Gone are the days of simply producers and consumers: gone is the employment of Monologic media. Here we are in the 21st century, where you, yes you, are the audience; one of billions of the prosumers who has the ability to participate, connect with and explore contemporary dialogic media.
Behind this dialogic shift lies the addictive participatory culture, as associated with social networking sites. We all crave to be apart of ‘the loop’, where being up to date with current trends, news, gossip and events, is as simple as logging into Facebook or searching a particular hash tag on Twitter. In addition to this active society is the facilities and ability provided to take part in citizen journalism, where immediacy of information, lack of gatekeepers and zero cost and filter entry enables individuals to create, share and reproduce content from various media platforms onto the ever growing Internet. It is here, although, that the debate lies;
Where is the line between productivity/creativity and indolence?
With this participatory culture comes ‘Slack participation’, where prosumers prefer to take the easier approach in terms of generating and analyzing content. Remember the days when Political activism meant either donating money or physically taking part in demonstrations such as strikes and tours. Now, with the click of the fingers, or in this instance the click of a computer mouse, one can release their inner social activist with merely the assistance with their keyboard.
KONY 2012, I’m sure, has bombarded your twitter and facebook feed, being a chief example of this slack participation and just how the Internet can craft a viral phenomena. Instagram, which happens to be my chosen media platform was an integral initiator of the campaigns success, where my ‘followers’ on the application exercised that ordinarily untapped inner activist crosses citizen journalist, through posting the operations slogans and images on the ‘home feed’. Although, it can be argued that, yes, by reblogging and re posting KONY content the cause is accumulating international recognition, yet in doing so the individual is by no means taking physical action, unless you call sitting at a desk and proof reading content ‘physical’. Through this one humorous image below, displayed in todays lecture, this theory is described perfectly in a ‘nut shell’.
This brings us back to that all-important query once again? Where can we draw the line between active or slack participation? Although this modern day participatory culture encourages creative exploration, to what extent does this contribution affect the way in which we take action? In a world where Clay Shirkay describes media as “global, social, impetuous and cheap”, you, the prosumers, can manoeuvre this ‘line’ to your desire.
Quick Edit: 28/3/12