Since writing an essay on the consumer society and then taking this module, I have become really interested in the different ways the media and network influence our choices and in life. Also how our online choices affect the network?
As we live in a digital age it is very easy to grow accustom to adverts trolling our screens, with pop ups that replicate our browsing history to make us buy that pair of shoes we looked at three weeks ago. In response to Andrew Keen’s book ‘The cult of the amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture and assaulting our economy’ (Keen, 2007) he speaks of how we invest our time watching a video on YouTube ‘that turns out to have been produced by a corporation with a vested interest in shaping consumer’s opinions’ (Keen, 2007, P64) It dampens what we are actually watching the video for, we stop consuming for entertainment and start consuming their paid advertisement. Williamson (1986) pens that advertisement is everywhere, where we work, study and play.
Keen then goes on to explain the ideologies of Huxley, the ‘Infinite monkey theory’ in which Huxley believes that if you provide a infinite amount of monkeys with typewriters eventually a chimp somewhere will create a masterpiece. This connects to social media in the way that the majority of people have access to a form of social media, but unlike these monkeys creating masterpieces, we are creating ‘an endless digital forest of mediocrity’.
As a frequent user of social media and the internet, It is becoming more apparent that the internet maybe is not only providing a huge facility for communication and all the useful things the internet has to offer. The internet comes with allot of baggage, like trollers, pop ups, endless amounts of blogs and MEMES just to name a few.
I am undecided still as to whether our need to share, like and retweet is a good form of participation but that kind of interaction does mean we can can control and shape the internet and online media.