Tech Task #2 – An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube


This is a presentation by Michael Wesch discussing how different our world is now because of media websites that are now available. The internet is constantly evolving and it connects people in numerous places using numerous tools – the web is no longer only and information data base full of information. The video focuses on YouTube, a place where people can  will share their voice and will be vocal because of the anonymity that is provided.

Our task was to watch the video and then to reflect on ideas presented by Michael Wesch.

Ideas I agreed with:

  • A web-cam can give you a new voice and a new form of identity and community, creating global connections.
  • It is getting easier and easier to connect with each other no matter people’s location.
  • People are the center of the mediascape.
  • People address YouTube as being a community because their own communities are less connected through people to people communication and there more individualized networks.
  • You form and take on a new identity that you choose when you put yourself out there online.
  • There is anonymity when posting comments on YouTube which is probably why so many people actually do leave comments. There is a physical distance and they do not fear how others may respond.

Ideas that surprise me:

  • YouTube has produced more hours of broadcasting in three months with everyday people, than three major networks did in a total of three years. The date of this presentation is 2008. I can’t imagine what the stats would be today.
  • The other opening facts and numbers are hard to imagine.
  • Most videos are meant for 100 viewers or less.
  • Videos get remixed in outstanding numbers. Ex. “Charlie Bit My Finger”. I didn’t know the rate was so high.

Ideas that I can relate to:

  • It does seem really weird and awkward to talk to yourself on a web-cam when you aren’t using Skype or a a similar program where you can see another human being.
  • Authenticity is an issue. With this community, we have the ability to choose how we share ourselves with others while still remembering the need to be true and authentic. An example of this could be my Twitter account. I have two accounts because one shows a more professional side of who I am and the other shows a more personal side of who I am with parts of myself that I am not ready to share with the world. In both of these Twitter accounts however, I do think I am being authentic. I haven’t figured out yet how to feel comfortable and authentic about myself if I merge the two together.

Ideas I cannot relate to:

  • User-generated organization.
  • Not knowing what to say when doing a vlog – I can’t just sit down and start talking. I need to have a script written down or ideas though out on paper that I can refer to.

Ideas that were specifically interesting:

  • Digital text is not just about information but it links people together like they have never been before.
  • A small personal video can be seen more times than commercials that take millions of dollars to make. – I think content and message is important here.
  • YouTube videos – 25% feature teenagers and people over 35 and that the strong age group of those on YouTube is 18-24. I would have thought the strongest age group would be 12-17 year olds.
  • Home videos are the most commonly uploaded videos.
  • We talk to a web camera which is really us talking to people that we don’t even know. At first we feel awkward, but we eventually feel comfortable putting ourselves out there.

Ideas that affect my thinking about teaching and learning:

  • Media mediates human relationships. Media changes and this effects human relationships. I think that students are influenced by media and it can effect the relationships that we build with them and the ways we communicate with our students.
  • It is easier to be ourselves when people aren’t constantly watching us. I agree and think that when you record something and have people view it later we may feel more comfortable to be more expressive in the moment. I think this helps to reduce fears and stress and that this is something important to remember when having students do an oral reading test for example. They may be really nervous because you are right there assessing them in the moment. I think a more accurate reflection of their reading could be assessed if there was less pressure on the student and if we weren’t watching them so closely, pressuring them as they read.
  • When we view ourselves for example through a video, we see how we appear to others. I think sometimes we often don’t think about this. When we watch ourselves we can have mixed emotions and reactions, and say, “is that really me?” This may cause us to change. I know that when I am being recorded, I do portray myself differently, and I worry about how I will look and seem to other people. This is something for me to be aware of because I would like to show others the true me and to not worry about what others may think.

Other thoughts and ideas:

  • The “Numa Numa” song really is awesome.
  • YouTube has its own culture.
  • There are such a variety of videos on YouTube. We should experience a variety of them and not just the popular ones, the music ones or the most viewed videos. We should experience the culture of YouTube and watch many different videos, maybe even ones we may just skip over because they could convey a powerful message to us.

This video was very interesting and made a lot of points that I now have thought about more in depth and in regards to context. I see more uses for YouTube and how it truly does create a culture and a community.


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