The “Culture” reading has a segment that relates to one of the ways people brand themselves in media today. The reading states that, “in 1645 a group of people living in London decided that they would refuse to believe things that weren’t demonstrably true….They committed themselves to acquiring knowledge through experimental means and to subjecting one another’s findings to the kind of scrutiny necessary to root out error.” So many people have YouTube channels that are how-to’s or demonstrating the use of a product and then reviewing it on quality and how it matches up with what the manufacture said it can do. Some of this people are so famous that companies will actually send their products to individual for free to be reviewed.
“Knowledge is the most combinable thing we humans have, but taking advantage of it requires special conditions…1) the size of the community, 2) the condition that affects combinability is the cost of sharing knowledge 3) clarity of the knowledge shared.” This younger generation understands this idea of sharing and using combined power to reach a massive force. Like in the Frontline special the YouTube artists host guest from other pages to get ratings up and publicize these people.
Another idea is the “Small World Networks that have two characteristics that, when balanced properly, let messages move through the network effectively… first is that small groups are densely connected, second is that large groups are sparsely connected” With the age of social media these large sparsely connected groups are getting smaller and smaller because more connections are being made with every like, retweet, favor, etc. With this instant communication network messages, ideas, talks, pictures, and posts move very quickly and effectively.
I think that McLuhan would definitely be dismayed at the industry with which it is carried out! We created this medium and it has turned right back around and shaped us as well. The frontline special also talked about how this media and ‘generation like’ have kind of changed the game when it comes to advertising. I feel like McLuhan might be a bit startled about that because advertising has always been mostly one sided and now there is interaction and connections going back and forth continuously, it shocks me.
I feel like the older folks have to jump on board or get left behind. You don’t have to stream video diaries of yourself but there is a big push just to have an online presence. It is the way you connect with people now, how you get feelings, complaints, props and other things out there. Often you can get someone from a company to respond quicker in a negative tweet than you can by calling them (which as happened to me before with Comcast!)
One thing that really struck me about this material is how much people put their self-worth into someone else’s hands. It is just like a continuation of high school where your only goal was to be popular and liked by everyone. I do like it when people like or favor my content but that is not my goal of posting it, my goal is to stay in connection with my family and friends and update them on my life. You shouldn’t let social media determine you mood or how you feel about yourself. People need to have more self-confidence than that. Life is too short to give a darn about what your peers think of you and there is more to life than being popular. I made me sad to see how all of these kids craved that kind of attention and I hope that is something they will grow out of.