Wednesday, November 12, 2008

this is starting to get creepy...

So, before this week, I had been really curious as to which direction television and advertisements would be headed after the invention of TiVo, YouTube, Hulu, etc. What purpose would these shows serve, if there is no money backing them by myriad advertisements, set for target audiences on specific channels/programs? How would YouTube help the proliferation of television... and how would it hurt future programs? As you can tell, I was really losing sleep over this...

A huge part of television is its 'liveness'. Nowadays, we have access to anything via the internet. We can watch almost any television show we want, through or YouTube. I never quite comprehended the extent to which this liveness affects our consumerism, untill I took this into account: We can watch a show on youtube a few hours after it airs, yet most of us will tune into the network to watch the show so that we watch it live & new-- we are up to date, connected with our peers... We really do feel a part of this imagined community.

Anyways, back to YouTube, Hulu, etc. Instead of destroying this consumer culture and puttting the viewer in a position of control (which seems like the logical result, since the viewer has control over what/when/where they view), these devices do the opposite. They further manipulate and target the audience, in a space that is more specified.

Finally, Proffesor Chun questioned wheter the fact that TV offers more room to viewers (and is more discontinuous) than cinema means that TV viewers are more empowered. I believe that the opposite is true. The TV viewer is led to believe that he or she is in a position of power, when really, they have no control. They are being manipulated by the allure of community, unity, the manipulation of advertisements, and the strategic placement of commercials in television. They really have no control! This is even further exaggerated with things like, where we are bombarded with images that the companies target to us (the fans of the program).

Do we have control over any of our media obsessions??

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