Y is for Youtube

| April 22, 2014

Thinking about this week’s readings and the concepts of active/ passive audience members, I kept thinking about various forms of “spectacle” or “theater” we consume every day. More of us experience stories through television or over the internet, far more often than in typical theatrical settings nowadays.

With websites like Netflix, which has an incredible number shows and movies available for instant streaming, it’s not difficult to be swept up into watching episode after episode, show after show (of which I am most definitely, absolutely guilty). Although it is possible to engage in critical thinking regarding what we watch, this kind of non-stop consumption makes it very easy to simply become a passive consumer or spectator of these works.

On the other end, when it comes to filmed media, I thought about Youtube. Although it is also possible to merely consume what is produced on the site, its very premise is that everyone—from experts to novices—can create, film, and share their own works. More than that, it’s incredible interactive. Users are encouraged to comment on videos, engage in dialogue, or even create response videos as a way to actively speak to other content. With Youtube, everyone has a chance to become an active participant in the various forms: whether it’s a scripted series, simple vlog, animation, art, music video, meme, or anything in between. People are given the power to shape and invent the content they consume as well as create.