Voted off the island…

Hey Everyone!

So I am doing my practicum assignment on Senior Citizens and I have been a bit confused on how I should approach these online communities. While I don’t want to lie to the members of the community, I was hesitant to reveal my age because these communities are built around connecting with other senior citizens, not 21 year olds. Well, my skepticism was proven as I was kicked out of the senior citizen chat room! Here is how it went. I joined a chatroom on a website called “Senior Chatters” under the name “lyssbe.” Everyone was pretty welcoming at first and I started to get some information by asking what sorts of things they talked about etc. Then, I screwed myself when I asked them how old they were. Their ages were around 61. As I tried to start more conversation, they were persistent to find out my age.

I tried to ignore those questions and continue conversation, but then they all kept asking me! I didn’t know if I should lie or tell the truth! I tried to get out of it by saying something along the lines of “I don’t like to reveal my age, it is an insecurity of mine, is that so wrong,” and mean user “patricia” responded, “it is here, no age, no information.” Then they ALL pressured me and said it was my last chance so I cracked and said 21. I could’t lie!!! Then “patricia”, and “krazykatlady” requested to vote me out of the chat, and they all ganged up on me and I was kicked out!!

Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I lie about my age to get information? I don’t think these senior citizens respond well to being part of a research experiment. If anyone has suggestions let me know. For now, I will include some screen shots of my interesting experience. Maybe I will have better luck next time…Hopefully.


Feeling “Unlucky” on Chat Roulette

I was curious to see if Chat Roulette was still filled with the same people as it used to be, for I hadn’t visited the site in at least a few years. I was not pleased to find that it was. I was greeted on my first chat with a naked man, followed by sounds of pornography in the background. I was completely offended and had to exit the page, before I got the courage to go back on again.

My second experience was a little less frightening. It consisted of a hello and me pretending I was from London with a British accent,  followed by me hiding my face from the camera. For some reason I felt more comfortable putting on an act than actually participating in the site. I think I am uncomfortable with the fact of strangers seeing my face and being able to do whatever they want, because they are in the privacy of their own homes.

The concept of Chat Roulette is both interesting and creepy at the same time. As I revisited this site many years after I used it for entertainment, I still say to myself “There is absolutely no way I am the only normal person on this thing”,but I always seem to be. There was not one comfortable experience I had on Chat Roulette. I see how it is considered a moral panic because it can make people feel violated and uneasy. While I am sure that many people have had a decent experience on this website, I have not. I guess that’s the “gamble” about it, there is a good chance you will get a creep. Overall, I can say that this is my last time using Chat Roulette. Ever.


History of the Internet Video Reaction

While I agree with my fellow classmates that this video was a bit confusing, I find it very intriguing how much went into the Internet before the general public even knew it existed. It is so interesting how something that is so readily used today required an extraordinary amount of time and intelligence to create and perfect. We, as consumers, often take for granted how easy our access is to various realms of technology. When I think about my first experiences with the Internet as a child, I remember the dial up tone and the two minute wait just to get onto AOL. Now, frustration grows if we have to wait more than 10 seconds to get onto a website. To think about how much progress was made in just those 10 years of my experience makes me realize the tremendous amount of progress has been made since the advent of the Internet, which was described in this video. While I lack the skills to understand science, I find it so amazing that people are able to think and create these intricate worlds that, to me, seem impossible to produce. I don’t doubt that I will continue to be astonished throughout this course when I learn more about the Internet’s history and the important people who made it what it is today.


Hi 346 classmates!

Hi Everyone! My name is Alyssa Bernstein and I am a senior majoring in Communication Arts. I am from Bedford, New York – just north of New York City. I love to travel, exercise, eat sushi, and watch reality television. As I’m sure most of you are the same, I am on the Internet for the majority of each day so I am excited to actually learn about the internet and its function in society. This past semester I studied abroad in Prague, which was absolutely amazing! While I miss Europe a lot, it is great to be back in Madison for my final year of college (scary!) Looking forward to a great semester 🙂