How loud is a like?

What can we do to help? That’s a common question in today’s world where so many awful things happen on the day-to-day. As I said in my last post a lot of things we see get ignored, most things just don’t interest us to pay attention for the five minutes it would take to read about something that we could help with, and even if we did read something and like or share it as we watched and read for Tuesday this is not necessarily going to help a issue at all. That said, it doesn’t hurt to be interested in something. For a lot of people liking or sharing is all they can do due to their situation, cause you can’t really ask a 17 year old to fly over to Africa for a protest or for a parents to donate tons of money to their favorite charity when they have kids to take care of. In this text by Nathan Teske at the top of page 32 he looks at the question, “Why would someone want to do that all the time?” He looks at it from the both the confused and admiring side of things. To many it would be great if they could help out and go actively join a the movement that they support or donate a few thousand dollars every year to something they care about, but many just can’t.

That said as we saw in the Jenkins reading, those willing to do simpler things and participate in social media can be more likely to become more and more active as their lives go on and as they acquire more time. If we really like something we will pursue it, its part of being human. For every human being that is too lazy to do anything at all there is someone else who is just waiting to get out of school or to retire so that they can spend the rest of their lives helping people or contributing a cause.

So are people really just so desensitized that they don’t want to help or are people just “slacktivists”? Or are many just waiting to find the time and cause that they want to dedicate themselves to?

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Yup, that’s sad.

“What used to be emotionally arousing simply isn’t any longer.” Reading that in class got me thinking, are we becoming desensitized as a society? The answer is obviously yes in at least some way. Media is influential. We see a lot of bad things every single day whether we watch the news or not, as we read from Konnikova many sites are designing their media to specifically play on our emotions, yet, as she quotes above this tactic pays off less than it used to. I scroll down a Facebook feed and see something about a kid having a week left to live and I think, “Wow, that sucks,” then I scroll on. To elicit an actual negative emotional reaction for me now it takes something happening to me personally.

Violence is a facet that is often discussed when it comes to  desensitization. The journal of Psychological Science was quoted saying that, “If film is a drug, then violent film content might make people “comfortably numb” (borrowing the words of Pink Floyd).” I like their use of Pink Floyd here, it is extremely accurate, and potentially a good thing. Being “comfortably numb” in regards to violence and misfortune in our world may not be a bad thing. If we really held onto every dark thing we saw on Facebook or CNN we would likely end up with a weird hybrid culture of the 60’s and 70’s. Instead the existence where we are made aware of misfortunes and violence in our world and we acknowledge them without letting them get to us is ideal. It lets us carry on functioning even when the world is trying so hard to not. Stepping back, we can’t ignore these things mind you, as the New York Times discusses there may be a fair amount of correlation and causation between violent media and violent acts. However, for now this just remains as an idea. What do you think, do you think we are desensitized as a society? If so is that a bad thing, or maybe something in between?

#UnbridledPotential

A few words and a picture can make us unusually excited.

This seemingly pointless image I saw tweeted by @whatatroy last night is an example of this. For those of you that don’t know, Marble Hornets is a horror series on YouTube loosely based on Slenderman myths told through short little video clips ranging from a less than a minute to over 20 minutes long. That series ended 2 years ago and since the guys that did that series have started a new horror series called clear lakes. Now what makes this image so interesting you ask?

Nothing. It is just Troy (one of the directors and writers) posting and un-spoilery screenshot for the next entry in their series that will come out very soon. This is cool and important as they don’t post a release schedule, sometimes we get an entry every week sometimes its a month or more in between. This single post style is pretty much the only announcement fans of their work ever receive, and its awesome.

For class we read The Art of Live-Tweeting where Long comments about how there are several types of tweets that can contribute to a conversation. Likewise there even more styles of tweets that serve an even wider variety if purposes. For example, the tweet I discuss above is a hype tweet, serving no other purpose but to give fans something they want, drop the mic, and then carry on. But tweets can hold so much more power than that. This Entrepreneur article discusses tactics to use twitter to network for a business and bring in clients or customers. BBC goes hashtag-by-hashtag to show how things in our life ranging from politics to the arts to activism have been drastically influenced by twitter. Twitter is one of the most incredibly multi-purpose services I have ever seen, which perhaps is why I have never used my twitter account particularly much.

Its mind blowing to me that I could continue to just twitter about nonsense and retweet random interesting things I find with some of my take on them, or I could expand my twitter in the future as I move on to bigger and better things. What do you think? Is twitter this incredible multi-tool with infinite potential or is it just a weird site with too many @ signs and #’s.