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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catfish Essay

Friend Request: Patrick Soto. One Mutual Friend. Confirm or Ignore? This exact situation popped up as I logged into my Facebook profile page. I have never heard of this person before but as I investigate further on their page, I learn that they graduated from Eastview in 2009. I ask around and still no one has heard of him, then I consider something that I’ve only heard rumors about. Could it be the administration’s secret way of knowing everything they can about their students? Having a spy on Facebook? This very quick processing that went on through my head is mainly due to the movie, Catfish. I question my friends on Facebook because Nev was being played by a lonely, creepy, psychotic mother.
Catfish is a documentary that was directed by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, and Nev Schulman. They were also characters in the film along with Angela Peirce as everyone playing themselves.  This film was premiered in December 2010. This movie is based about a photographer, Nev, who meets people and starts relationships through Facebook. He doesn’t question the reliability of these new found friendships until things start to become suspicious.
This film begins with Nev being a normal person pursuing his love of photography. He was so lucky to get one of his photos published, but he seemed even happier when he received a package in the mail. This package was from Abby and it contained a painting replica of his published photo. Nev was shocked at the talent of this  8 year old and continued the connection with her and her mother Angela. He started becoming Facebook friends with her and her family and friends. Soon enough Nev started talking to Angela’s daughter Megan. They continued to talk and get closer until Nev and his friends started to have suspicions about the validity of this family’s existence. Megan’s songs were easily found on YouTube, Angela and Megan’s voice sounded remarkably familiar, and Abby’s art gallery was still up for sale. It all didn’t make sense, so they boys decided to barge in on the family’s Sunday breakfast to figure out what’s true and what is lies. What Nev finds out indeed surprises him with one lie after another.
A turning point in the movie was when Nev and Angela were standing by the fence watching Abby horseback riding. Angela realized that Nev knew all of her lies and she was just embarrassed. Nev was more understanding and sympathetic than I expected someone in that position would be. This scene played out very well and also led into the “talk” while Angela was drawing Nev. She admitted having multiple Facebook personalities, she recreated Megan’s voice, and she herself was the artist, no Abby. Angela somewhat blamed the whole situation on the idea that she was trying to recreate her life and live it the way she dreamed all along. She was drawn to Nev’s photographs of dancers because she wanted to be a dancer. Angela’s whole life changed when she married Vince and gained the responsibility of his handicapped sons. But that was her choice and is no excuse for her behavior. It somewhat explains her actions but only to a certain extent. Sending that first picture from “Abby” and ending communication after that would’ve been understandable, but continuing this relationship over eight months with multiple paintings, and text messages, and friendships must been exhausting and was completely uncalled for.
I believe that this movie was beneficial for the class, but I would not recommend it. It was good for this class because it incorporated the ideas of social networking’s impact on today’s society. It is somewhat exaggerated and unrealistic to everyday life but it proves that Facebook and social networking sites are not all good. In general, I didn’t really like the movie just in the sense that it scares me. I am the type of person that can easily trust others and this movie second guessed that whole idea. I also didn’t like that we didn’t find out where the real Megan was. It would’ve been more beneficial for the plot because she was a major part of the story and her actual personality would’ve been beneficial to the overall movie. I confirm this movie was a good choice for this certain class, but I would not recommend watching this movie with my friends on a Friday night.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catfish Response Day Three

I think this movie is overall pathetic. Angela is trying to live through all the new characters she created to have some excitement in her life. She wanted to be a dancer so she made Megan a dancer. It all works itself out but it still is so complicated. Angela should be committed to a mental facility because she is a pathological liar. She pretended she had cancer, she an affair with a 19 year old, she lied about the overall state of her real daughter. A mother wouldn't do those4 kind of things. I feel bad for Nev for getting sucked into the whole situation. But I feel even worse for Angela's family. Abby and Vince live with her and deal with the lies daily. That cannot be good for their lives. Though Vince himself kind of seemed oblivious to the whole situation. I applaud the forgiveness and sympathy that Nev has for Angela after the whole situation but I would recommending defriending her on Facebook.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Catfish Response Day Two

This so messed up. It makes no sense to me as to what would motivate a person into making up all of these lies. There is something serious wrong with Angela. No sane person would do that. I predict that she also made up the fact that she has cancer too but eventually she needs to be taken to some therapy sessions. Its very interesting as to how she got all the pictures of "Megan." And it makes me wonder what really happened to Megan and why Angela feels like she needs to act and create an affair with Nev as Megan. The brothers are also interesting aspect of this. How did their "band" make a t shirt and create fake songs? I am so shocked as to how pathetic someone could be and how attached Angela has become to Nev through this how process. This whole situation makes me question my friendships on facebook and communication with those people.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catfish Response Day 1

I think this movie is weird and creepy. Its the first documentary I've ever seen and I'm not a big fan of this genre. This whole facebook concept is weird! Its making me very cautious about my facebook. A big red flag for Nev in the movie was the photoshoped picture of him and Megan...naked. THAT WAS JUST CREEPY! Who in their right mind would take the time to make that picture and send it to someone they haven't even met yet is?! She is psychotic. The fact that all the songs were found on youtube is also a major red flag. I would've stopped all communication right there. It is so creepy and makes me wonder about all the people that I'm friends with on facebook. Its weird that all of the people havne't met yet but i think its good that the boys are going to drive through and meet them. I wonder what the end of the movie will be to make it  "the best movie Krebs has seen all year"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Position Paper: Moble Technology


            As our society gets more and more technologically savvy, text messaging has become one of the most used means of communication. For most, this concept has been embraced and enjoyed. Others believe that it is a distraction and overused. I believe that text messaging is a successful way to communicate privately, stay in touch with old friends, and find out information fast but it can come as a distraction at times and it also has decreased face to face interaction.
            Texting, for me, is essential to have conversations if you are not with the person you want to talk to. If I’m sitting on the couch watching TV with my parents and I need to tell my friends something important, I will text them. I would not call at that very moment and distract myself by watching TV and talking at the same time. Also, if the topic is personal, I wouldn’t want my parents listening to my full conversation.  Texting is beneficial for having private conversations without being in a secluded space.
            I have a lot of friends that don’t go to the same school as me or live around me so text messaging is an easy way to keep in touch with them. It takes a minute or less to text “Hey how are you?” to my friend in Washington D.C. It helps us keep in contact on a weekly basis to stay involved in each other’s lives. It is more convenient than calling her because I am busy with school and she is busy with her job so texting just seems like the simpler way to communicate.
            Getting texts from Mr. John Kelly or Dr. Beach are extremely useful for remembering important dates for meetings and upcoming events for student council and National Honor Society. I also appreciate getting text reminders from people at my church for meetings. “Practice at 5” is a nice simply reminder because I tend to be a forgetful person. Text messaging has provided me with a new way to keep up on my busy lifestyle and manage all my activities.
            To some though, texting can come as a distraction. This is evident in the classroom environments and while driving. Either of these situations can be easily avoided. When you’re in school and listening to a lecture or taking notes, texting is a distraction and it’s rude to the teacher. But during work time or movies, teenagers can multi task. It’s a skill that has been acquired by our age group. Texting and watching TV, texting and eating, texting and cleaning, texting and doing homework are all  possible! It can be a distraction for certain situations but overall it is not a nuisance.
            Texting has given society an excuse to avoid face to face interaction. It is limiting social skills because you simply don’t need to be with someone to talk to them. If you want to talk to someone, you can just text them instead of waiting to see them in person. People skills are declining because teens haven’t had enough practice on it. When we get into the “real world”, this generation of teens is going to have trouble in business meetings and advertising things by word of mouth because we haven’t developed proper people skills.
            Overall, texting is a good tool available to today’s society. It gives privacy while communicating, provides a way to stay in touch with old friends, and offers ways to organize a busy schedule, but is a distraction and limits social skills.