YouTube: Where Has It Taken Us?

YouTube – What economic, artistic, cultural impacts do you imagine YouTube could have on American society and why?

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YouTube affects American society the way most social media networks do, by exemplifying the extremes and furthering the human connection to technology and the Internet. By its very nature, the Internet is cold and inhumane, completely imagined two-dimensional pages that have no warmth. Even our Facebook and Twitter homepages have elements of a clinical and desensitized blue.

YouTube reimagines that. It allows people to easily record themselves and put a human face to the Internet, as well as to express all of their innermost thoughts. Whether they do this via video blogs or via funny or created videos, every post on YouTube says something about its user by showing what that user thinks is worthy of a video. In that way YouTube is more engaging than a lot of the more informational sites on the Internet. Thus, YouTube culturally affects American society by strengthening the deep bond that it has with technology and the age of information. On the flip side of that, though, YouTube also brings out the very worst in people, particularly when it comes to racism and racist comments. I do not fully understand why this is, but I think it may come from American society’s pressure to constantly be politically correct. When the masses are given a platform where they can say whatever they want with no one to hold them accountable, maybe they take it a little too far.

There is a documented “Youtube Effect” which shows how Youtube has made everyone a sort of “citizen journalist.” This is a proven way that Youtube connects people to what’s going on all around the world, and importantly engages the youngest generation to conflicts and issues that could be thousands of miles away.

Economically, YouTube’s effect depends on the market you are considering. It definitely expands a company’s options for marketing, and if the company is capable of low-cost creation of a video, they can then post that video for free. On that same note, though, anyone can post a review of any product, whether it’s just or not, on YouTube, for free. Recently, the appearance of YouTube ads has definitely detracted from the free market origins of YouTube. I remember the days when I was younger and there were no ads on YouTube videos, but when they started showing up, most people didn’t complain even as much as they do when Facebook changes its layout. It was an inevitable inconvenience, but I do wonder how much of my life I waste on those 30 second suckers.

Artistically, YouTube has had less of an impact in my life than it may have in society in general. I don’t really care to search through YouTube for works of cinematic genius; I just like the puppy videos. However, I do think there is some merit to the accessibility of this platform for displaying creativity. Youtube “stars” are born, and suddenly everyone gets to hear what they have to say, no matter what it is.

I honestly don’t think YouTube was as groundbreaking in its effect on society as other social media sites, but it clearly had some significance. Perhaps it is just a cog in the larger scheme of the Internet’s revolution.

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2 thoughts on “YouTube: Where Has It Taken Us?

  1. One thing you left out that I think is worth mentioning is that there are many big “YouTubers” that are making a living by regularly uploading videos. Some of the more popular channels can make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. This has allowed content creators to circumvent legacy media distribution and connect directly to viewers.

    Side note: If you don’t like ads, install the adblock plus extension. It blocks all the ads on every website you visit, this includes video ads on youtube.
    http://www.adblockplus.org

  2. Millions upon millions of videos exist in the endless videography realm that we refer to as YouTube. I could spend hours just exploring its entity, finding anything from adorably hilarious cat videos, to beautiful works of cinematic art that invoke the creative mind. That is one of the many factors I love about the site, the fact that it exposed a vast variety of filmmaking, from amateur to professional grade video. That is what makes it most accessible to everyone out there, from someone who just wants to kill time and watch videos for entertainment, to actual YouTubers who make a career out of making videos for the site.

    Therefore, I kind of defer from your views of YouTube, and its affect on society. I feel, it can be considered almost a revolutionary networking site that connects both viewers and fellow videographers, or YouTubers, in various ways.

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