If you have time (roughly an hour), I would strongly recommend watching “Generation Like” (link below). It is a documentary that was shared in one of my Digital Communications classes and teaches us about how we are what we “like”. It shares a view with us about the rise of social media coming directly from the consumers, and their must-have need to find entrepreneurialism and innovation in the online social media world. It shares ideas of self-branding and how social media platforms are an economical masterpiece for doing such. The amount of subscribers one has, is attached to them as if it is their last name.
Although this takes us back to last week’s material, I found this report quite interesting. It’s an in-depth look at some of the numbers we looked at in lecture pertaining to the growing esports industry. I found section 4, “Value of The Audience” (pg. 16-24) particularly interesting. Highlights how esports is altering the digital marketing landscape, and how some large corporations (many of which are not directly related to the industry) are adjusting in order to capitalize on the wealthy demographic.
After the Labour and Ideology class today, I started thinking about why the average person knows so little about the materiality of the Internet. Our lack of understanding is frequently excused by the complexity of technology and the ever-evolving digital age. Simply, we see ads and make purchases. For an intelligent race, we rarely stop to question where the products came from and what resources were exploited to facilitate the production.
I recognize that we are primarily responsible for researching the companies we buy into. However, I would argue that our confusion is intentionally caused by the government and big corporations. Companies like Apple do not want consumers to know that their factory wages abroad are ridiculously low and that profit is not distributed fairly amongst their employees. They also hide the amount of waste that their ‘wireless’ devices produce. Most importantly, multinational corporations do not want the public knowing how their systems work because this poses both hacking and competition threats. Hence, they are thrilled that we live in our own ‘iCloud’ of sorts. When it comes to the ‘iCloud’, we know it’s there, but have no idea how it works or the kind of man- (or woman-) power it requires. Apple’s iCloud encourages confusion; users have no idea where their content is being stored or who can access it. We think it is all just ‘big data’ that exists outside the labour force (in the sky). We are able to access this Cloud at any time with such speed that we forget there was ever a human element involved in creating the Cloud. As consumers, we should care where our intellectual property is being stored and who is behind the ‘big data’.
As a final thought, I think we need to stop living in the Cloud and start asking more questions about how the Internet really works and what kind of social, political, and economic implications result from our buy-in.
If there was a cell phone that guaranteed the use of fair materials, good working conditions, long lasting design and is recyclable would people be interested in it? One would think so, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
After learning about FoxCon & Apple today, FairPhone came to mind. This a company with all of the initiatives above that launched a few years ago. Despite coverage from the Wall Street Journal & BBC, I still don’t know anyone who has one, let alone knows about FairPhone.
Reflecting on class today, I think FairPhone offers an excellent alternative to mainstream companies profiting off of exploitation. However, people are not willing to give up the convenience of the systems their lives are intertwined in (i.e – iMessage, iCal, reminders etc.).
This is an article I found about some rules of social media that relate to our norm breaching assignments!