Sunday, October 11, 2009

YouTube Response

It was so easy to embed this video!

I first tried to search for "embed video," and it just took me to this list of all these YouTube videos about embedding things, which I didn't want. All I wanted, I got by clicking the "YouTube on Your Site" link. Which proves that sometimes, you really don't need a YouTube video to learn something by watching someone else do it. Sometimes, you really can just read the directions.

I have mixed feelings about the above-embedded video. The only social networking example he really focused on was YouTube. YouTube matters because it's a great educational resource, and has potential for people to be really creative. But as the speaker admitted, there's thousands of hours of crap uploaded every single day. Who wants to search through all of that just to find the one really funny, or really poignant, or really interesting video?

I guess it has the potential to connect people--but why aren't people connecting face to face? Why are people doing all of this connection in an anonymous, kind of narcissistic way? It makes it seem inauthentic. Also, there's so much potential for connection but most of YouTube's users aren't using it that way, at least not in a way I can see.

The role of the "self" in social networking is strange. I don't think you have to be particularly self-aware, but you do have to want to put yourself out there. You can be whatever "self" you want to present yourself as online. When making a video, or writing a post, you're very aware that this is meant to be read or viewed by someone else, so you're not your uninhibited, or what some may say is your real self- the you that you are when no one is watching, or the you that comes out when you wish no one was watching. But you're still a version of yourself, and you have to think that you, is so important that people want to watch it or connect to it or respond to it to even put it out there. I disagree with what the speaker said about people being less self conscious when they're sharing themselves online, but that people may be more so because they're actively constructing this idea of themselves.

I like the idea of using some social networking arenas in education. YouTube, for example, has a lot of resources available for teachers. I don't know if I would ask my students to publish themselves in the way that this professor asks his to, even if I did teach adults at university instead of secondary school students. Perhaps it would be best to confine the "sharing" to something only the students and teacher can see, or others with authorization.

I don't think I look at social network differently because of the video, but the video (and my being asked to respond to it in this medium) has made me realize that I'm rather pessimistic about the whole thing, and that it's ironic that I'm responding to this YouTube video about YouTube through a blog entry.


  1. I completely agree with you that the "self" that is portrayed online is not exactly the true self but a version of yourself. It may even be a "made up self" or something you wish you were but are not. I do not know if I will use social networking in my classes either as it has the potential to be dangerous to students and if students want to have profiles/blogs/etc. they can do it in their own time.

  2. For an undergrad course, I had to make a video blog post as a historical character. I posted a clip about how I felt about certain things that were relevant to the topic. I hated it!! Maybe students would like it?