When I was younger, the internet was a source of information and a way to gain knowledge. It was for reading articles, or typing out homework. Now, when I think of the internet, I think of social media and all the social media networks. What we have on the internet is no longer just “media”. It’s not a video created from a video camera that goes through hours and hours of editing. It is a short video created by a cell phone camera, or a webcam camera. We don’t need all the equipment to make a small video; we don’t need to wait days for a response from an e-mail. Everything can happen at the tip of your fingers, and all responses are at rapid speed. As Manovich (2008) says in The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life, “we moved from media to social media”. It is no longer just media, it is social media. It’s connecting with people, meeting new people with similar interests, it’s posting videos and pictures so that other people will have a good laugh.
A main concept of the internet is the fact that it is entirely about the producers and consumers. I am personally not much of a producer. I do have Facebook which I enjoy uploading pictures, however, it is only for friends of mine to see. Unless this blog all of the sudden blows up and interests thousands of people, I don’t typically contribute to cultural commons with YouTube videos that go viral, and blog posts that millions follow. Even though I am not much of a producer, I am definitely a consumer. I watch all the videos that go viral, I read all the interesting blog posts, I look at celebrities pictures on Facebook and tweets they make.
What can cause issues with producers, especially in regards to copyright, is that we interpret things differently. In the Miller (2004) article called A View from a Fossil: The New Economy, Creativity and Consumption –Two or Three Things I don’t believe in, it says, “the active audience is weak at the level of public cultural production, but strong as an interpretive community”. In my opinion, this means that we don’t produce a lot of public cultural production and usually what is produced is relied on by a small group of people (compared to how many people use the internet). I also see that quote as saying we interpret what we see as consumers in what we think is our own opinion, however, a lot of the time our “personal” interpretations are related to someone else’s opinion or the same idea. This is how social media affects us. We must keep in mind though, that not all interpretations are correct. In fact, my entire interpretation of this quote may be incorrect.
The internet allows anyone to be a producer, and it almost seems as if copyright laws are ignored many of the times. People are constantly trying to remake videos and songs, trying to re-enact a scene or picture, but it would be impossible to find everyone who mocks something that is already made. Therefore, the internet almost allows us to break the laws of copyright, and do whatever we want. It can obviously cause many issues, however, we have gotten used to it not being a problem and we can interpret it any way we want. We have learned how to deal with producers and deal with consumers as a group, and copyright laws just don’t seem to matter. Like one the videos for this week’s module said, most of us don’t mind copying, as long as we’re the one doing it.
Miller, T. (2004) A view from a fossil. International Journal Of Cultural Studies, 7(1), 55-65.
Manovich, l. (2008) The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production?. Vol. 35, No. 2 (Winter 2009), pp. 319-331.