanted to give more broad information as well as more specific articles, news and videos. I think contextualization is important in no matter what assignment one is doing, whether you are writing a critical essay, reading a book, or reading another form of text. I wanted to give my followers and classmate’s access to many different sites so that they could do a bit of contextualizing. When I was looking for different things to pin I would usually check to see if I recognized the website, but I often did not because this assignment is different than anything I have ever done before. Because I haven’t researched either of these topics before I wasn’t familiar with most of the authors or online resources that dealt with the topics. If something didn’t sound scholarly I didn’t post it, but I was consistent on checking to see what their credentials were, what else they had written and their job titles.

In one of our classes we talked about how collaborative filtering actually deteriorates community, individual tastes and decreases user diversity. I think that Pinterest does this for sure. People are constantly just pinning things that other people have pinned, and then eventually people are just going around liking everything. Although it can be addicting, when I think about it it really seems like a huge waste of time and I don’t really see the point in it, or how it actually benefits its users at all. I am not exactly sure how to create a more diverse space within Pinterest because part of what makes it fun for people is that it is easy for anyone to use. It would be nice if Pinterest became a site where more people commented and shared ideas, from my experience that isn’t really what it is about. It would be a more complex and interesting place if there would be more people who use it to learn new things and discuss those new ideas with people. From this assignment it is clear that people using Pinterest have the power to change it and do something more stimulating and thoughtful with it. I think it is possible to make it a place where people can continue to use it as they have been using it, or to try something different! One way to help foster that change would be to somehow get more male users, as well as a more diverse age range.

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