Wesch’s “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” focuses on the impact of YouTube within social media and our society at large. He lists both pros and cons of this new digital means to communicate via YouTube, Twitter, Digg, Facebook, etc. These technological advancements both benefit yet limit us in certain ways. The upside of these advancements include communication with video communication tools over long distance, such as Skype which allows some means of human contact by being able to see a loved one or friend around our world. Wesch talks about the impact of the “Numa Numa” YouTube video on people everywhere and how YouTube has become the new source for cultural trends, fads, and information. Wesch also emphasizes that our society and the way we perceive, filter, and gather information is changing because everyone, through social media, becomes a contributor to the system. Wesch introduces questions about authenticity of YouTube contributions and the behaviour of fame seeking individuals. I found this video enlightening and interesting to see the benefits of being a contributor to the system. It reinforces freedom of speech and even helps people heal after a tragic event in their life. Social media has advanced the arts because it has provided a stage for people to produce and expose their art to the world. It helps everyone feel important because they can showcase their talents and abilities to an invisible audience.
January 29, 2011