online education

I am not embarrassed to be embarrassed

The Internet has entered the air of cringe; More and more of us accept being annoying online, even to make it a strength. Lucie Ronfaut talks about it this week in her #Rule30 newsletter produced by Numerama.

When I was 18, I moved to Paris to study. Ever since high school, I’d dreamed of: leaving the town I grew up in, becoming a cool, mysterious woman, living in a broom closet with rent almost the price of my childhood home. I have one particularly ridiculous memory of that time of great change. A few days after moving I was wandering around Paris in a carefully chosen outfit. I even negotiated with my mother to give me her old pair of cowboy boots. Unfortunately, barely out of the subway, I thrash myself on the damp platform, the spun tights and one of my shoes crashing pitifully far from my foot.

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I am 31 years old and feel ashamed to share this anecdote. But if I was 18 today, I probably would have shared my mishap on TikTok. In the app (and more generally on social networks), annoying content is popular. We find many of these under the hashtag #ick (1.4 billion views, at the time of writing this newsletter) or the intense sense of embarrassment one can feel in an uncomfortable situation. People are telling their embarrassing stories or poking fun at more embarrassing events around the world: the lost battle between former British Prime Minister Liz Truss and a salad, the legless Metaverse avatars of Meta, the 2024 Olympics mascot, the oddly one clitoris resembles, etc.

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We have entered and entered the era of shudder (Discomfort), explains this article from the English version of she (Read about the awesome Tech Trash newsletter). We are ashamed of our actions in physical life, but also digitally. Scare Emoji! GIFs are terrifying! People who pay for an official Twitter account cringe! Old people on the internet cringe! Young people on the Internet shy away! And besides, isn’t it a bit scary just going on the internet? Nobody escapes this feeling of humiliation and, above all, the temptation to force it on others. Because this practice ultimately adapts very well to the reality of today’s web. To be viral, people need to identify with you or attack you. This summer I told you about the work of the American mathematician Cathy O’Neil, for which social networks ” shame machines who benefit financially from our small and large public humiliations.

However, we have no obligation and obligation to suffer the horror or exploit our shame in favor of the major online platforms. Self-asserted, our embarrassment can become a source of strength and comfort, especially when we are part of the fringes of the web and have no desire or interest in conforming to the unspoken rules of social networks.

For example, I find it satisfying (and hilarious) the Tumblr community’s effort to look as awkward as possible in order to scare off any celebrities, brands, or other cool people who might want to hang out there. I also have a great fondness for people claiming their ridiculous taste online, whether it’s Omegaverse fanfiction, Minion memes, or posts. hoots rather than tweets. There’s a difference between the legitimate discomfort we feel towards power spheres (politicians, celebrities, big online platforms, brands, entrepreneurs who decide to destroy a social network from within because they have too much money) and recognizing that sometimes you slip on a subway platform because it rained and you’re wearing high heels for the first time. To be scared is to be human.

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The press review of the week

TikTok and Sailing

I found this article fascinating. media part tapping into a phenomenon that has been worrying the government of late: young Muslim women posing in their veils on TikTok and criticizing the dress bans in place at their college or high school. The Ministry of National Education even speaks of ” Cyber ​​Attacks on Secularism But between the self-portrayal typical of social networks, the difficulty of navigating the various imperatives of femininity, and recommendation algorithms that block young Internet users, the practice is actually much more complex than it appears. It can be read here.

toxicity

The world returned to the denunciations of online violence afflicting female video game streamers, and this time put the lens of research: How can we explain the toxicity of the gaming environment, especially when streaming? Intensified parasocial relationships and a greater acceptance of violence than elsewhere, explain psychologists and researchers. Read it there.

Ethical burnout

Ethics in artificial intelligence has become a key topic in the digital industry in recent years. Good news for us, but not necessarily for specialists in this field, few and numerous, who are under enormous pressure from their employers, regulators and the general public. Sometimes at the expense of their mental and physical health. It can be read (in English) on the MIT Technology Review.

Sexy

I speak regularly in this newsletter about the interactions between the internet and sex. Because without internet users wanting to have sex or talk about what turns them on, the internet as we know it today wouldn’t exist. This is the subject of a book by American journalist Samantha Cole, who is interviewed in an exciting podcast on Vice. You can listen to it here (in English).

Something to read/watch/listen/play

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You start dying. Here you are a wandering ghost in a strange colorful world, looking for your final destination without knowing what it really looks like. Along the way you meet other deceased men and women. You and they are sad, lost, resigned, relieved or just happy to take advantage of a little rest or to find their loved ones who passed away earlier. Because in this game, as in life, there are many ways to break up.

How do you say goodbye is a French puzzle game (co-produced by Arte) about grief. It’s not easy to write stories about loss, let alone consume them. The game also begins with a somewhat disturbing scene: we must choose the first name of the main character who has just died. We hesitate to give him his own (creepy), that of a deceased loved one (even worse). In the end I let the software decide for me. So I accompanied a certain Beatrix on her way to the afterlife.

I was very touched by the poetry and sweetness of How do you say goodbye, and talk openly. Unlike some Message video games, this one doesn’t neglect the fun aspect: the puzzles are challenging and really reflect the scenario rather than being used as a narrative pretext. Frustration in the face of a particularly difficult puzzle is reminiscent of helplessness in the face of loss. And the joy of resolving it isn’t far removed from the satisfaction of finally making progress in your grief.

Say goodbye, available for Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS and Android

The data submitted through this form is intended for PressTiC Numerama in its capacity as data controller. This data is processed with your consent in order to send you news and information about the editorial content published on this site by email. You can object to these emails at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe links contained in each email. Please see our entire Personal Data Processing Policy for more information.

You have a right of access, rectification, erasure, restriction, portability and objection on legitimate grounds regarding personal data concerning you. To exercise any of these rights, please make your request via our dedicated exercise rights request form.

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