Same Love: A Powerful Example of Digital Rhetoric

I remember my friends and I all hovered around the computer to watch the much anticipated “Same Love” video, after being so impacted by the lyrics of the hit song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The song, the music video, and the conversation inspired by the nature of both, are all different elements of digital rhetoric.

The video was posted on Youtube, by Ryan Lewis, with the caption “We support civil rights, and hope WA State voters will APPROVE REF 74 and legalize marriage equality.” The video received over 350,000 views within the first 24 hours of its posting. Youtube is a wonderful example of a platform for digital rhetoric in that it presents a video, which is a piece of digital rhetoric itself, and then allows for commentary allowing others to play with, assess, and contemplate the ideas presented in the video thus including another element of digital rhetoric. The controversial nature of this video led many who felt passionately about the subject to contribute to the conversation that took place in the comment section. The deep and complex ideas regarding religion, homosexuality, feminism, and racism, are all discussed in multiple comments, sometimes in the form of ignorant racial, and homophobic slurs, sometimes in the form of profound and eloquent arguments on either side.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the legalization of same sex marriage, or any other topics that the song and music video “Same Love” addressed, its viral media presence shed light on very important, and prevelent issues that are difficult to talk about. Thus, the digital rhetoric inspired conversation outside of the digital realm, extending it to the classroom, the dinner table, the church/temple pews.

“Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert

Sophie Burton

Sophomore in LSA, from Minnesota. I love yoga and sea salt truffles.

2 thoughts to “Same Love: A Powerful Example of Digital Rhetoric”

  1. I also talked about how YouTube is an addition to digital rhetoric. I really enjoyed reading about how it has impacted our society politically wise. Now, it only seems normal for our generation to be “immune” to songs like Macklemore’s “Same Love”, but that has not been always the case for other generations. Obviously our generation has grown up to wonderful artists like Macklemore who do challenge our societal norms to accept those who “aren’t normal” and address hot topics in our society. I do like your analysis about how this video is presented as having a viral media presence that “sheds light on very important and prevalent issues that are difficult to talk about”. Therefore, this shows the new importance that digital rhetoric has on our society. It can spark a conversation that you may not normally be use to just because someone saw a “trending” YouTube video while surfing on the web. Great analysis! It is so weird considering that we are basically the first generation that grew up with all this new technology around us that sparked digital rhetoric.

  2. This is a really great example of digital rhetoric! All music videos use visuals to tell a story coinciding with their lyrics, but Same Love especially does. I mentioned the comment section in my blog post, but it also applies to this example. The comments on this video have their own digital rhetoric. And they can be very different from that of the video. It might be interesting to compare rhetorics of the comments. As this song deals with a controversial issue, people have very strong opinions. The elements of digital rhetoric allow this to come through.

Leave a Reply