Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Postman Meh! Leads To Free Hugs

No.  I'm not going to lambaste you with reasons to support or undermine the CWU strike.  This video came to me via Tom Watson's Twitter feed.  In part, it tells the story which Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" began to define.

The thesis of the video itself, which I post below, seems to be that because we learn to know ourselves through relating to others, the new social media, which allow us to relate to so many more, may change the way we become.  Very little of our communication is unmediated any more.  Replay takes over from the single experience.  Replay isn't only a question of recognition but also leads to a curious kind of re-cognition.  But it's not only the self that plays a part in this process.  The "sociological experiment" that is watching others speaking to camera leads us not only to being distanced by media but also - simultaneously - brought closer to those we know we will never meet in person.  It's not just an act of self but also an act of community.

YouTube is the most private place on the planet where privacy is voluntarily unwrapped by those who need to break down barriers, who find themselves unable to make those steps in their own physical lives but manage to do so in virtual relationships.

We may have become Aldous Huxley's world of the medicated - but, through the social media we now have to hand, we may ultimately find solace, and even a true freedom in a new framework, through the power of the newly mediated communication.

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