619 words that might have a point, or not, who knows…

Narcissism (literally had to spell check that three times before spelling it correctly) was the topic of lecture last week. And yesterday we spoke about what is real and authentic on the internet and YouTube, in reference mainly to video blogs or diaries. Now obviously these are very broad topics that could be written and read about for years, but for the object of this blog I’m just going to write a few short, hopefully not pointless, paragraphs about the two topics and how they relate to one another.

Narcissism is essentially a love of yourself, a need for attention. On the internet and on YouTube more specifically we see narcissism literally everywhere. For example what is the point of this? And better yet why is it so popular? She literally stares into a webcam for thirty seconds, and somehow managed to to get international recognition. It would seem as though this girl literally made this video to say that she’s on YouTube, and it somehow became a phenomenon. She was simply looking for attention, and my god did she ever find it.

Now you may, or may not, be wondering where the idea of what is “real” on the internet comes into play in all this? Well, according to Wikipedia, the girl (migibon, I can’t seem to find her real name) is not Japanese, nor can she speak the language fluently. She is apparently from Pennsylvania, and learned the small amount of Japanese she speaks to introduce herself, on Japanese TV and through Japanese (I’m guessing techno) music. The name “magibon” combined with the fact that the girl in the video introduces herself in Japanese leads viewers to believe she is either from Japan, or can at least speak the language! This however is not the case, and it is a wonder as to why anyone would ever “fake” something like this.

Dr. Strangelove’s book “Watching YouTube” mentions the famous “Lonelygirl15” who was a video diarist who became famous for her short clips describing her life in small town America. However she was later discovered to be an actress from New Zealand. Everyone believed that this girl was a real American, with real problems and real life experiences, making a video blog as a means of passing time and communicating with YouTube. But again, she was a “fake”. This however, is not event half of what the chapter discusses in terms of “reality”.

The Chapter examines whether or not the people on YouTube are the same on webcams as they are in their real everyday lives. Do they truly express themselves and act the way they would around their closest friends? Or are they simply hiding behind a webcam and seeing how many “views” they can get? Do people do stupid things on the internet because they are in fact stupid? Or do they do it as a way to become popular? There are a ton of examples in “Watching YouTube” of people claiming that the way they act on YouTube is not the same as it is in real life. So I’m not even going to bother finding a link (but you can watch this instead, it has no point, so your time is probably better spent reading the text book) to prove this point… just read the chapter.

So once again the end has come. Whether this was useful or not is still a question at the back of my mind, mostly because I’m not sure i did what I initially set out to do. Anyways I dropped some key terms and mentioned parts of the lectures, so if nothing else at least that’s there… That, and the link to the soccer kid, thats always a classic.

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