Audience Polarization (11)
Audience polarization is happening more frequently because “individuals are beginning to avoid media content that they find distasteful or offensive” (Sullivan 243). The issue with this is the decrease with the publics ability to handle difficult or less than desirable information. As a society, we are becoming extremely sensitive towards difficult information, avoiding the news because people believe it is too depressing or censoring ourselves to avoid hearing of the natural disasters, wars and climate change. An extreme example of this is the episode of black mirror called arkangel, where a mother attempts to sensor all of the stressful information her child sees, and it ends in her child missing out on many large life events due to the mothers extensive censoring. Although this may be an extreme example of this, it is a wakeup call to how sensitive our society is nowadays towards stressful situations.
Transmedia Production (11)
This term “refers to the coordinated use of multiple media platforms (or technologies) to craft a narrative. Unlike traditional story telling in a single medium like television, film or books, transmedia narratives open up the possibility for audience participation and dialogue with media producers” (Sullivan, 241). The example in the textbook of The Last Broadcast sparked an example for me of when internet celebrities are doing contests on their social media, there are normally an extensive list of qualifications to make you eligible to compete, these usually include something along the lines of follow there Instagram page, like the post, follow the page f the person sponorosing the contest, like there post, maybe go to their YouTube channel, subscribe and comment on their last video, or download some app, so on and so forth. This is a great example of using multiple medias within one campaign, to involve as many platforms as possible to engage the viewer in a later context.
Fan influence on the media we view (11)
Due to the sheer size and popularity of the internet, and the opinions of the millions of users, we can use our platforms as audience members of the world to change our world to be how we want it. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to controversial topics, and because of the internet, these opinions can be shared, liked, disliked, repeated and discussed in a wider scope than imaginable. An example of the audience having an influence on the content produced for our viewing is when the Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer was produced and the video had nearly as many likes as dislikes, which is extremely uncommon for a YouTube video to have that many dislikes. The uproar was caused by the redesign of sonic, fans were not happy with the hedgehogs new look. After paramount got word of the dislike on the new movie trailer, they took the audiences opinions into consideration and changed the look of the character to be more like that of the video game. Another example of fans controlling our media is the Streamys awards, which is an awards show to honors online video creators. This awards show wouldn’t exist without the fans, it is fully based on audience views, nominations and votes for the awards by the fans when the nominations come out.
The Rise of Participatory Culture (10)
The ability to be a part of the creative content that millions or even billions of other people using that social media consume is becoming more and more common as well as easily accessible. Most of the social media sites that we use on a daily basis are only made possible due to the participation of the users, without us posting our videos, photos, memes etc, there really would not be much to keep us entertained and distracted on our phones all hours of the day and night. The app TikTok is a newer addition to our everyday social media routine, but it has one of the biggest user created content of any app, with more participation and a faster growing time than any other app ever has. Personally, I believe the success of this app is due to the ability for a user to become “famous” by for the most part, re-creating the same content of every other person on this app, lip sinking the same song and doing the same dance, really taking no original content, but still being able to create a huge following or at the very least a large enough amount of likes to make it to the top charts of the following page, which is essentially a popular page of all the trending videos. One of the best parts of the participation of audiences in our media is the drive that our society has to become famous or recognized. Nowadays we feel that we can chase our dreams because we look up to all of the YouTubers and Instagram models who make money doing what the love and participating in the creation of our media.
Audience Autonomy (10)
Audience autonomy is “How contemporary characteristics of the media environment, ranging from interactive to mobility to on demand functionality to the increased capacity for user generated content, all serve to enhance the extent to which audiences have control over the process of media consumption” (Sullivan, 217). Although the ability for us as consumers to view content anywhere, anytime, any way that we want benefits in more ways than I can think, this can make it extremely difficult for advertisers to reach us with the content that they believe we want to see, or the content that they want us to see. We will avoid watching media that contains commercials at any cost. The very few places that advertisers could still reach us, such as ad rolls before YouTube videos, pop up ads on websites that we frequent, and radio ads can now all be avoided. YouTube premium is now something you can pay to have, which omits the viewer from seeing advertisements, Ad blockers are extremely common now, to protect us from viruses but also blocks pop up ads, and most people now a days pay for a music streaming service or will have satellite radio. Although the ability for us as consumers to pick and choose what we see and when we see it may seem like the best thing for us, it can have detrimental effects on advertising companies and even more so, negatively affect the corporations they are advertising for.
Data Mining and Social Media/Apps (10)
In the past few years, there was a recent scandal involving Facebook and a data mining company by name of Cambridge Analytica. Facebook got in a great deal of trouble because it was revealed that Facebook, through in media quizzes, surveys and games, was using terms and conditions that most will agree to without reading, to access a great deal of information, and selling this information to Cambridge Analytia. The biggest issue with this was not only that it invaded the users privacy, but the terms and conditions allowed them to access some of the information of that persons Facebook friends as well. People have been becoming more aware of this more recently, by for example thinking that our phones are listening to everything we say, or up and coming apps like “face app” a recent phenomenon where people could instantly see what they would look like if they were old. Speculations with this app have been that since it was created in Russia, that the Russian government is attempting to access our information, again through terms and conditions, of an otherwise seemingly harmless app.
Audiences and Big Data (10)
The process of data mining is something that most of, if not all free social media platforms that we use on a daily regular basis do. Although we may think that we are accessing these sites for free, but in reality, companies are constantly and consistently using our streaming, browsing, scrolling, clicking and so on as a way to determine who is seeing what content at what times of the day, as well as what are they doing with this content. Social media platforms actively monitor our viewing patterns because this is valuable information to advertisers. So essentially, we are working for these companies, providing them with primary data to show them what we want to see, and what we might want to buy, and they use this to determine what others in our demographic might purchase.
Are you happy? Does digital media technology make you feel good? (10)
This is a question that comes from the class lecture slides. Personally, digital media technology does not give me joy or provide any positive emotions. Especially in the past little while, other than recently finding my new tattoo artist on Instagram, and the odd twitter post that will make me laugh, social media does not provide positive outcomes. The access to such a wide range of information, although very helpful at times, causes myself, as well as others, the battle with comparing my own life to others on social media. Regardless of how fake or staged or photo shopped they may be, I will always catch myself thinking, what if they aren’t? in general, all social media does for me is cause problems for my self-esteem as well as act as a huge contributor for procrastination.
It is quite common nowadays for fans to influence a company or a person in ways that force them to change a large aspect of their image. Fan activism can be linked to cancelled culture in the aspect of companies fearing being boycott or cancelled if they do not change what the fans are rebelling against. The textbook uses the example of Star trek exploiting the crew of the enterprise. Another recent example of exploitation causing an uproar of fan activism was in 2012 when news broke that Nike was using slave labor to produce their sneakers. There was an uproar from people from all places, regardless of whether or not they were big fans of Nike sneakers, people begun to rebel against the company. This boycott caused Nike to become extremely transparent about their business practices with the production of their products.
Fan stereotypes (9)
Fans nowadays go extremely overboard when showing their support for the people that they support. Spending large amounts of time and money showing fandom for these people that many of us look up to for their talent. A personal example I experienced was recently when two of my roommates were waiting for an eyeshadow pallet made by Jeffery star and Shane Dawson. My two roommates set timers for when it was being launched and had the website open on two phones, two laptops and two iPads to ensure they would get them. Along with that they skipped class to do it and ended up spending insane amounts on the eyeshadow, as well as waiting a month for the eyeshadow to arrive. The two of them sold out of a million eyeshadow pallets within a few hours, making millions of dollars, showing the power of their fans.
Fans and super fans (Fandom on a Continuum) (9)
In today’s society people can be very passionate as fans towards many things, these could be events, celebrities, influencers, directors, producers, photographers, makeup artists, designers, and so many more. The degree to which they dedicate their time, emotions and money towards these people or events is on a continuum. It ranges from passive to active in terms of being a mere consumer to being a petty producer. Most people are passive fans to many things by just consuming that person’s content on a daily. If you have an artist that you enjoy listening to or a YouTuber who’s channel you would turn to after a long day to unwind, those make us a passive fan. This begins to move up the continuum the more we actively and consciously decide to interact with this person or the medium that they create. As soon as someone begins to go beyond the point of just consuming a medium and becomes an active audience member while engaging with the content they move up the continuum. An example of s super fan at the further end of the continuum, would be someone who creates a fan account about an artist’s life, this goes beyond the content they create and steps in to the world of the fan being interested in the persons personal life as appose to just the content they create.
Cancelled culture (9)
Cancelled culture In today’s media dominated society refers to the concept of a person, usually a type of celebrity, having their career being completely ruined or boycotted as the after effects of one significant mistake or negative public scandal that occurred. The idea of no redemption and no fixing mistakes, but instead ending or significantly devaluating someone’s career. A recent example of a cancelled culture scenario in our media would be the YouTuber James Charles. James Charles is a makeup and beauty YouTuber, or more commonly known as a beauty guru. Recently there was a scandal where another YouTuber, Tati Westbrook, made a video discussing many private matters about James’s life and exposing him for continuously attempting to convince and harass straight men to sleep with him when we knowingly had the knowledge that they were not interested in men, among many other things. This caused James to lose a very large number of followers as well as the loss of respect from many people in the beauty community. This cancelled culture took the opinion of one woman and used that to potentially ruin the career of an internet celebrity after he made a few mistakes. This toxic culture creates an immense amount of anxiety and stress for these influencers, the constant fear of making a mistake that could potentially be the ending of their career that the they have worked this hard to create, as well as affect their avid and loyal fan base that for many celebrities is so strong, they think of them as a form of family.
Time and media use (8)
Every day for most people “we fit media exposure into the busy structure of our day”. Which for the most part is not an issue, until we begin to start avoiding and substituting important daily tasks to use our precious time to consume media. Based on the textbook statistics from 2007, it is shocking how much of Americans leisure time is spent watching television (156/291 minutes or 53% ). Due to my own curiosity, I researched how people today spend their leisure time, and Canadians in 2019, are spending the majority of their leisure time watching television/videos or movies or browsing the web or social media. I believe that this will be very different depending on the ages of the people who were analyzed. For example, my two male roommates spend the majority of their time, leisure and time that shouldn’t be leisure, looking at a screen, whether it be playing video games or watching TV and movies. I believe the biggest issue related to time and media use is the lack of discipline people have towards it, as well as the ease at which we can access it: our phones are constantly in our hands and we no longer need to wait to watch our favourite media, everything it at the tips of our fingers 24/7.