Facebook and Media Identity

This week we got into some pretty hefty topics regarding media identity and how much we are able to control that identity as a whole. We first started off this week discussing the lack of privacy from companies in the media and how smart marketing tactics directly remind us that these companies watch our internet presence. Ending the week, however, we landed on a topic that closely coorelated with our assignment for this week. We talked about media presence and our digital identity, and how that identity can fluxuate and change over medias and be entirely different than our in-person identity. We also discussed the danger that our media presence can cause use in the case of jobs and a person’s status as a very public figure in the world. Along that line, the Facebook profiles for historical events or figures related to the information age pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to think critically about generational relationships with technology and how that might transfer given the right tools and technologies.

My profile on Ralph Baer taught me a lot about early video games, especially regarding his role in the at-home console system. His early life as an immigrant and push for education after he was kicked out of school in pre-WWII Germany because of his status as an immigrant led him to become an educated engineer at Sanders Engineering. There, he received the funding to create what he jokingly called the “Brown Box,” but what would later be renamed as the Odyssey. His relationship with technology and innovation continued to grow and expand until his eventual death in 2014, and so he may have had interactions with Facebook and known what it was, even though he may not have experienced the social media platform himself. With that in mind, I thought to curate a social media presence that would be representative of his prior and almost modern understanding of information and technology.

“Ralph Baer,” accessed April 8, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/ralph.baer.39/.

The Telegraph. “Table Tennis (image).” Ralph Baer Obituary. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11280163/Ralph-Baer-obituary.html

Smithsonian. “The Father of the Video Game: The Ralph Baer Prototypes and Electric Games.” National Museum of American History, Behring Center. Accessed April 2, 2021. https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/the-father-of-the-video-game-the-ralph-baer-prototypes-and-electronic-games/biography

Smithsonian. “The Brown Box (image).” National Museum of American History, Behring. Accessed April 4, 2021. https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1301997.

Steinbeiser, Andrew. “RIP Video Game Pioneer Ralph Baer (image).” Comicbook. Published December 10, 2014. Accessed April 3, 2021. https://comicbook.com/news/rip-video-game-pioneer-ralph-baer/

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