… Is the fact that it allows virtually everyone to create content. And I mean, everyone.
The resulting content fulfils a wide range of interests. You can find content not unlike the one in traditional media, which appeals to older internet users and fans of Youtubers who still fall for the prestige of traditional media. But, you can also find content which is criminally almost absent from most traditional media outlets, e.g. urban planning and fringe arts.
Social media allow bigots, conspiracists and extremists to spread their dangerous beliefs and empower their fellow ideologues. But, at the same time, social media also allow people of marginalised communities -who are usually voiceless in traditional mainstream media and are often represented by tokens- to publicly and proudly find their voices, consequentially empowering themselves and anyone just like them.
Social media allow their users lower their collective moral standards; when we thought we couldn’t get any lower with Logan Paul and JayStation, we get Stas Reefleyy. But, at the same time, they also allow their users to raise the moral standards; nowadays, it becomes harder for the audience to tolerate Youtubers’ problematic remarks and behaviours, especially with the abundance of commentators.*
I hate and love social media because they are both boringly-conventional and refreshingly-niche at the same time.
I hate and love social media because they empower both people who shouldn’t be empowered in the first and people who are deserving of the empowerment which the traditional mainstream media deprive them of.
I hate and love social media because they compel the masses to lower and raise their moral standards at the same time.
I hate and love social media because they do things that I hate and love the most. It is an annoying paradox.
*Yes yes, cancel culture. I know. I do acknowledge that public figures can be unfairly targeted simply for having unpopular opinions or having their words and actions misconstrued.
But, at the same time, I hate how the anti-cancel culture crowd ignore that not all of the targets are innocent. Some of them are being cancelled because their opinions and actions empower anyone who will definitely cause harm to their fellow human beings.
Oh, and your hypocrisy also warrants the backlashes against you. If you spend your entire career preaching about love and acceptance in your own books, you don’t have the right to complain when people condemn you for not practicing what you preach.
I also have to admit Youtube commentators’ sanctimonious attitude can be off-putting to behold; in the case of James Charles, they can also be impressionable morons who partake in the witch hunt.
But, whether you like them or not, they are among the first to call out problematic behaviours of big name creators, making sure we take heed of the sins being committed and commit them to memory.
Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.