If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Friday, 18 September 2020

Networks of information - social media

We have looked at social media and Web 2.0 in Module one. Over the last ten years since BAPP started in the form it is today social medias and Web 2.0 has changed and developed and created cultures of their own. Back then Alan Durrant and I re-shaped the BAPP course to include Blogging and social media platforms following ideas of Connectivism*.  Connectivism is still at the heart of the course however the implications of the internet are not static and requires continued critical thinking about what knowledge and information manifests as ( and what they do!). I just watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma (Director Jeff Orlowski, 2020). It raises interesting questions about the networks we develop around us. Interesting ethical considerations particularly for those reflecting in Module One. 

*Connectivism is a theoretical framework for understanding learning in a digital age. It emphasises how internet technologies such as web browsers, search engines, wikis, online discussion forums, and social networks contributed to new avenues of learning. Technologies have enabled people to learn and share information across the World Wide Web and among themselves in ways that were not possible before the digital age- see the recommended book on our reading lists - Knowing Knowledge by George Siemens


What are your thoughts?  - please comment below.


  1. Looks super will have to watch. I think it is such an interesting debate the power of social media/web 2.0. It can be used in such a positive light but can also have a very negative impact. Working in a primary school I feel strongly about children overusing social media. Being on apps like tik tok and instagram means they are over exposed I believe. My opinion may not be a popular one with the young folk!! However there are huge benefits of technology for this age and especially for those with learning needs. It's a tricky balance!!

  2. Hi Adesola,
    I also just watched “The Social Dilemma”. So many eye opening and scary facts as to where society is heading under the manipulation of social media... We’re all connected and influenced by it more than we know. It seems we all have to figure out our own way of using it that’s healthy and beneficial to us, as a life without google and Facebook is almost impossible, and we all wouldn’t be able to do this course without our beloved means of connectivism.
    I definitely took some useful pointers from it: by turning off notifications, only clicking on things that I want to see, rather than what’s recommended to me, and making sure I take long periods in the day away from it and present with people (and myself) around me.
    It seems almost ironic writing this all into google as my words are stored and analysed forever on some AI out there, but I definitely think that raising awareness and talking about it on the same platform will push laws to be changed faster as a way to control how social media is run currently.

  3. I have always believed that technology is a huge part of the Performing Arts industry. Our industry has developed as technology has developed, I think it's extraordinary. Even during these uncertain times we are able to connect to employers and other practitioners, take classes and courses to expand our skills and knowledge. I have been thoroughly grateful for these opportunities, however I also watched this documentary and found it quite shocking. However someone in the documentary explained about how it's not the technology that is the existential threat, it's how the technology brings out the worst in society that is the existential threat. I think as human beings, we just need to know when to say no and when we need a break from the online world :)

    1. I would also have to agree with you Alice. Particularly when looking at the performing arts industry, how much influence social media has on the industry. It has become quite apparent, that whether you want social media or not, if you want to get noticed, it's seen as a must. I certainly would agree with the fact that during these uncertain times, I was able to still work as a dance teacher via zoom online classes. I was able to attend more dance classes for myself because I didnt have to spend all the money to get to the studio. I found I could take part in the comfort of my own home quite refreshing. And I think that is what we will start to see, as we progress into 2021, a new and innovative way of teaching classes. I've certainly noticed that even now, studios are back open, teachers are actively choosing to still teach online. I think people are starting to see how much more accessible teaching online can be. I can of course see the negative impact social media can have, particularly on the younger demographic, who are much more vulnerable. I shall have to watch this documentary!

  4. An interesting read and I certainly intend to watch the Netflix documentary. I think it's very easy to become wrapped up in the world of social media, believing what is before our eyes rather than questioning authenticity and the motives behind the illusion. However, there's no doubt that during lockdown, internet technology was a crutch when many felt so isolated. Zoom allowed people to continue connect through physical learning and the digital technologies available saved many businesses which were able to adapt to the online platform. I suppose there are positives and negatives to the online world- which I imagine is only going to keep on expanding. On the theme of connectivism in this course, I definitely find viewing blogs very helpful. I have just posted a blog about the process of planning for interviews. Please feel free to have a quick read!

  5. Interestingly, I just recently watched this movie as well. The movie did an excellent job at highlighting some of the downfalls to social media. I particularly liked the idea that the people working for these platforms have to hold themselves accountable for the pros and cons to creating the new technology. Ethical considerations were definitely highlighted in the movie!

  6. I have not yet watched the film on Netflix and therefore my answer after watching maybe be different however….

    I think the use of social media has many positives within the industry for performers with huge network opportunities, which makes connecting with other performers and dancers easy. This was also highlighted during our global lockdown when our industry was hugely affected and our ability to be present in a studio and training was not allowed. As well as this the use of an individuals social media is a live version of their CV and showreel to get work and to also be noticed in their profession.

    However I do believe the use of social media has overused the aesthetics of dance especially posting photos and videos of impressive tricks, which could maybe be forgetting the origins of dance and the technique behind the practice. Adding this on with the possible overuse of younger children on social media platforms, are we presenting an industry which is full of multiple turns and exceptionally high legs, and not the other values performing can also have on our mental heath and happiness?

  7. I have had a lot of people telling me to watch this programme so i will start soon. is there anything you think i should look into before i do watch it?

  8. Hello everyone, I have just watched the documentary and all I can say is WOW! so many important and crazy information is given.

    It really opened my eyes about how social media affects children in my practice and I plan to continue to research further and write a blog about what I find/think of what is included in the documentary relating to my practice. (I will attach blog to this post once I have done) but yet again highly recommend watching it.

  9. Hi,

    I watched this yesterday and wrote on my blog about it if you want to read https://thediaryofaperformer.blogspot.com

    I think it's terrifying what these companies are allowed and possibly encouraged to get away with.

    It's certainly made me look in on myself and question my relationship to social media and to my phone.

  10. Hello,
    I have just finished writing a blog post about this documentary. With expanding my practice to involve SEN children i found it really interesting to see social media from a different point of view and wrote a blog post about it. I would appreciate it if people could take the time and comment what you think of the situation between SEN and social media/mental health.

    Thankyou x

  11. Hi Adesola. Yes I watched The Social Dilemma the other day too. It has certainly made me more attentive to actively take a step away from my phone. I have always been cautious as to not have too much unnecessary screen time, such as endless scrolling, but my latest tactic is to turn off my phone 1hr before bed and leave it off during my morning routine.

    Connectivism has established itself slowly but surely into Web 2.0, and learning through social media can be wonderful. Such as following a live streamed dance class over Covid-19 lockdown. However, it can also have its downfalls, which are presented in the docufilm such as: believing fake news which affects worldwide politics, teenagers not actually being sociable and, ironically, connecting, with those around them, creating a false sense of perfection as we absorb online all of these seemingly perfect lives of others.

    An interesting sub-topic to my inquiry could be how social media plays a part in the resilience of dancers. Does it empower us to promote our profession? Does it lead to unhealthy comparisons with other artists, and negative body image?

  12. I watched this also and thought it was all really interesting, although not entirely surprising, especially having explored the ethical considerations in module 1.

    I feel that we are in an industry that requires you to think about the world and events and every day life and analyse and dissect actions, but the fear, and it is fear, of posting an opinion on line is real and social media almost discourages you to do that thinking and dissecting because of that and the risk of offense. But then there is a need to have access to social media for the industry so its catch 22. Of course Some may feel it is their responsibility to post opinion and accept the consequences but you have to be aware of the consequences. Of the fact that an employer actually may not agree and therefore may choose the other candidate over yourself for a job and know that what you write in this moment in time may be more relevant to your like in 15 years time when you didn't expect it.

    The part I disapprove of most though is the manipulation. The ability to release content effectively going to the highest bidder. Scary. And the implications are/could be huge. The bit about social media causing the devide and hate of opposition so strong that the middle ground for debate barely exists anymore is particularly powerful and I would say is increasing and very apparent. Which kind of ties in with the posting of opinions (I say opinions as a stance with a supported reasoning not just abuse, of which there is a lot).

    I need to watch it again to take in more of the information but it was a very good watch