Clout Chasing

Throughout the time I have spent using various forms of media, I’ve developed a kind of love hate relationship. Don’t get me wrong; I like how everyone is able to keep in contact with one another without having to be physically together, post photos, upload videos, discuss ideas and opinions, instant access to the latest news and updates, video games and so on, but I feel as if this level of openness, accessibility and connectivity has greatly impacted the values in which most of the west once held close to heart in a negative way.

In some cases, like religion, it’s a gift to be able to decide for your self now what you believe in rather than be forced into something you don’t even believe, but I feel there is a general decline in ability to speak freely due to what I would describe as a “mob” mentality. Many people who try to speak their mind and have open minded discussions about genuine facts of a situation and come to a different conclusion to another group of people are often ostracised and “cancelled” by people who simple don’t agree with their sentiment, which is an extremely worrying line of thought that could really disrupt advancing our values in a way that is beneficial to everyone a part of society as a whole. It makes me wonder whether or not the people who take part in this type of behaviour are doing so because they want to feel as if they are apart of some form of movement or they genuinely find what someone has said or done to be so offensive and disgusting that they would need to completely disregard their freedom of speech, which in many cases are simply people not doing enough research on a topic or misunderstood someone’s intentions behind an action or joke.

Of course there are cases where someone really has done something messed up and needs to be put into check, like the James Charles or EPD445 situations, but these are far and few in-between and often result in innocent people being severely bullied into following other peoples demands. I just find it really sad that there are many people who will go out of their way to hurt someone online simply because they are anonymous and disagree with them. I also feel as if social media, as valuable as it can be, has made some users become highly egocentric and entitled, who for some reason think they own the world because they are self proclaimed “woke”, or that they deserve respect for a follower number on some social media platform and incessantly chase numbers, putting themselves or even other people, associated with them or not, into harm’s way simply because it might get a lot of views on TikTok or Youtube.

It seems we’ve become a society completely obsessed with gaining “internet clout” and it looks as if its only getting worse in my view. Loads of people from various parts of the world have noticed this and tried in vain to get people to see why this is a dangerous and destructive line of culture, and try to get them to change into becoming someone more understanding and patient, to no avail or at least unnoticeable. The saddest part about this whole situation is that this is coming from people my age; 18 – 29, sometimes older or younger, and that these people will eventually bring up children of their own, who if the parents don’t change will most likely replicate or become even worse than their parents because they know nothing else, making their children and later generations the real victim to this behaviour. That being said however, you can’t force a stupid person to change because without their intent and willingness to do so, there can’t be any lasting change.

Student number: 13502263


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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