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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Youtube

While many of us are trying to pin down the meaning of the web 2.0 revolution's effect on ourselves and our society, I have come to the point where I regard Youtube as more than a place to upload and watch videos. Because well we aren't just watching short films and uploading low budget movies.

Although short films make up a percentage of the videos on youtube, we also have a large number of tutorials, video responses to other videos, documentaries, recordings of real life events, music covers, rants, etc. So instead of Youtube simply being a place to upload videos, Youtube is in a way a

digital society

.
It's a place where communities exist, where hierarchies persist, where issues are hotly debated, where people learn, where people spend their time.


The Reaction:

If you look on the internet you'll find that people are concerned about the possibility that time spent on the internet fosters anti-social behavior. Here's one I just came across http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2203/hyperconnectivity-teens-young-adults-internet
At first glance the issue of spending excessive time online is presented as a major problem. But that itself is a problem. The issue of excessive internet use is presented as a problem and not a symptom of a problem. The time spent on the internet, and the neglect our personal relationships are getting, is both evidence of our weak interpersonal relationships and a reaction to them -- which, from a macro perspective, is a reflection of our fragile society.

I think that instead of stigmatizing excessive internet use, we should be asking "why are people choosing to spend their time on the internet and not with their peers?"

Perhaps then we would realize that our behavior is a reaction to broken relationships. In doing so we might be able to restructure our relationships and reconnect with our peers in person.
So as the

digital society

grows, and the supposed anti-social behavior increases, let's seek to understand the cause of the problem instead of stigmatizing the threat that might be the catalyst to new social relationships

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