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There is a quirky video circulating (warning, language may offend some) poking fun at the activities of new media participants. Aside from the fact I found it quite funny, I share it with your for two reasons:
1. There is a good deal of truth (truthiness?) in the message.
2. It is a great use of video in a blog (although not totally unique it is simple and smart. I liked the white-board illustrations a lot.)
In terms of point number one, it hits home because, let’s face it, there really are many individuals out there who “hate a lot of stuff” and make it a point to tell everyone about it via social media. While everyone has a an opinion and is entitled to it, blogs, podcasts, video and social networking platforms provide an amplified means to spread critical commentaries. The space is developing a “reputation” because of it. The question to ask is, “where does this theme of pointing out the bad in everything end up taking us?”
The real issue remains that many outsiders likely see these channels of communication simply as a stomping ground where nasty complaints are logged about the world around us and the efforts of others. Does this serve to advance the legitimacy of new media? I think it diminishes the real potential and power when it is used as a forum for pointing out the bad without discussing the good. It should be used to elevate the conversation to a higher place, not consistently drag it down.
As easy as it would be to lash out and attack the content of this video and it’s creator, that would serve only to prove the point it makes.
Yes we love to be critical and we do love to read well written vitriolic musings – the schadenfreude to it all. However, to really push things forward in this space we have to separate entertainment from education. Distance the snide and snarky from the smart and stimulating. Focus on the constructive instead of the destructive.
The good news is that there is a plethora of good stuff out there that manages to raise the bar. There is a phrase my Mom is fond of, you probably have heard it before … “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all”. We would do well to keep that in mind at times. Kudos to those who do manage to steer clear of slinging the mud by taking the higher road and sticking to it – you know who you are.