Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Social Media: Land of the shameless, home of the voyeur?

Tonight's GUEST BLOGGER is Courtney Couch, who raises yet new reservations about social media. What's going on here? Is it back to the age of carrier pigeons for all of us? Let's consider Courtney's concern:

Social media has revolutionized how we communicate. It has transformed marketing and advertising and has even created common acronyms for those who prefer to type three letters instead of three one-syllable words.

Social media is the land where breaking news is on a 24-hour cycle and stories are told by images viewed by millions in an instant. Despite its many wonderful contributions social media has made to society, however, has social media turned us all into voyeurs?

It seems that memes and videos of violent and/or grotesque images are constantly posted to social media sites in which people find humorous and are quick to like, repost, retweet and share. Take, for example, the image of the man who was pushed to his death from the train platform where he was holding on for dear life as a train approached. Instead of bystanders reaching out to help him, a photographer stood nearby and took a picture of the helpless man, which he posted to a social media outlet. This troubling image spread like wildfire.

I’m not pointing any fingers because I too have fallen victim to these very memes and videos. I watch repeatedly in shock—and then share with my friends so we can discuss. I even repost memes that are super funny but definitely obscene. 

Are we enjoying the distress of others, or have we just become so desensitized as a culture that a warped sense of humor is the norm?

Courtney is a grad student by day, a self-proclaimed chef at night and has a background in Entertainment PR.


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