Last Blogpost :'(

So, hereby my last blogpost for the class.

Honestly, I can’t believe how fast this semester went by. I feel like I’ve learned so much in this class, and we really got connected to each other because of the blog posts and commenting on each other’s thoughts.

The research paper was enjoyable to write. I got the write a lot about my own experiences in the world of social media between the Dutch and American culture, as well as the use between the two in the use of social media.

The semester project I did with Amanda was great. Even though we did not end up making a video, the powerpoint worked out well. Interviewing the American and International girls was fun, and we could compare the responses on their use of social media in our presentation. Hereby our powerpoint if you would like to read through our research again! social media

The most fun of this class was, I think, writing the blogpost. Not only because I like writing, but also because we got to talk about many different topics.

Thank you all for this awesome semester. See you in the near future!

  • Bregje -B- Smits

Skype call with Justin Peters

Last Monday we Skyped with JP.

It was really cool to hear what he had to say about his experiences of writing the book. He seemed like a really nice, down-to-earth guy! He also seemed extremely comfortable talking to us, and he had an answer to every question.

Just like our professor said, he talked a lot faster and scribbly in person, than how he writs in his book. In the Idealist, Peters had a very neat structure of writing his paragraphs and chapters, and when I heard him talk I was like wow, is he that same, organized person?

It was a great opportunity to be able to Skype him after having read his book!

  • Bregje Smits

Research Paper Update!

Hi fellow classmates,

My research paper is going pretty well so far. I made an outline, so as soon as I find some more sources on how social media is used in the Netherlands and the US I can really start to write a more detailed paper.

Now that I’m also talking about (international) interpersonal communication, I think it will become more clear what these culture similarities and/or differences will have to do with social media behavior and the connectedness it creates between people.

I might end up writing half and half, so half my paper on the interpersonal communication topic, and the other half on social media, copyright laws, and other subjects we discussed in class.

If you have any further recommendations or questions, please let me know!

  • Bregje Smits


Justin Peters

Why did Peters decide to suddenly stop to mention Swartz in the book, and continue to talk about copyright laws and more? It almost seems like Swartz ‘disappears’ for a while, and then suddenly jumps back into the story.

So, is there a reason behind this, mister Justin Peters?

  • Bregje Smits

Research Paper Progress

Slowly but surely I’m figuring out how to write my research paper. Just to remind everyone, I will be writing about civil/media laws and the cultural similarities and differences between the Netherlands and the USA when it comes to social media.

Also, I will take other topics we talked about in class (copyright, social media, media relationships, web 2.0) in consideration.

I’m also focusing on how social media can be helpful for me, and others, to stay in touch with friends/family overseas. Particularly on how social media connects people, and the convenience of social media and its availability.

Looking for sources is kind of tough for this one. I have found articles on the Netherlands and the use of social media, but all the data goes back to 2011 or 2012. I do find information on interpersonal communication differences between the Netherlands and the US, but this is, unfortunately, not specifically about social media.

I might still add a topic on interpersonal communication between these two cultures in my research paper.

What do you guys think? Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Bregje/B Smits


Algorithms, or Newsfeed?

When I log into Facebook, I can’t say I’m seeing a “newsfeed” anymore. Sometimes I come across posts from my friends and family, other times I see CNN news posts and funny videos. A newsfeed used to be statuses from your friends, family, what’s going on in the world. But now, I am just seeing the same videos, weird memes and posts where other people get tagged in.

Also, when I’m shopping for new Nikes, bags, jackets, or whatever it may be, the next second my Facebook “newsfeed” is filled with advertisements of the clothes or things I was looking for. I’m obviously getting tracked on what I’m doing, which is scary.

Most of the time it is the algorithms on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. What I was looking at before, that’s what I will be seeing everywhere because of these algorithms – not a newsfeed with spontaneous posts.

Not only algorithms are following you. Your location on your phone is being tracked everywhere you go, even if you switch off your location preferences for certain apps.

In some ways being tracked could be helpful, but at the same time this could also mess with your privacy.


  • Bregje Smits


Trump Support

Who are Trump’s supporters? That’s what I’m asking myself to, just like many others.

For Trump, as discussed in this week’s on the media podcast, he relies on ‘white people in the working class’.

What Trump says is, to me, just insane. Most of the time I feel like he does not even know what he’s talking about. His criticism about some issues and making America great again is only what he talks about. What are the economic realities? Where do we see support for Trump and where do we not? Do people understand what he really wants to accomplish as a President?

The violence and attacks occurred at Trump’s rallies must be a sign that this complicated fast moving situation has to be stopped. Looking at this as an outsider (aka non-American), I could not possibly imagine why you would vote for Trump. People in the Netherlands call him the American Hitler.
Violence against a black man at some of his rallies and promoting that to keep doing it?

Absolutely insane.

Bregje Smits

Copyright between 1790 and 1831

The years 1790 and 1831 aren’t just some random years. In this time span, copyright laws have been enacted and changed and expanded many, many times.

To start off: on May 31 in 1790, the first copyright law of the U.S. was enacted. This law was mainly known as “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time herein mentioned.” ( Even though now it does not matter for copyright where someone’s from, in 1790 this law was only granted to citizens of the United States. Also, the period of protection was 14 years – which changed about 10 years later.

In 1831, the first revision of the copyright law expanded the law to also include musical compositions. In addition, not only historical print but any print or engraving was now included in the copyright act.
In this year, the first term of protection was 28 years, but in the renewal it changed to 14 years, and not only granted for U.S. citizens but for any author,  and also to his widow or children if he would pass away at the end of the original term period of protection.

Over the past years, more and more changes to the copyright law have been made, but – also mentioned in The Idealist – these two years have been incredibly influential for the future of copyright.

More information and important dates/changes can be found on:

  • Bregje Smits

“What is an Author?”

When we were talking about Foucault and his essay “What is an Author”, JP asked us what we thought about reading something, but not knowing the author.
Reading a book or a piece without knowing the author’s name, would make me read a book with more emphasis, and it would make me want to get to know who this author is – by finding out myself.

I would do the same if I would listen to music, without knowing the singer and/or the songwriter. Really paying attention to those lyrics. What are they singing about? What point are they trying to make? Can I get a sense of what kind of singer this is?

If anyone would not know Quentin Tarantino (to get back to my previous post on movies and movie theaters), everyone who sees one of his movies must think he’s a maniac. But, when you actually get to know how he writes his scripts and comes up with his story lines, it’s absolutely brilliant.

Foucault explains in his essay how an author is not simply an ‘element’ in a ‘discourse’. No, in fact, the author performs a certain role. In Quentin Tarantino’s case, it’s literally a role as he also shows up acting in his own movies.

Moroever, Foucault says sometimes there’s an attack on the author, and the text becoming the author’s murderer. Sometimes, let’s say Tarantino is my author again, I believe this is true. His movies and writing are cruel, sarcastic and harsh. Or simply: not made for everyone. The great thing about Tarantino is that he doesn’t care. He has his fans, and he has his haters – just like almost everyone has in the film industry.

For Tarantino, I’m afraid he will not be seen as an ideological figure (as an author) as Foucault and Barthes write about.

It was interesting to read Michel Foucault’s essay, even though Foucault’s drastic/serious language was sometimes a little hard to read through!

  • Bregje Smits

Let’s go to the movies (?)

Someone asked me: do you go to the movies a lot? I answered no, I don’t.
Normally, I don’t go to the movie theatre to see new movies. Unless it’s a Quentin Tarantino, a Disney movie like Finding Dory everyone’s been waiting for, or a really bad horror movie to scare the sh*t out of myself.

So, that’s actually quite often, right? Even though every movie comes out on DVD, I think people prefer to watch movies on their laptop or to stream them -illegally- online or on Netflix/Hulu/Apple TV/and so on. At least, I do. I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD. And when I do, it must be a movie I really, really, really enjoyed watching.

Sometimes I wonder how long movie theaters will stay, kind of like the print media. I know movies are more popular in a sense, and occasionally watching a movie on a huge IMAX screen has its charms, but still.
With the innovation technology and more and more movies being available online, I wonder how long the industry will last. Unless, as explained in this article, movie theaters will step up their game, too.

I went to see How To Be Single in White Plains last Friday. Hmm, there went $13 for a movie that wasn’t good – in my opinion. Ugh, might as well watch it online next time…

  • Bregje Smits