Posted by: Ingrid | October 3, 2010

Producer vs. Consumer

In this world of instant celebrity, we have become accustomed to ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We live in a time where everyone wants to be a star and thanks to the internet, more specifically You Tube, we are able to do so with no prior experience necessary. The ability to capture video in an instant has grown considerably over the years and now with cameras on phones and laptops’; participating in popular culture is easier than ever before. You Tube has been instrumental in allowing our culture to participate with little or no cost at all. Video can be uploaded from a mobile device so you really don’t need to have a computer and broadband to let the world know of your presence.

Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame-but at what cost? The complex relationship between producers and consumers has become more convoluted in just the last few days. Last week, our country was devastated when a young man killed himself because of the selfish act of his fellow classmates. Somehow, these malicious teens thought it would be ok to produce content that would embarrass the student by broadcasting a private moment, live on the web. Whenever I hear a story like this, I have to question the necessity of the participatory we, as consumers have created. The internet is all fun and games until someone gets hurt or even worse…dies.

In this case, it appears the producer wanted to claim his 15 minutes of fame on the exploited back of someone else by doing nothing more than gaining the trust of his roommate and then shattered that trust in an instant by inviting the world into his private life without permission. What was the motive? Only the producer knows at this point. Unfortunately, there is a market out there for this type of voyeurism. As the consumer, it can be rather intriguing to have the ability to peer into the secret lives of others which is why reality shows have taken over the traditional station programming lineup. This voyeuristic lifestyle takes a hold of our senses and we rush to download the drug fueled sexual encounters of celebrities. Does this view into the celebrity life make us feel better about our ordinary lives? One thing for sure is we need to have open discourse about the ramifications of our sins before we post them for the world to see.

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Responses

  1. I agree, that was a senseless act of cruelty that led to the suicide of that teen. With it being so easy to produce and distribute, it seems there should be some amount of accountability for what people publish to the net. Just agreeing to the “Terms and Conditions” doesn’t seem to be enough these days.


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