Growing Up Online – Being an Active Audience

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be the first generation to grow up online, because the only other people who understand what it is like, wouldn’t need to have explained to them. In my house, if the internet is ‘down’ my younger brother and I are the first to figure out that is it, why and what to do, not because we know exactly what we are doing, but because part of growing up online is this ability to tinker and play around with technologies until we are able to understand it and use it to its full potential. We’ve always been able to google our homework, find out our news from online sources, connect with our friends in new and exciting ways that our parents could never even imagine when they were our age.

Due to the fact we are always connected to each other through computers and phones, to other generations it seems ‘anti-social’ and like we are ignoring the physical word around us, when we could be using our phones to connect with old friends, talk to family or even updating ourselves on world news. This constant connection has changed the way the media audience receives and responds to the information being presented to them. Changing from being perceived as a passive audience to an active one, who can change the direction and flow of content. For example, YouTube content creators asking their audience for ideas on things they want to see for their weekly/daily content, Such as Grace Helbig has done recently in her YouTube videos asking her audience what they wanted to see on each day she posts content.

Media anxieties still exist in this active audience, as pointed out in the lecture, but it seems like they have been become more prevalent to the general population because of the greater access to media. Although this greater access has created new anxieties, it has also created connections to ways to elevate these anxieties. For example, a current media anxiety is Cyber-Bullying and because of this there has been may organisations that have emerged to assist with young people dealing with this issue, such as ReachOut.org.

Until Next Week!

 References:

Helbig, G. (2016). Grace Helbig. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/graciehinabox?feature=hovercard [Accessed 15 Mar. 2016].

ReachOut.com. (2016). Cyberbullying. [online] Available at: http://au.reachout.com/cyberbullying [Accessed 15 Mar. 2016]. 

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