Thursday, April 2, 2015

Twitter and Television

I think the relationship between the artist and audience has grown increasingly more personal over time. People find it much easier today to communicate with artists through social media.
I have never used twitter and didn't follow any celebrities for a long time because I would rather spend my time doing something constructive. My friends followed Justin Bieber and One Direction on Twitter and the kind of things that my friends read on twitter seemed superficial and insignificant to me. Though, recently I have begun the habit of befriending filmmakers on Facebook and I like it because I can see their work and learn what is going on in the industry, but also see a more personal side because these are their personal Facebook accounts and not just a Twitter account open to the whole world.
I understand how crucial social media is for that relationship between the artist and audience and for participatory culture, because the artist can learn what the audience likes and build a fan base, and the audience can learn more about the artist and art. Social media is also crucial for the relationship between consumers and products because it is a way for business to build anticipation for their products and to get feedback so that they can improve their products and keep consumers happy.

In South Africa, most people tweet about politics - often political jokes by comedians or anger and disappointment at the government, sometimes even racism and insults to the president - just like the Mean Tweets Obama Edition. I can understand that Twitter is a great platform for comedians to gain fans because their comments are funny. I follow a South Africa comedian, Trevor Noah, on Facebook and enjoy the comments he makes on the political affairs of South Africa.

Tweeting live TV shows is not something I had heard of until now.  I don't really watch TV shows and when I do, I wouldn't Tweet about it while watching because I'd like to enjoy the show as it is, solitary. Also, in South Africa most of the TV shows on TV are a few seasons behind the rest of the world. I don't have the problem of spoilers via Twitter because I don't watch TV shows and I'm not on Twitter but if I were, I probably won't be following the people who are Tweeting plot twists about the TV show. And if I happen to see it, I don't think I'll be upset because every one has the right to say what they want unless it is harming anyone and honestly I don't think a spoiler can qualify as truly 'harming' someone. Though I think live Tweeting 'boos' and 'cheers' is a really clever idea to expand the audience of a TV show and show audience reaction.
I have never communicated with other fans because I have never really been a fan of a celebrity or a TV show. I do follow filmmakers and watch what they're doing but I'm not really a 'fan' of any of them. Though I suppose other people enjoy talking to fellow fans about their favorite show or celebrity.
In terms of gender stereotypes in TV, I agree with the article by Henry Jenkins. Stereotypes is a problem. I can laugh at a 2 min Youtube video about stereotypes but I will not spend more time than that on characters that do no have depth or do not offer anything I can learn from. Another reason why I don't like stereotypes is because of what it teachers younger viewers and how it influences them and the way they shape the future of the world.
Tweeting scripts is a very interesting idea and it opens screenplays up to a new form of communication. I think it could be a very interesting way of telling stories and keeping viewers waiting in anticipation, as well as building tension.
The Tonight Show reading tweets shows how Twitter can be a way of sharing stories. Though, it also shows how Twitter can be a risk of potential emotional abuse because someone can post a story out to the world and whoever happens to be in that story, good or bad, will be posted to the world as well.
I never knew people would sing Youtube and Twitter comments and I think it's an interesting new form of art and music.

I know that I personally feel the time spent on social media could be used for something more productive, but I do realize social media is a vital form of participatory culture that gives a voice to the audience - their reactions will determine future products and shows. Social media can be used for good purposes and for learning from other people, especially learning from other artists in order to produce new artists.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your thoughtful and thorough comments on all of the different questions and issues that come up when we talk about social media and art! I agree with you that I don’t typically use social media in the way I see some others as “wasting time” but the immense possibility for connection, social change, and new ways to create are pretty amazing. I hope that you are seeing more of those examples (at least the last one) in our transmedia explorations. I’m curious if you have thought about looking at other ways that people have used social media for social commentary or change - you brought up some great examples. It seems to me that you might consider looking into this more, because there are some really amazing things happening around the world. From the recent issues brought up with footage being captured from police brutality, to the examples of crisis mapping and citizens working for change in their communities that I pointed out in class - there’s a lot going on and a lot that could continue to go on. As someone who really is concerned with the world and with important issues you might find a way to connect, make change or affect others with your art through social media or just connection through the internet. Those things are just tools (twitter, Facebook, youtube) and they can be used to waste time or they can be used to do pretty amazing things.