Applicant #8: Michaela Mosher

Michaela Mosher is a 20-year-old from Detroit.

Michaela's video application:

Michaela online:

+ Facebook

Michaela's current situation:

I am 20 years old. I have lived in Detroit for the past three years. I attend the College for Creative Studies, in Midtown, and I major in Fine Art with a minor in Crafts. I'm taking the role of an active student right now, slowly molding myself and my environment to be the active artist I want to be. I am very excited about all the changes and happenings surrounding the city and Metro-Detroit. It is an emergent area and I'm pleased to be a part of it. I couldn't imagine being any where else for this moment.

Michaela's blog post:

This year I gave up Facebook for the 40 days leading up to Easter. As part of a generation of internet addicts this is a big challenge. I am now on day 23. I logged in as an April Fools joke, but has been the extent of my Facebookian involvement.

Why did I give up Facebook? I gave it up because I was noticing a slow decline in my ability to talk. It was that extreme. I would stumble on words and not say things out loud (only saying them in my head) and this caused a lot of difficulty in day-to-day personal interactions. I wasn't reading as much because the internet has geared our brains for short attention spans (and I'm still not reading as much as I should be). 10 seconds is a lifetime on the internet. Look only at one image for 10 seconds, and you'll see what I mean. I also wasn't writing at all. It was very difficult to translate between the muscle memory of typing and writing (and still is).

On the internet what you write is distanced from your physical presence. Your physical awareness, and ability to read/react to other people is limited. You are reacting to your imaginary personification of those people. By that image, you might say things that you would never want to say in person, or at all, because there is a lack of presence.

SO to get away from all of that I made the choice. And the first week was fine. I was over and done with Facebook, never wanted to see it again. But then I wanted to send someone a link, and I had no way to contact them. I needed someone's phone number, and I couldn't stalk their page for it. I didn't know who someone was talking about, and I couldn't go look up their profile on Facebook. And at first these seemed impossible acts, but then I realized that there are other modes of communication, like telephones. And when I say telephones I mean PHONE CALLS, not texting. Although in the same vain of Facebook usage I am an avid texter. Phone calls seem like a huge undertaking these days. If it's a phone call it MUST be important, or be made a big deal.

But I made the calls, emailed the links, and TALKED TO PEOPLE IN PERSON. And my life has been the more sane for it. Now, philosophy and neurology's favorite past-time is trying to figure out what is "real" and what is "consciousness". And I feel that this experiment has brought me out of a fake world and allowed me to re-connect with a tactile world. BUT there is no way to describe or claim real over fake, there is only different.

I have to admit that Facebook and other social network sites have taken over the social world. Sometimes they're a benefit, and sometimes they're a detriment. BUT they are here to stay. And it will only get more involved/immersive as technology progresses. For now, I will continue on my quest for a tactile and "real" definition of social relationships, and maybe at Easter I won't even want to revive my Facebook.