I wish we could’ve spent a little more time talking about blogging because I would claim that they have been very influential in shaping American millennials, and in turn impacting industries and institutions in America. Twitter and Tumblr, and perhaps Vine as well, have provided a new source of entertainment for our generation. Instead of monopolistic media companies providing entertainment, every day users of these social media platforms, a lot of which are forms of microblogging, provide entertainment for their mutuals/followers. For instance, Drake recently released the video for his Hotline Bling single. I have seen a plethora of videos where Drake is seen dancing in the video, but to another song. Most of these posts include the hashtag DrakeAlwaysOnBeat, which at first applied to Beyonce. This phenomenon is culturally ingrained in this twitter/tumblr/vine world of entertainment.
These platforms are a space for people to share what react to cultural relevant productions, usually in relation to the entertainment industry, but in an active rather than passive way. The humor found on these sites, maybe less so vine in this instance, is quick. That’s part of the appeal. Kairos is extremely important, especially on twitter. Its fleeting relevance is what adds to its appeal, popularity, and hilarity. Unfortunately, the humor is also usually insulting, but sometimes also subversive. This is typically accomplished by inverting a user’s initial attempt to insult another user. But it can also be purely conceptual and not targeted at a user of the site.
What is so great about Twitter, especially Black Twitter (an interesting phenomenon in and of itself) is that it is a cultural mecca. If aliens came to the planet and needed to understand humans, I would suggest turning to tweets. Its the perfect place for someone unfamiliar with certain cultural aspects to become indoctrinated in them. Its fleeting nature ultimately enables users to understand how culture applies to different situation, to understand where a certain community generally falls in relation to an issue. Its the ultimate fusion of personal + cultural + societal. Like that article on blogging suggested, it has its own rules.
What initially got me interested in social media platforms as this cultural tool was a post I saw on tumblr about grammar. A user was attempting to reprimand another user for not using punctuation. But the defense pointed out that the lack of punctuation was intentionally, it was a microblogging convention that conveyed that the text was meant to be read as merely a thought. That the way in which bloggers drop or add punctuation in a nature that is ultimately incorrect, shapes what and how the message is conveyed. There was something very intriguing about the fact that a social media platform could create a set of rules that challenge and expand our conception of grammar was incredible. At least in that moment.