This week, we were tasked with watching a video on YouTube called, "An anthropological introduction to YouTube" by Michael Wesch. I found this video to be extremely interesting as I grew up with technology - it was not as developed as it is today, but ever since I was born, technology has been present. I struggle to think of a time before the internet now, it seems like it has been around forever. It is interesting to take a look back at how it all started and the how and why behind YouTube's success. I It was to learn about participant observation. Some people may follow a trend simply for the fun of it, but others follow it and remake videos in order to immerse themselves in the experience. By actually participating in it, they are studying the culture in a much more intense way.
Our world is constantly changing with no sign of it slowing down anytime soon - it is terrifying to think what the world might be like in fifty years. Like he said, YouTube started with one video and now there are billions of them and they keep coming. Everyone wants to belong to the culture and you can't blame them when we live in such a technological and digital world. People participate in trends because it allows them to be part of the culture and also allows them to express themselves. Like Wesch had said in the video, a lot of people who make vlogs use it as a reflective period for them. Not only for others to watch, but also for the creator to look back on. When you are talking to the camera, it dies not seem as big or as real. Once it is posted, you have now opened yourself to possibly billions of people. It is crazy the amount of power the internet has. One of my favourite quotes he said in his video was "At once the most private space (bedroom, etc.), it is, also, quite possibly the most public space on the planet" (Wesch). That quote stuck with me because it is so true, but also something that is easily looked over. So many people post daily without putting much thought into what they are releasing to the world forever. And when you post, you are showing that portion of yourself to anyone who is willing to watch which is possibly anyone with access to the internet.
In all honesty, I am a little afraid for mu future classroom. I think there are a lot of advantages to technology and having students create their own digital citizenship is important and it is crucial that students understand how to use and be on the internet in a safe manner. There are so many opportunities when technology and the internet is involved. The reason that it scares me is because students and people in general are getting so accustomed to technology that it is like a second nature to them now. The internet holds a world that you can control with the click of a mouse: a world where you can be whoever you want to or say whatever you feel with no consequences. Like the video talked about, people will comment ruthlessly on videos for no reason other than to hurt people because they know they are anonymous. It is scary to think about students entering my class who have been raised with a cellphone in their hand because they are born into technology and inherit both the advantages and the consequences of it.
Schools may one day become obsolete and everyone will take online classes - I really hope not! Students are spending so much time online and life is becoming digital in general: so many places refuse to take physical copies or applications or resumes, you can shop and order online, research EVERYTHING online. Libraries, schools and classrooms might be a thing of the past in a hundred years. Students are learning to participate online and become a member of online society from a very young age, Watching my six-year old cousin walking around with her very own IPhone terrifies me. I was 15 when I got my first phone so it boggles my mind how fast the world has become digital.
In our class discussion we talked about how our world is a digital environment. It seems as there is so much happening online - in our chat we had gotten a little sidetracked with memes, but many valid points about how easy things get out of hand or how fast things change. It is crazy that every day or two there is a new viral meme going around. The world is constantly changing and it is an exciting and possibly terrifying place to be. Only time will tell how technology and education grow and develop.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the digital world and whether you are excited about it or terrified!
Now just for fun, here are some pictures of some memes: