Sunday, January 31, 2016

Social Media's Agora

YouTube, the platform of which you can access clips from various movies and tv shows, as well as music videos from your favorite music artist, the democratic debate from last night, and even that random birthday party from a guy named Carl. A place that has become a home for people to express themselves and learn from other people's opinions for over a decade now. But now in a society that is addicted to their social media drug, what does YouTube contribute to society and why does it attract so many audiences of various different ages.

As an avid YouTube watcher, I can attest that I have spent countless hours upon hours watching my favorite YouTubers; and even randomly surfing YouTube for interesting videos to watch. But in my opinion it may not be as damaging as many of the other social media outlets. YouTube has replaced watching TV for me. I no longer spend hours on end watching TV but I watch YouTube daily. Whether it's keeping up with my favorite YouTubers or watching professors give examples on calculus problems that relate to my class. For many people,
YouTube has become the go to source of information on any given topic. In my life there is no "just Google it", because as a person who learns visually and audibly YouTube gives a great platform for me to experience both of those teaching forms. There are many more who learn as I do, which is why several teachers nowadays insist on putting extra problems taught by them on YouTube for their students to go to for reference. On another note, someone like me who isn't very political savvy, I have the resource of YouTube to look up speeches of the candidates for this years election, as well as other people's opinions of their least favorite or most favorite candidate. I can simply look up what Trump's most racial remark of the week was or A compilation of Hilary stating that she is the only female candidate and be able to laugh or cringe at what has been said (Sanders for president). For a guy who is disappointingly not a car guy. There are videos for me! So when my girlfriend asks for me to change her car tire, I can look like a stud by looking at a video and doing it myself. Well enough about the impact YouTube has had on my life I will move to the impact it has on society itself.

YouTube, unlike many other media outlets, seems like the one of the very few websites that come with many benefits with minimal ramifications for society. In the YouTube video named "This is YouTube", they show the many different forms of videos that YouTube has. However, it has an underlying message that is overshadowed by the various clips of adorable babies and cats playing pianos. The message is that YouTube provides a place for many people to express themselves. If you have an idea and want to express it to the world literally, you can! People can watch your video and learn from your idea and maybe even be inclined to make a video in response to yours. This characteristic of YouTube alone teaches people that many people have great ideas, and that you need to listen to them and understand them. YouTube provides a place for people to engage in discussion peacefully and orderly. Which could be unobtainable in the real world itself. Many other social media outlets have become a key way of communication, but YouTube has become something different. As the Internet has become a world wide community, YouTube has became the Agora. People across the Internet go to YouTube to be entertained, discuss, and debate with others. Much like the Agora, YouTube is the middle of every social media outlet. All across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You will see links to various different YouTube videos. YouTube is the central place for every single media platform, much like the Agora was the central place in Greek colonies. So as I stated before, YouTube is very different from the other social media sites. YouTube, just like the Agora, is a key component for the world to function. Without YouTube all you would be doing is scanning Facebook reading posts from people who cant express what they are saying in text, or reading about people's great experiences without witnessing them. So next time you find yourself criticizing yourself about spending those crucial study hours on YouTube, just remember many people, way before our time, might have been doing the same with their time spent in the Agora.

Cash Minx

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