Are Kids Using Social Media or is Social Media Using Kids?
Everybody wants to be liked. This is especially true for kids growing up in the Age of the Digital Revolution. In this documentary, author Douglas Rushkoff takes a look at how the modern teenager’s quest for identity has shifted towards the Internet. He exposes the ways in which large corporations are taking advantage of this fact and are literally turning ‘likes’ into gold.
Technology is here to stay and it’s changing all of our lives, especially the lives of teenagers. What is it that all these social media websites and apps really allow kids to do? What are they asking for in return?
According to a group of teens that are masters of Facebook, your profile picture tells how you want people to see you and your cover photo tells about your personality. What becomes obvious is how all of this really exposes vulnerability. People are obsessing over ‘likes’, friends, followers, and re-tweets, because they have become the social currency of this generation. In this day and age, the more ‘likes’ you have, the better you feel. The number is right there for everyone to see, and a lot of kids are judging their own value and that of everyone and everything else from these.
More than any previous generation, today’s teens are able to directly interact with the artists, celebrities, movies, and brands they like, and sometimes they might even get a reply from a famous person or company. This gives them as sense of empowerment— to be able to connect with fame. But is that real empowerment, though? Or do marketers hold the upper hand?
According to Bonin Bough, V.P of Global Media, Modelez Intl, “The icons of this generation are the ‘like’ button, the ‘tweet’ button, and the ‘re-blog’ button. This is the biggest transformation that we’ve had in terms of communicating with consumers…to stand on the sidelines is not an option.”
When kids like something it becomes part of who they are. They create data and advertisers are able to collect that information and turn it into money. The people that are hitting the like button or telling their friends to ‘come like me’ have no idea what the value of that is.
Young people want fame, attention, popularity, and validation. This might not be new, except that the stage that they can operate from is infinitely bigger than what was available just a decade ago. Does the quest for ‘likes’ ever end? Watch this film now.