MY PLATFORMS ARE KILLING ME!
Superstock. (2014). Foot massage, [Online photo]. Retrieved from https://www.superstock.com/stock-photography/feet%20massage
Similar to the platforms that I used to wear in my younger days, the platforms on the Internet are killing me. Well, a little dramatic but there is a great parallel here. They look great in the store window or on someone else’s feet, they are the latest fad and everyone is wearing them and they are only popular until another platform comes along. Some of these platforms will rise above, no pun intended, the competition, but I will have to upgrade and pay for extra features of an old style platform. Furthermore, participation may be equated to peer pressure. The platforms hurt like hell but everyone else are wearing them so I will suffer the trade-offs.
Not every member must contribute, but all must believe they are free to contribute when ready and that what they contribute will be appropriately valued.
Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture
Although I would like to think of my participation within the digital environment as unique, I am sad to come to the realization it is not. Just as if I was to quit work tomorrow, the organization will survive without me. The world will go on. If I could label my participation I would say I am a minimalist. I like to participate, sparsely and simply. That’s not to say that I don’t want to participate, but I personally feel that participation on platforms means making a difference or being heard. Mind you, I continually think, if I don’t go on Facebook daily will the comments, likes, notices, statuses and messages still go on? Well of course they will. But Facebook needs me. They need me to be a participant for their platform to remain viable. Although they don’t really care what I do, they just care that I am a participant. Understanding and recognizing technological determinism, I am just a notch in the belt of the media, and I must conform in order to communicate with my so called friends. Whether I have something profound to say or I commit social suicide with a girl’s night out picture, (thank god I couldn’t upload pictures in the ‘80’s) Facebook doesn’t care as long as I log in and keep my account active. As Jenkins says, “but all must believe…”
My participation is self-serving. It cannot be quantified. Participation on platforms equals communication. It is a two-way street. You need to talk and listen to someone else talking and listening. This is only measured by meaningful and inspirational communication. I am contributing but not really participating. I believe I can only measure my participation if it is meaningful and inspirational, not predetermined, (insert don’t like button here). Measurable participation occurs by the many committed and knowledgeable bloggers that I have come to follow. That is who I would aspire to be in order to make my participation measurable. (NOW, insert you have a million followers here).Freedom to participate is subjective for the people formerly known as the audience. I believe I am not restricted by the many free platforms that I can register for, but these platforms will predetermine how I can participate; that is far from being emancipated. I have become a slave of the many platforms available. I suffer with anxiety as I try to ignore the constant push notifications on my smart phone. I turned off the push notifications from my Gmail account in order to sit down and eat supper in peace. I was having anxiety every time a sound alert or light flash came from my cell phone. The more platforms I participate in the more I become a slave to the media. Many sites are now asking users to login with Facebook, Twitter or Gmail accounts. If I’m not careful, and I am quick to click, the new platform has all of my information and the old platform is advertising to the world that I just signed up for a new account. UGH! Where does it stop? I am participating for the media and I don’t even know it. In the words of Roy Orbison, “I am working for the man”. For these reasons I have become an immeasurable, pensive participant. I am careful, safe, slow, and apprehensive about the many platforms available to me as a digital citizen. So now the question is; do I want to participate on Youtube to complete assignment 4…HELL YA!