The documentary Frontline – Generation Like is a thought provoking look at how teenagers use and consume new media. Teenagers tell the world what they think through likes, retweets, views and follows. Companies are able to turn “the currency of likes turns into real currency”. Companies today believe the consumer is now their marketer and young people can sell a product for them and they employ complex marketing strategies to exploit this. Danah Boyd says in the documentary “Young people want attention and want validation and that’s not actually new” however the audience they can reach is much greater. Many of the teenagers interviewed speak of feeling empowered by using web 2.0 technologies. Some, such as Tyler Oakley understood that big business benefited from their activities and he used this to his advantage, but others were oblivious. I don’t believe this type if thinking is confined to teenagers. While some adults are suspicious of the ways companies such as Facebook and Google use their data, others do not give it a second thought.
Educators have an important role to play in teaching young people how to use social media safely and to question their relationship with it. I look forward to exploring this issue further throughout my studies.
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by owenwbrown
Frontline. (2014, February 18). Generation Like [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/