Block 1, Week 1: E-Learning and Digital Cultures | #edcmooc | INBOX

This blog is temporarily getting re-purposed.  I will be posting my responses as part of the coursework for a Coursera MOOC out of the University of Edinburgh, E-Learning and Digital Cultures

I really loved this quirky movie!

We are presented with a young woman who is clearly standoffish based upon the initial social “interactions” that we see in the clothing store.  Afterward, we can see that she is sought-after by two different men, as we see their instant messages to her. The young man in the glasses, Karthi, is shy, based upon his embarrassment regarding his purchase in the clothing store.  It is doubtful that the two would have met under more typical circumstances; the young woman likely wouldn’t have given him the time of day and Karthi would have been too shy to approach her.  The red bags, of course, represent mediated communication like instant messaging or texting.  In this story, the red bags offer Karthi a chance to show off his sense of humor and cleverness.  It allows him to get beyond his initially shy nature.  The mystery of the red bags piques the curiousity of the young woman enough to continue communicating with Karthi without her usual defenses.  These portions of the movie are utopian in that a “perfect” means of communicating is created between two people via the red bags.  Later  in the video, a breakdown of this perfect, yet fragile communication is demonstrated when Karthi’s red bag rips.  Their connection was tenuous, after all.   In the end, a chance face-to-face meeting occurs and the movie ends with a seemingly happy and more meaningful interaction.  This is the opposite of the first part of the movie, so perhaps this part is hinting that mediated communication is fallible. too fragile and in effect, more dystopian.  In the end, I see this story as a combination, rather than as one or the other.  It represents a speculative view of the pros and cons of mediated communication versus face-to-face communication, showing that there is room for both in modern interactions.

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