Social media has become a part of our daily routines, a continuous part and factor of our lives since the height of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Nearly every individual has a use for some type of social media, and because of this, near every individual has their own way of usage for it as well. The use of social platforms is such a broad spectrum, pages can be used to sell products, profiles to display your own life and interests. 

What do you use social media for?

I grew up in that wonderful age of social media discovery, where sites and platforms were just coming of age and popularity. Because of this, I have been online and engaged since I was young, probably when I was too young. Over time my use for socials has definitely changed, especially with the “death” of places like Tumblr and the rise of Tik Tok. However, places like Tumblr are where I got my start in media. 

Tumblr, in its 2010’s prime, was either a loved or hated platform, and no matter what your feelings were on it, Tumblr offered something that other places did not. “While it has the social appeal of Facebook, the aesthetics of Instagram….the site has the one thing that the others don’t — anonymity.” But not only that, the platform also “provides no contest for the most thumbs up or double taps.” 

In many ways, social media is viewed to be a ‘third space’ next to a private home environment and publics. “third spaces are sites of practice and negotiation, where connections and identities emerge through interaction…”

With just how much social media has taken part of our lives, it has enabled us to formulate our own personal identities online. To put it simply, your online persona is the you of which exists online out in the open. “the public self is the ‘official’ version…a highly polished, scheduled and controlled version that is produced and performed.” It is the identity of which we built and centred around ourselves. 

What is your online persona?

As I said before, I grew up in the age of the internet, and that has had an impact on my identity as a whole, not just the persona I show online. Part of the appeal for Tumblr was the ability to connect with others about niche cultures. “Tumblr fandom users present a unique culture.” For me, I built an identity around the subculture of ‘emo’ and ‘pop-punk’. “Blogs consisting of Tigers Jaw lyric edits on a washed out forest image, and bedrooms shining with fairy lights over a Citizen Youth banner, were widely popular.” I used the platform to create a sense of self that was, at first, separate to my ‘real life’ identity. Over time, my ‘real life’ identity and the one I offer up the world online has become more or less the same, and really I have social media like Tumblr to thank for my early self discovery. 


Hillman, S., Procyk, J. and Neustaedter, C. (n.d.). Tumblr fandoms, community & culture. Proceedings of the companion publication of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing – CSCW Companion ’14. [online] Available at: 

Junkee. (2020). How Emo Went From A Punchline to Critical Acclaim. [online] Available at:  

BCM111, UOW, Lecture slides, week four, Dr Renee Middlemost, 

Lee, E. (2016). Tumblr users seek to create identity over image. [online] Daily Trojan. Available at: 

Moore, C., Barbour, K. and Lee, K. (2017). Five Dimensions of Online Persona. Persona Studies, [online] 3(1), pp.1–12. Available at:  ‌

‌Pennington, R. (2018). Social media as third spaces? Exploring Muslim identity and connection in Tumblr. International Communication Gazette, 80(7), pp.620–636 .


I’m sure that within recent years, you would have heard of the term ‘fake news’ probably more than once. 

Fake News or, rather, Falsehoods are simply lies and deception within the media and more importantly our news. According to this article on ‘Public Beliefs and Falsehoods in News’, “The circulation of misinformation, lies, propaganda, and other kinds of falsehood has, to varying degrees, become a challenge to democratic publics.” 

This then brings us to the question:  Do you personally trust the news?

Journalism is something of which we, the public, rely on in terms of our news and the spread of information that we trust. Journalists are “the professional discipline of assembling and verifying facts,” as “accuracy is the foundation upon which everything else is built”, however, with the constant upkeep on social media platforms such as Facebook, do we still trust it as we once did? Or do we question it more, now that we ourselves have the ability to work a similar angel? 

Citizen Journalists are what we call those of the public who share on the socials every bit of information they come across, I’m sure we all know one or two. Citizen Journalism is “the collecting and reporting of information via social media, public platforms, and traditional news outlets, either by non-traditional sources or the public.” The idea is that “Citizen Journalism can be considered as the offspring” of traditional in takes of news such as Radio. 

The next question to be asked is whether or not we think of this type of journalism to be quality or harmful? If falsehoods can be easily filtered through those in careers of “verifying facts”, what is to say that it isn’t also from your next door neighbors Facebook page? 

Really, is it doing more harm than good?

Personally, I believe it intends to be more beneficial more so than not.

 An example of this, the way that in India Citizen Journalism has been providing and assisting forgotten villagers. The original landowners are being segregated by the ancient systems that India runs on. “The current model of communication and journalism is a cold model of aristocracy.” Yet with the help of Citizen Journalism, villages such as ‘Dalits’ have received aid as well as the allowance of their own voice, “for people living in remote, inaccessible areas. For the first time, these ‘last mile’ people can speak their minds.” Not only that, but the access to Citizen Journalism has also aided in the awareness of dreadful issues often overlooked, “community activities that alert mainstream media and governments to long-neglected issues such as farmer suicide, migration and displacement and lack of school facilities.” 

Truely, I think that Citizen Journalism has a high intent of wanting to help and inform, more so than traditional news programs which have far richer guidelines to follow than someone sharing a post or uploading a photo. Yet, it goes without saying that of course it isn’t always the most truthful or helpful, but rarely anything is. 


BCM111, UOW, Lecture slides, week three, Dr Renee Middlemost, 

Koc-Michalska, K., Bimber, B., Gomez, D., Jenkins, M. and Boulianne, S. (2020). Public Beliefs about Falsehoods in News. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(3), pp.447–468.

Tate (n.d.). Power to the People: The rise and rise of Citizen Journalism – Essay. [online] Tate. Available at:

The Citizen. (n.d.). How citizen journalism is giving voice to India’s forgotten villagers. [online] Available at: 

“What is Citizen Journalism? – Definition & Examples.”, 18 October 2018,


What do you think popular culture is?

According to John Storey’s book “Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction” (2015), he defines it to be “simply culture that is widely favoured or well liked by many people.” The new age era of technology and media allows everyone to be a constant consumer of popular culture, creating large amounts of engagement. 

What popular culture do you consume?

Personally for me, I find myself exposed to a large part of media intake and identity which is filtered through the culture, ‘a general process of intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic development’, of both punk and contemporary punk scenes. These scenes are largely affiliated with ideologies, ‘a systematic body of ideas articulated by a particular group of people’, such as the challenging of societal norms and issues through the exploration of music. “A vital role in the punk rock movement and gained legitimacy through its use of coactive and extremely confrontational tactics. These extreme tactics ultimately gained attention to bring about social change and to resist the status quo.” 

However, this hasn’t stopped the emergence of punk and contemporary punk rock subcultures to find their way into popular culture. For example the amount of mass production of t-shirts of bands like Nirvana and Bad Religion you can find in many fast fashion stores such as Kmart. “Transition to popular culture and can be observed on fashion runways and in shopping malls across the country, there will always be examples of products and ways of knowing that continue to persist.” 

Cultural Proximity, which is described as ‘the intuitively appealing notion that people will gravitate toward media from their own culture’, and can be seen through the differing examples of importance of time and geography in the punk scenes. An example of this is the difference between British and American punk movements. 

Britain, during the height of economic despair after World War II, led the way for “contribution to the punk rock movement was their condemnation of society and their anti-establishment views such as their anthem “Anarchy in the U.K.”

American punk scenes however were exploring the “issues of youth.. there were many demonstrations, one of the worst which was when race riots erupted on a college campus.” Contemporary punk scenes, such as the subculture of pop-punk, tended to gravitate more towards these areas of youth. This then created the era often referred to as ‘2010’s Sad Boi pop-punk’, existing largely on platforms like Tumblr, which I myself took part in during my non-coincidental “youth”. 

The idea of Cultural Proximity and Ideology can be seen through my personal example of my own gravitation towards media that reflects and shares the same values and culture as myself. It is the reason as to why I consume as much punk popular culture as I tend to. Punk and it’s now existing culture, scenes and all it’s subcultures, is universal and has evolved drastically through the years as the social climate of the world itself has changed. 


Storey, J. (2015). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction. [online] Google Books. Routledge. Available at:

Ksiazek, T.B. and Webster, J.G. (2008). Cultural Proximity and Audience Behavior: The Role of Language in Patterns of Polarization and Multicultural Fluency. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, [online] 52(3), pp.485–503. Available at:

‌ (2010). The Punk Rock Movement | Essay. [online] Available at:

Bernhard, E.M. (2019). Contemporary Punk Rock Communities: Scenes of Inclusion and Dedication. [online] Google Books. Rowman & Littlefield. Available at: ‌