Sunday 01 April 2007

Why Are User-Generated Contents So Popular On The Internet?

The internet is increasingly becoming a platform for creative self-expression and exhibitionism. It has become a public stage for anyone who is willing to perform for the masses to see. Nowhere is this more true on the web than with the current popularity of user-generated contents in new media creation. Web services such as YouTube and Flickr allow users to upload and share self-made videos and photos online with anyone freely on the internet. The subject matters in these user-created media are often personal and frivolous, and the contents within are largely unfiltered and juvenile. Mostly, for the creators of these media, they serve little purpose except as a form of self-liberation. Equally, for the viewers of such contents, they serve little purpose except as a form of guilt-free voyeurism. In the extreme, this form of online exhibitionism uses live video and audio feeds to broadcast a person’s daily life, online and nonstop 24/7, on the internet. In effect, this is The Truman Show (an otherwise fictional drama) coming to real life. Perhaps we have always been preoccupied with the need to stroke our own ego, but it is not until now that the internet has provided such a simple means to soothe our own vanity.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under Tech • Under World
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