Satire is a pretty common tool used to bring attention to current situations in society today. Today, with our environment relying so heavily on technology and the digital era our satire is usually using these very tools to make fun of themselves – it is an extremely effective way of analysing our habits, dependence and annoying trends of the contemporary digital era.
As Jonathan McIntosh stated in his article, “media makers have been reediting television, movies and news media for critical and political purposes since almost the very beginning of moving pictures” and this statement is extremely accurate if one just takes a brief look back in film history. Documentaries have been created by editing together news, movie and television footage to make a statement – propaganda or not. Posters have had the same effect by piecing together (early photoshopping) images together.
Today we usually see certain creative individuals using each form of social media to critique another or even the same platform. I believe with some social media platforms it is harder to self-critique one more than another, such as with YouTube and Instagram. Others like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr it’s easier to poke fun at given the amount of different ways one can express the satire. On Twitter it’s easy to communicate through words and the use of hashtags, therefore it’s easy to create a sarcastic or self aware tweet poking fun at the behaviour seen on Twitter- to call it out. On Facebook the same can be said, but the option of using pictures and a longer word count. On Tumblr, users poke fun at other users and the behaviour on Tumblr regularly through text blog posts, memes, gifs and pictures – they also create text posts about the different fandoms reactions on Tumblr which is all received in good humour.
These social media platforms are already being used to critique each other or themselves. Users are all quite aware of the implications, behaviours and consequences of these platforms and how they sometimes seep into their everyday, real lives but are too addicted (most of them) to make any sort of change.
I have seen a few YouTuber’s make fun of each other or the reactions they receive to some of the comments on their videos and that could be a comment in itself about the participation on YouTube, however, I have never come across an actual YouTube video poking fun at the website itself. I have seen one YouTuber take his subscribers behind the scenes of the making of one of his “web series” and it was interesting at how he set up the camera in his own space to make this video in his house but I would not call that a critique more than a funny blooper video. Many YouTuber’s however, use videos to critique other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with videos talking about behaviour and people on these social media.
I think the most effective way to think critically about our contemporary digital culture would be to follow the YouTuber’s ideas of making videos commenting on the other more banal social media and have a round table discussion. Take to the streets or gather up a few individuals and analyze the effect Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc has had on our selves, society, social lives and so on and maybe it will be an eye opening experience for society itself.
This Facebook satire video made by highschoolers as a project is a great compilation of some of the addictive aspects of facebook that hooked all of us during its early days when we were all getting started on this website. The addiction of seeing who liked your status’ or posted on your wall, which of your friends was online, liking all of the “witty” pop culture reference fan pages and, of course, that annoyingly addictive Farmville game. It perfectly captured our thought processes and behaviour – the anti-social, have-to-be online attitude that sucked us in to Facebook.
This video is a great satire of how boys behave on Tumblr. The joke in this video is that finding guy bloggers on Tumblr is a rare thing, which it is, and when one does find them their profiles are usually everything that Nottom described in this video. His comical tone breaking down these behaviours pokes fun at these behaviours and highlights how ridiculous they actually are when we really think about it – even though girls might find it cute or alluring on Tumblr.
IISuperwomanII is one of the YouTuber’s who frequently posts videos making fun of behaviour on social media. This particular video of her parents reacting to Instagram pictures is a great comical sketch of how parents in general might be confused, shocked and even disgusted at some of the comments made on pictures posted on Instagram (or even on Facebook). The confusion at the language used, the phrases and abbreviations is a comment on how our language has evolved (or degraded in some opinions) since the advent of social media. The rude and sexual comments being even more prominent today – especially on social media – is highlighted, something not many people may have picked up on and given much needed attention. The brazen use of sexual innuendos has caused our society to become so much more lustful and sex oriented, something that needs to be taken into control.
Another IISuperwomanII video commenting on the “Annoying People on Twitter”. One of the most obvious critique videos found on YouTube about the type of people that can be found on Twitter, behaviours that are annoying and that we all notice using the website. She gives voice to the thoughts that we are all thinking, either unconsciously or not, and there are many “that is so true” moments in the video. She also calls out many annoying habits, accounts and user behaviour that we or may not do ourselves and explains why it’s annoying and needs to stop. She even goes into incorrect hashtag use which, believe it or not, and sad as it is, is a serious problem on Twitter and is very annoying to avid Twitter users.
Kingsley is one of the most popular YouTuber’s around and though this video has a lot of explicit language, it hits the nail right on the head. All of the behaviour he describes in the video touches on the activity we see in our Facebook newsfeed and irks us to no end. The duckface pictures, the status games that people used to play, the silly nicknames on Facebook names, endless Candy Crush and Farmville invites – absolutely annoying. He highlights the attention seeking behaviour on Facebook and the thoughts that have crossed everyone’s minds about the specific people we all have on our Facebook that acts in this way.
This is the most interesting propaganda video mashup that I have come across on YouTube. This video was edited with various different advertisement pictures and then seeks to explain how the media and advertisers seek to control and brainwash us into purchasing and falling for their branding. This video explains the idea of the ‘bandwagon’, ‘testimonials’ and ‘transfer’ etc all marketing schemes aimed at consumers to make us feel that we need to have these items and products in our lives. This video mashup is a great example on how YouTube can be used as a tool of society critique and harkens back to the McIntosh article of how film and editing has been used since the early days as a tool for propaganda and political purposes. This video highlights the marketing schemes of huge corporations and franchises and how the lure us into wanting their products, it educates us on their tools and strategies with video editing and the platform of YouTube to reach large numbers of people.