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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thought-provoking question of the day...

Justin Bieber has one of the most disliked videos on Youtube, and he seems to have a strong fanbase organized against him. At the same time, however, he hasn't necessarily done anything wrong, like screw his life up with any publicity stunts, or post any ridiculous videos. The only ridiculous video I've ever seen of him is when he had that bottle thrown at him- which was hilarious. What I'm saying though, is that Bieber hasn't done anything to make people hate him, except act as a heartthrob to teenage girls everywhere. That, in itself, is a reason to hate him, apparently.

Now, I can't vouch for this kid, and I don't find him appealing in the least. His manner exudes an idolization of older rappers and he's almost TOO good-natured. I think he's a target for so many internet critics because he's the first young pop icon of the age of the internet- literally built by Youtube, twitter, and the like, rather than being created from an aspiring child actor or singer, or even a musician who had numerous trials on their way to fame. He just kind of had everything fall into his lap. He posted videos on Youtube as was recognized for them. Because he was essentially spawned from the interwebs, those who lurk upon them feel it is necessary to criticize his success and nature. I'm not defending him in any way- I think his personality and songs are very shallow. But I think his success says a lot about where the age of the internet is leading- and how much we have changed over the past ten years.

We didn't have forums like 4chan or blogs where we could post our opinions for others to see back in the days of pop stars like Britney Spears or N'Sync, though if you did, it wasn't as easily accessible because of the nature of the internet. Those who could criticize stars like them had do be journalists and write for pop magazines, which required a bit of talent (I suppose) and a successful career. Now, we can log on to a forum, go to the "I hate Justin Bieber" topic, RAEG about it for a minute or so, and then leave. Or we can try to facilitate the Google Trends of Bieber Syphilis. We are allowed to be much more outspoken because of the internet, and results in some new ways to acknowledge our dislike for certain things. So, for all of those who love Bieber and support him, there's an equally as strong group of people who don't, and (un?)fortunately, they have the internet as a tool to speak out against him.

But let's also talk about the implications of Bieber's success. He used Youtube as a tool- perhaps not entirely aware of what he was doing, but still- to get his name out there and become recognized. It reminds me of the story of another performer who is surely more talented- Bo Burnham, who used Youtube to post his incredibly clever and witty videos, which gained popularity and landed him two Comedy Central specials and two records. Youtube is now a networking tool that can be used extremely effectively and also negatively.

Being a performing arts major, I was told in a class recently that "anything that you have posted on Youtube or Facebook that is not performance quality should be taken down," because casting directors and other professionals will be checking those places in order to see what kind of performers we are, and if we have any other material that showcases our ability. Even Facebook is not "safe" from the potential uses it could have besides its intended purpose- which brings up an interesting thought about the internet and its uses. We need to utilize this technology as much as possible if we want to benefit from it- the makers of Facebook and Youtube and Google did this in much more revolutionary ways and they profited greatly from it, but we can even build off of their success and use their creations for furthering ourselves.

In short, the internet is a useful and sometimes dangerous. What we put on the world wide web can be viewed by more people than you think and can be used in your defense as well as against you. It's a scary thought, but the internet is more ingrained in our lives than we could possibly imagine, and those who attempt to use it simple as a leisurely tool are not utilizing its full potential, and may not realize what they are truly dealing with.

Oh, and the thought provoking question of the day is, "Do you hate Justin Bieber...?"

More appropriately, this article could use the current situation occurring in Egypt as a far better and more effective example. What transpired there is a truly astounding thing event that was organized via social networking. Discuss.

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