I have created a video examining why and how the LGBT+ community use dating sites and apps. I discuss both the strengths and limitations of same-sex dating media and conclude that they are mostly a positive force, because they allow for self-expression. I wanted this video to be informative but not too serious, so I used upbeat music for my opening sequence and added casual, anecdotal elements. You can watch the full video below.
For the video I created my own content as well as used Creative Commons material. My own content includes short videos of people using technology as well as a few graphics. Although it was easy to find Creative Commons photographs for same-sex marriage and pride related content, it was more difficult to find material for online dating. My own content did its job but it could still look more professional, which could be done by up-skilling in animation and graphics.
I had two approaches when drawing on scholarly sources to inform my video. First was to find research that backed up my own arguments that I had formed before starting the assignment. The second, and most valuable, was discovering information that I was unaware of that might shift my argument. The latter came in the form of the work by Potârcă, Mills and Neberich (2015). Although it makes so much sense to me now, it was so interesting to learn that how LGBT+ people respond to stereotypes is linked to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country of origin. Although this information did not change my contention, I was more understanding of why LGBT+ people might present themselves in a way that I (as a young, bisexual woman living in a more inclusive society) do not relate to. Moreover, I structured my video around my scholarly sources but directed the conversation around my response to those sources.
One of the challenges I experienced was the camera I borrowed to work with. It was fine to use for my opening sequence, however because the model was more suited to photography, I couldn’t use it on my interviewee and myself because it would not focus. Instead, I had to use a phone and my laptop to film, so the footage is lesser quality than I had hoped. If you do not have a camera of your own and you plan on borrowing from a friend, I would recommend making sure that it is the right equipment so you don’t run out of time that has been wasted using the wrong camera.
Another challenge, which I mentioned briefly before, was creating my own content. While I didn’t want to be speaking to the camera the whole time, I would have preferred to use more film than photographs during my voice-overs. In the future I will spend more time creating a storyboard for the video so I know exactly what I need prior to filming and mapping out ideas to use in voice-over sections.
My final and most significant challenge was condensing my scholarly sources so that my video would not get long and boring. Although I wanted my video to be longer, I struggled to include one more point without it getting too long. This is something that takes practice and I believe I have improved on and will continue to improve on. Sometimes we can underestimate how much planning is required when making a video – it’s not just turning on the camera and talking. I think this is where my video has fallen short and next time I intend to have a more diligent plan long before I turn on the camera.
My broader ALC203 – related online activity:
My online activity in the second half of this unit has shown me the benefits of using Twitter to network with people. For example, my tweet related to same-sex online dating sites was retweeted by a tutor and connected me with an academic outside of the ALC203 unit who provided me with great information about the topic which helped me construct my piece. Additionally, this unit has made me more aware of the ethics (or lack of) other digital media platforms, which informs me that I want to be ethical and respect other people’s work when creating media in online contexts.
Crosses representing the dead people in the LGBT flag by Elza Fiuza (CC BY 2.5)
Leaving Seattle City Hall on first day of gay marriage in Washington 2 by by Dennis Bratland (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Bauermeister, J, Leslie-Santana, M, Johns, M, Pingel, E, & Eisenberg, A 2011, ‘Mr. Right and Mr. Right now: romantic and casual partner-seeking online among young men who have sex with men’, AIDS & Behavior, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 261-272.
DeMasi, S 2011, ‘Shopping for love: online dating and the making of a cyber culture of romance’, in Seidman, S, Fischer, N and Meeks, C (eds.), Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, pp. 206-213.
Jones, R 2017, ‘South Australia becomes last state to allow gay panic defence for murder,’ ABC, 22 March, retrieved 17 May 2017, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-22/sa-becomes-last-state-to-allow-gay-panic-defence/8376948>
Light, B, Fletcher, G & Adam A 2008, “Gay men, gaydar and the commodification of difference”, Information Technology & People, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 300-314.
Potârcă, G, Mills, M, & Neberich, W 2015, ‘Relationship preferences among gay and lesbian online daters: individual and contextual influences’, Journal of Marriage & Family, vol. 77, no. 2, pp. 523-541