Response to Videos

Video #1: An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube

This video is worth watching as it creates a perspective for Youtube and how it is created.  It even portrays how massive Youtube is in comparison to production from Network Television.

These are a few points that I picked up from the video:

Cultural Inversion:  There is a culture in Youtube and it identifies two main ideas: express and value. These ideas create a link to one another.  They find that through Youtube there is an increase in individuality and yet a longing for community.  This is demonstrated by many videos that show candids, stories, perspectives etc.  Many people take these videos and create there own from this.  A question creates a community for viewers and producers.  Youtube also creates independency while still longing for relationships.  You see people video blogging nervously for the first time and seeking independence and an outlet from that and at the same time creating relationships with viewers and beginning conversations with them.  Finally, Youtube creates an increased commercialization by many people imitating one video or idea that they have seen while they are seeking authenticity for their work.

An interesting point is that “Youtubers” become self-reflective when in front of their computer camera.  Watching the portion of the outtakes of those who were video blogging for the first time really creates that image.  I thought about myself when a camera is pointed at me and I often shun away because I feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or that this is not worth seeing.  As I watched these individuals in front of their camera recording, I saw those same feelings and fear was also shown. I thought that they showed fear but at the same time appeared fearless because they were posting something onto the internet for millions of people to view.

I find myself contemplating the importance of Youtube. Is it necessary that we have it?  Do we really create this culture though it?  Is there real identity for people in doing this?  I think that I do agree with the presenter but I do have my reservations. I do not feel that this is something I want to share in and be a part of, but I do enjoy watching what people create and how they choose to be creative.  This may be the beginning of a “reflective” process for me.  There is a fear to overcome for me and I do have admiration for those who overcome theirs as they see Youtube as “freedom to experience humanity without fear or anxiety”.  Perhaps this is something that will happen for me.


Video #2: Teenagers who are Living and Learning through Social Media

The point that I would like to focus on is who we are friends with on Facebook.  Danah Boyd says that teenagers are not on Facebook or Myspace to create new relationships with people they do not know.  They are on to connect with there friends that they see in school, met at sports, church, other friends, etc.  She says there is nothing for us to be worried about with teenagers meeting the “creeps” on.  Many of the people that would ever be looking for people online are those who know them.

I do not disagree with her points but I feel that there is the content of communication is not being addressed. I have seen over and over conversations or status updates that have messages that are directed towards other in a negative way.  I have seen messages that have sexual implications from 14 year olds.  I was the director of a camp and at the end of the summer many of my campers would ask to be my friend on Facebook.  I thought that this could be a good opportunity for them to have a positive role-model.  I make an honest attempt to have a good clean image on Facebook.  I did not think about the content they would put on their Facebook.  It was so disheartening to see the things that they would say there friends.  Many of the comments were things I am sure they did not even know the meaning of but they had heard it and posted it.  I think we are all aware of the bullying that goes on and Danah Boyd does address this and suggest we should educate because we know that social networks will continue.  I agree but how do we educate on the image we create?  I agree that it is an outlet for many teenagers but shouldn’t there be a message taught to them at some point that talking about what you are going to do with someone sexually on a post is not a good message to be sending?  Yes, this is happening between friends but friends can still hurt friends within those contexts.

I am not sure if I have made my point but I really feel that the problem is not the “strangers” we meet online but the problem is how we speak and communication to our friends, teammates, and classmates.  We need to begin to educate how dangerous it can be to be sending messages with implications attached to them, be that: sexual, negative, or a joke.  We all send messages and we need to learn to send the message we really mean.


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