How cool is this? Not only can we use a personal timeline page to keep track of our personal history, but now many of the offical pages of the US Government have updated their pages to make a virtual history book of sorts!
“We are the generation of nostalgia. We grew up in the age of transition. From hand-written letters to electronic mails. From film to digital. We were fascinated by new things, neglecting the way we spend our afternoons. Cupcakes and tea. Play-Doh and Polly Pockets. Young and naive. Technology completely changed the way we waited and we grew up too fast. The simple things in life seems more meaningful now. We grew up in the age of transition and have become the generation of nostalgia (original blog post here).”
My name is Brandon, and I suffer from #instacurity
I stumbled upon this fake (although it should be real) PSA tonight. We talk a lot in this class about the issues surrounding social media, and these guys sum it up really well. They even started an entire website and tumblr blog to bring awareness to the problem of instacurity I caught myself laughing at this video because I myself have fallen into its trap. One of the posts on their blog was the quote at the top of the post. I’m not trying to excuse my generations behavior, but I do find the quote to be the most simplistic explanation as to why my generation became so infatuated with social media so quickly. Take a look at the video embedded below, and even the website linked in the logo above. I’m curious to hear what you think!
Confession time: I LOVE watching important moments in history through the lens of social media. There is nothing better than seeing what people all over the world are thinking as the events unfold before each of us at the same time. At around 6:56 PM, I popped in my headphones, found a live feed of the speech and waited for the fun to begin. I opened up my twitter feed and decided to see what the trending topics were at the moment, hoping people cared enough about the events that something of meaning would be trending. My hopes were in vain, as I was greeted with the following:
|Out of 9 organic trending topics, only one had to do with presidential address. The rest had to do with blaming Obama, Pop Culture (Miley Cyrus still? Really?) Sports, and television.|
|#PresidentialAddress was not trending in NY, however #Syria was at the top of the list. More on that particular hashtag later. We still see that pop culture trends (including Miley Cyrus) still populated the rest of the list here.|
My brief examination of trending topics across the nation was not even close to comprehensive, but it did provide a little bit of context for what I would see for the next hour or so.
I went back to the twitter search box and decided to dive right into the good stuff and searched for the feed for #Syria. The first post in the feed was this:
What were people saying? After all, that is kind of the point of this analysis, right?
Just before the speech started, I pulled up my personal facebook page and posted a question, hoping to gather how my circle of “friends” felt about the speech and situation as a whole. I hadn’t seen any chatter on my facebook feed about the speech, so I decided to instigate some myself. I didn’t want it to turn into a philosophical debate (and was prepared to delete the post if it snowballed into that), but I was hoping that people who read and commented on the post would be genuine and understand my purpose in asking. I was pleased with the discussion that resulted.
The first reply simply stated “I wish I knew the solution.” Sometimes the most powerful words are those which cannot be spoken.
Other replies were comical:
“Kuwait a minute. Yemen if Iraq up this war debt then Iran into Syria’s trouble? Oman can someone tell me if this Israel?”“Syriasly?”
The majority of the replies, however came from those people most directly connected to the consequences of the situation: those with direct ties to the military. I found their commentary to be very powerful, almost being able to feel their worry as I read their words:
“US needs to just hang tight and not react to this. It’s silly in my opinion.”
“My soldiers need a break from fighting the bad guys. Can’t we all just get along?!”
My post was the only thing I saw about Syria on my facebook feed all night. Interesting how quickly we can be lulled into apathy. I guess all it takes is a new, disgusting Miley Cyrus video of her naked on a wrecking ball to distract us from having truly meaningful discussions.
Anyways, back to twitter. Here are some screenshots of tweets throughout (and after) the speech using the official hashtag #syria:
|NOTE: The original post/video to which I’m responding to is located at this link.|
“What the hell does a girl “twerking” and catching on fire have to do with this class?” I had heard earlier today that this video was staged, but didn’t have time to watch the video where the hoax was revealed. What I discovered after watching it was that not only was this video comically very funny, but it was a really sly, clever social commentary on our society today.
“Good thing nothing is happening in Syria right now”
This comment by Jimmy Kimmel was probably missed by most people; possibly by their laughter or the audiences rousing applause over the top of him speaking. But that comment was the phrase that turned this entire situation from a simple comical hoax to a brilliant criticism our how disconnected we are in a “connected” world. His comment came directly after a 60 second montage of news stations (both local and national) covering the story of the girl whose yoga pants caught on fire.
Was this social criticism intentional? I doubt it; at least initially. Kimmel himself says that he posted the video almost 2 months ago. Yes, Syria was happening then, but it hadn’t really escalated to the level it stands currently. The way his comment was quipped seemed very off the cuff; almost like he didn’t know the weight his words would carry.
But then again, maybe that’s what he wanted to happen all along.