Today in lecture Strangelove mentioned the iron cage metaphor of society. How we are, or were at least, once trapped in an “iron cage” society. Meaning that in the 20th century we were locked up and controlled. Now however, some argue that the internet has unlocked, or will unlock, the cage and release us. I would argue against this notion though. I feel that we are still very much controlled by those above us, and the only thing the internet does is allow us to express our complaints about the system in Blogs just like this one.
For example students are completely controlled by the system. I feel electives are a complete waste of time, and they kill your GPA. I’ am a communications major (and I chose a minor in English just for something to do) and in the four years I am going to attend University I am required to complete a certain amount of elective courses. Electives are, in my mind a waste of time because they can be completely unrelated to your degree, and they effect your GPA. For example last year I took a music class and a politics class, which had absolutely nothing to do with communication, yet I was still forced to choose something, and most other courses were filled. I understand its good to have a basic education in as many fields as possible, but I feel that at a university level, expecting students to choose electives at random is a little too much, especially because a lot of the time all the good electives are the first to be filled.
If electives were not a mandatory part of most degrees it would take a lot less time to achieve said degrees. For example there’s only so many Communication courses offered at the university and to achieve an undergrad in Communications you are not even required to participate in all courses offered. You only need a certain percentage of the courses to receive a degree. Essentially I feel the university makes electives a requirement because they cost money. If students did not have to take elective courses they would not have to spend nearly as much money or time in school and obviously that would not be good for the annual budget of the University.
I Just feel that students are being controlled by the Universities, and I’m sure there is someone controlling the Universities as well, it’s just how the system works. So I feel to think that th e cage has all of a sudden been unlocked because of the internet? I would really have to disagree. I’ mean sure you can put whatever you want up on the net for all to see, but you are still controlled somewhat by “the man”. For example YouTube and most other sites like it have regulations in place that forbid certain content. I’m sure even WordPress.com, the website I’m writing on right now would have a problem if I started writing certain inappropriate things. It is impossible to have your voice heard on the internet is what I’m saying. This is because there are billions of other voices, just like yours, saying similar things, and the only thing that makes your voice louder than the other billion is “the man”. If someone important, or even just someone with a bit of influence hears your voice, and likes it, that’s what will make you heard.
The point is that unless you are saying something “the man” likes, and “the man” wants to sponsor and pay attention to, then your voice is no louder than any of the other 2 billion currently on the internet. Using Justin Bieber as an example, mostly because his picture is above, say he had not ever been seen on the internet and “the man” (in this case being Usher and the music industry) had not ever seen him before. I know what you’re thinking, the world would be a much better place right? Well, ya but that’s besides the point, the point is that he was seen and liked on the internet, among millions of other singing YouTube users, and taken from his normal childhood community and manipulated (or controlled) by “the man” into becoming a world wide celebrity. If anything I would say the internet is just making it easier for “the man” to control us, if you want to be seen, you have to be willing to sell your voice to “the man”, you have to let “the man” take control. Even Phillip DeFranco (in my mind one of the most interesting and successful vloggers in history) sold out a while ago. His show is still similar to the way it was before, but now he is sponsored (and he makes a fair amount of money I’m sure) and his show just is not the same as it was. There are references (some more subtle than others) in his “news show” about his sponsors and who he is connected with. He has been taken by “the man”.
I suppose I’ll end this with a video. I saw this on YouTube the other day and thought it was just fantastic, I feel “the man” should look into this talented individual and maybe turn him into a celebrity…