Week 2 Critique


What I chose to focus on in this class is technology in the classroom. Last week I critiqued a video about how technology can be used in the classroom. This week the weekly reading inspired me to look at technology in the classroom from another angle. In part of the chapter it talked about people creating their own fan fictions or videos and sharing them online. I started to think about online commenting.

I looked into anonymity online. When students start to uses the school computers the teacher librarian comes around and gives a lesson on cyberbullying. There is an issue that people posting online often say things that they would not say in person because the internet protects them.

I think of Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets segment. Jimmy states that people tweet mean things at celebrities and don’t think about the fact that they are people.

The article I chose to critique is THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ONLINE COMMENTS. It is a New Yorker article about the online disinhibition effect. I liked this article because it stated both the good and the bad about being anonymous online.

The good “anonymity has also been shown to encourage participation; by promoting a greater sense of community identity, users don’t have to worry about standing out individually. Anonymity can also boost a certain kind of creative thinking and lead to improvements in problem-solving…”.

The bad “When Arthur Santana, a communications professor at the University of Houston, analyzed nine hundred randomly chosen user comments on articles about immigration, half from newspapers that allowed anonymous postings, such as the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle, and half from ones that didn’t, including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, he discovered that anonymity made a perceptible difference: a full fifty-three per cent of anonymous commenters were uncivil, as opposed to twenty-nine per cent of registered, non-anonymous commenters. Anonymity, Santana concluded, encouraged incivility”.

The three traits I chose are

  1. Research
  2. Sense of audience
  3. Media Application

I feel that the author nailed the first two. She knew what she was writing about and linked her article to the others she quoted. She knew her audience. The New Yorker is not usually a magazine that young people read, she knew her audience was older and that they might not know about anonymous commenting. She did a good job of explaining. The third media application I am torn about. If thinking about her audience she would not want a lot of other media in her online article but I would have liked a video or something else to go with it.

These traits fail to capture how well the article is written. She did a good job of introducing the topic and having a nice progression throughout the piece.

What I would change as I stated above is I would like more media, a video or something. I would also like if she would update it. The article was written in 2013, I wonder how the statistics have changed?

Overall I think this article is a good introduction to online commenting or posting it gives you both the good and the bad that goes along with it.



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