Online shopping

Three subjects: Two UF graduate students that major in Public Relations and Civil Engineering(Ying and Wei) and an Ohio State University graduate student who majors in Gender Studies(Brena). Wei is male; Brena and Ying are females.

1. Have you ever purchased anything online? If you did, do you remember the reason why you decide to purchase things online the first time?

All three subjects have purchased products online. The reasons that triggered them to purchase things online the first time are: a) cheaper; 2) they cannot buy certain products in the near store. They all had a good experience at the first time.

2. How often do you buy things online? What kind of product do you usually buy online? What of product you will never buy online? Why?

Wei (once a month): I won’t buy clothes online (difficult to know the size). I would rather buy stuff in the store so that I won’t need to wait for a few days to get the products.

Brena (twice a month): I usually buy books online. I won’t buy clothes online because I cannot feel the texture.

Ying (not often purchase online): I will buy whatever things that is cheaper. But I like to go to a store where I can really see the products.

3. Before the first time you purchase things online, how did you feel about the word “online-shopping”? How do you feel about the word online shopping now?

Wei: Before (distrustful, reveal personal info); Now (cheaper, a way of purchasing)

Brena: Before (distrustful, fraud, reveal credit card info); Now (distrustful, cheaper, convenient)

Ying: Before (fraud); now (convenience, cheaper)

4. Have you refund products of the online purchase? If you did, please describe the reason you refund the products, and how you felt about this online-refund experience.

Wei: The swimming suit is too small for me; and the headphone does not work right so I refund them. The seller of the headphone asks me to bill the shipping fee and I was not happy about it.

Brena: No, because I think it take too much work if I refund things. This is why I never purchase expensive things online.

Ying: Never.

5. Do you choose to purchase only in certain store or not? Why?

Wei and Brena: I only go to the online store I trust. Less risk.

Ying: I buy stuff if it is cheaper, I don’t care which store.

6. Will you purchase things on the online-store that you never heard before? Why? Will you purchase anything from an online independent seller? Why?

Wei and Brena: I will check their rating before I purchase their stuffs. But I seldom buy things from an independent seller. (Brena also noted that she only purchase stuff from the store which has a phone customer service)

Ying: I will buy if it is cheaper. If the product didn’t meet my expectation I won’t care, for I only purchase cheap stuff online.


First of all, I think Muts should define what “social trust” is in this paper. The idea of “social trust” is so broad that it is difficult for me to grab her point sometimes when reading this paper. She mentioned that social trust is “context sensitive (p.455),” she also wrote a review about the social trust in economic exchange (p.440). So that I guess she sees social trust under the structure of economy.

Musz hypothesized that participate in online purchasing will “stimulate higher levels of social trust (p. 439).” I will say I cannot totally agree with it. I think this issue is more related to “branding” than “social trust.” From my survey, I find that people trust the online shops that are “reputable”, such as E-bay and Amazon. Moreover, they will avoid buying things from independent sellers that they think they cannot trust. Furthermore, they also pointed out that they will only buy very cheap things from independent seller so that if the product got some problem, they will not be too sad. From these answers, I don’t see any higher level “social trust“ were stimulated by the online shopping. Although the respondents do changed some of their negative perceptions toward online shopping after they had the good online-shopping experience (which is same as Musz’s point: low expectation and positive experience), and they are more likely to purchase stuff online afterward; however, I think they changed the perception toward online-shopping gradually because they trust the “brand,” not because they trust “strangers” (gain higher level of social trust). I think it is two different things. One of my respondents also told me that she only buy stuff from the store which has a phone customer service. This action shows that although face-to-face contact is not necessary in purchasing things, which seems like people have higher level of social trust now; however, still, customers will feel more trustworthy toward the online-store that can contact directly.


Freedom of Speech

The first post I read is Provenge, Ca Provenge, Cancer Drug, Costs $93,000: Sky High Drug Prices Impact Life-Or-Death Decisions from The Huffington Post. It is talking about whether the new treatment for cancer (Provenge) worth a high price, and whether the government Medicare should cover this treatment. The comments of this post can mostly be categorized in two kinds of opinions: some think that the taxpayer can’t afford the price of the treatment (and don’t need to pay for it); some believe that the price of the drug is too high because the drug company is too greedy, and the government should do something about it.

The second post is An Open Letter to President Obama, written by Charlie Daniels from NewsBusters. Daniels indicates that Obama “take the well-earned rewards of these (hard-working) people and give it to those who have done nothing to deserve them.” Also, Daniels questions Obama: “how can you support the building of a mosque in the very same area where Islamic radicals murdered so many Americans?” In the end of the post, Daniel called Obama “failure”, and points out that Obama waste taxpayer’s money. The comments of this post is polarized: some thinks the post is great and ask Daniels to “put your letter on a website where we ALL can sign it (generalbroccoli); some think the post is very awful and think that “the substance of your opinion sounds like a big fart!(Samshile)” Compare to the first post, the comment of this post has much more radical words.

Cammaerts didn’t have a conclusion about whether a democratic country should have a censorship on hate speech or not. However, from my point of view, the speech should not be censored on the internet, for this might suppress other voices and opinions on the internet. Also, I agree what Cammaerts has mentioned that” who defines what is hurtful, offensive, wounding or injurious speech, and what is the context in which such language is being used? (p.570)” The censorship of the hate speech on internet can never be objective enough for everyone, and it might cause more problems and controversies. I also agree with Cammaerts that the internet filtering of hate speech might “proliferation of these discourse further throughout society (p.570),” for some people might be irritate by the censorship. Without censorship, there still have some way to reduce hate speech. In Taiwan, a lawyer sued 108 people because they post hateful comments about her when discussing about whether Taiwan should abolish death penalty or not (see detail). This case is very different from the case Cammaerts brought up (the racism); however, I think they all related to “insult” and “hate speech” (although one is personal and one is not). I think this kind of law can prevent some hateful speech toward certain people (one-on-one) if the commenter weren’t anonymous.

My First Twitter Experience

I have heard many people talking about Twitter after I come to United States, but this is the first time for me to use Twitter (@cycad1122).

I followed two celebrities (Larry King and Tyra Banks) and 9 news-based corporations (i.e. Times). I agree with Shepherd that the celebrities use Twitter for public relations and self-branding; I find Banks and King using twitter to promote their shows. I also agree with Shepherd that Twitter makes the followers feel the celebrities are “just like us (P.154)”; when celebrities tweet about what they are doing right now, the followers will feel more close to them. Shepherd also points out that Twitter homogenized the U.S. entertainment culture (P.157), I do agree with her partly. When l followed the celebrities’ Twitter, I do see more opportunities for them to advertise themselves. It is also much easier for them to interact with their audiences and fans any time and any place; I think Twitter can somehow consolidate the entertainment culture.

However, when I followed the news-based Twitter such as CNN or BBC, I didn’t see the culture being “homogenized” by Twitter. Most of the news are tweeted in one headline with a link to the article, which I think is very neutral (not like the celebrities are trying to do self-branding). I think Twitter is a good tool to follow the news, I can just click the link which I am interested in. I think it is very different between following celebrities and following news. Shepherd’s argument about Twitter based only on following the celebrity, which I think is not persuasive enough.

However, I will have to agree with Shepherd that Twitter didn’t lead to the “End of Geography”, for as I know most of the people in Taiwan (or China) don’t use Twitter; so I kind of agree that the content of Twitter might be mostly U.S. (or Western?) centralized.

Media Diary: Analysis of My Media Usage


I did my routine after I woke up today; after that, I ate lunch with my roommate and two of our friends. They made Taiwanese cuisine “chitterling thin noodles”; it was great. After that I did the homework of online course: took pictures, blogging, set a new Flickr account, and read the required articles. Also, I read the journal and my textbook for a while and I went to It took me about 3 hours to do that. Then I played online mahjoun again. I had dinner with my boyfriend and we watched TV while eating (Band of Brothers). After that, we went to a 3D movie (Resident Evil: Afterlife.) 3D movies gets more and more popular these days, but I actually think it is not suitable for every movie. Some of the directors focus on the visual aesthetics more than storytelling, which I think is very unnecessary. I think this movie is so-so, I am a little disappointed.

By writing the media diary, I find it interesting to analyze my media using habits. There are some of the interesting things I find:

First, I think I have a very different media usage in United States compare to when I was in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I used text message to communicate with my friends, I went to bookstores about three times a week, I often watched TV, I didn’t use Facebook, I read newspaper every day, and I relied on my cell phone a lot. However, when I am in the U.S., I don’t have text massage plan (because it’s cheaper), I seldom go to bookstore (I go to Amazon instead), I don’t have a TV, I use Facebook a lot, and I seldom use my cell phone. I think I have a different media usage here because: 1) the expense here is higher than in Taiwan (especially the tuition and food), I cut some media usage down for saving money; 2) the place where I lived in Taiwan is a very big city, there are bookstores everywhere. I can find over five bookstores in one street without a long drive; therefore, I will have more chance to go to bookstore while in Taiwan. 3) I use Facebook because EVERYBODY uses it here, if I want to have a social life, I will have to have a Facebook account. Besides, my Taiwanese friends are now in different countries around the world (some of them are in England, Japan, France, and other cities in the U.S.), they start to use Facebook and I would like to know how their lives are like now.

When I was in Taiwan, I relied on my cell phone a lot, for I contacted with others by cell phone most of time. I find myself love and hate cell phone at the same time; I used to consider cell phone a thing that can easily interrupt my life and my work abruptly. Sometimes I will even leave my cell phone off and I will have my home phone unplugged to just have my “private time.” However, after I come to the U.S., I don’t think this way anymore. Maybe it is because I have a less social life here so I won’t need to use the phone that much and most of my Taiwanese friends contact me by MSN or Skype.

The most surprising thing I find is that I can’t believe not only I go to PTT2 a lot less than before, but also most of my friends did this. About several days ago, one of my friends post an article on his board which talked about how he misses the day when everyone posts their thoughts on PTT2. He points out that a lot of people go to PTT2 lesser after they got a Facebook account. I agree with it. I think most people go to Facebook because it shows pictures, games, and short messages on it. It is easier to read and it takes less time to know what everyone is doing. On the other hand, PTT2 only displays words, so people might not think it is visually attractive; also, the posts on PTT2 tend to be longer so people might not have time to read it. I will say Facebook let us know what people are “doing” right now; PTT2 let us know what people are “thinking” deep inside their hearts. Facebook helps me to broader my social life; PTT2 helps me to go deeper into my friends’ mind.

I think doing a media diary is quite fun and it really made me notice what kind of media I relied on and how I have changed my media usage compare to before. Also, I really think I should quit playing online mahjoun, for I spent too much time on it and I cannot concentrate on my reading while playing it at the same time!

Media Diary: I can’t believe I spent so much time on this!


I woke up at 10:00a.m. this morning BUT I didn’t turn on my computer today! Instead, I went out to have a brunch with my roommate and a new Taiwanese student in her department, for the new student had some questions to ask my roommate. We went to a café called “Sisters;” the food was great. After that, I went home and do the routine works after I turn on my computer. I find my new computer screen has arrived and I am so excited! I put it on and try to make my laptop an extended screen; however, the resolution of the monitor just can’t do it right. I spent almost five hours to find out what the reason was! I went to so many websites to find what was wrong. And I even called my friends to come to my place to help me with it. But I just can’t get it right. This was so time-consuming! I was exhausted and finally I found out that I bought the wrong monitor…it doesn’t suit my laptop at all! I can’t believe it… so I put the monitor back in the box and called Amazon to tell them that I am going to return the product. HOWEVER, after I went to my friend’s birthday party at 9:30 p.m., someone told me that I can just adjust the monitor to suit my laptop’s resolution (all this time I was trying to adjust my laptop to suit the monitor). Well, I went home and read the handbook in CD and find that he was right…I can’t believe I spent so many time on this thing. I didn’t read any printed media, play mahjoun, and use Skype today. It is a long day for fixing my monitor. I am really a computer idiot.

Media Diary: Too much online mahjoun


I woke up at 12:30 p.m. again, did everything I did just like yesterday. I cooked some dumpling and soup, then sit in front of my computer while eating. I played online mahjoun again. Mahjoun is not only a popular game for grandmothers, but also a popular game among young generation. My roommate and I often whine about how we really miss the time playing the REAL mahjoun in Taiwan. Haha. I spent about an hour looking at the post in PTT and then I start to read my textbook for a while. After that, I went to e-learning to see the home work of my online course. I find the topic quite interesting. It is talking about the ethic of blogging. I did some of the homework and then I went to my friend’s home for dinner.

After I come back home, I spent an hour to do my online course homework again. Then I logged in the MSN and Facebook to see whether there are something new. I start to read my textbook, but I find it hard to concentrate on my reading. So I gave up, and then logged in online mahjoun game again. My mom called me by Skype and we had a little chat (at the same time I am playing mahjoun), but I keep coughing so we hung up very soon. I created an account for Twitter, but I think I am too tired to figure out how to use it. So I decide to go to bed first. I stick in front of my desk almost all day long for today.

How online mahjoun game looks like:

Media Diary: I Love SKYPE


Yesterday I spent almost three hours at home without using internet (and I didn’t sleep!). That sure is a personal record!

I woke up at 12:30 p.m. today, and I felt much better. I did the same thing as yesterday: check my three emails, Facebook, MSN, and cell phone. I went to class this afternoon and I watched Youtube and some websites in the class, for my classmate had a presentation. After that I come back home and have my dinner, then sit back to my desk in front of my computer until now. Five hrs…Well, during this time I went to and bought a computer screen, for  the 13-inches laptop makes my eyes feel so uncomfortable; I should have bought the screen last year. I checked my email, ptt2, and Facebook again. Also, I played online mahjoun game; it is great to have online mahjoun, for I don’t need to find three people to play with me and it is very difficult to buy a set of mahjoun here(what is mahjoun?). After that, I read the textbook for about 1.5 hours, and printed out some material. At the same time, I saw a short news on PTT about recent law that France passed. I was so surprised and I went to to look at the detail.

After that, I use Skype to call my Dad in Taiwan; he is at work, so we didn’t talk long. I usually use Skype twice a week, I think it is one of the best things in the world. I can save a lot of money from having an international call with my family. I went to PTT2 again to see the comments. I will say that the people I contact in PTT2 will appear in my MSN list; but most of people in my MSN list cannot see my PTT2 board. Oh, and I logged in MSN all day long. I talked to a few of my friends in Taiwan today; I miss them so much, thanks to Facebook so that I can know how they are doing right now. Oh, and I find none of my friends in Taiwan use twitter; I also know nothing about twitter, I think I will have a big work on my next assignment…

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