It’s Not My Fault I’m So Popular!

Facebook… Twitter… YouTube… they’re all just basically mechanisms for marketing oneself online to the world aren’t they? A few weeks ago Andrew (click here to check out his post) gave us a great blog about the in-erasable digital footprint that we put online on a daily basis, and when it comes time for searching for jobs suddenly this can become a major issue. One of the things that concerns me is this ease with which we now publicly market ourselves in an attempt to seek social acceptance, praise, and congratulations. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if we were only promoting responsible and safe activities, but a lot of what is posted online is what, I consider, to be both stupid, and dangerous, and encourages others to engage in the same activity to reach this sense of recognition.

 

Social media in particular has revolutionised this idea that each person is now capable of standing out of the crowd, a whole page dedicated purely to their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like everyone has the right to feel special, like they are an essential part of the world, but I also believe that certain people take what I describe as the ‘thrill of recognition’ too far and will try to obtain too heavy a presence online, acting as a bad influence for other impressionable individuals.
This ‘thrill of recognition’ I’m talking about is that little feeling of giddiness when someone likes a picture, or comments and you say to yourself “Yay! People like me!”.

famous

So what am I talking about when I say ‘stupid and dangerous’ activities? Let me get this clear, this is what I perceive to be stupid and dangerous, and I’m not saying that everyone who does these things is stupid, I’m merely saying that a few individuals have utilised the internet to promote moronic behaviour for attention that can ultimately encourage others to follow suit. The top of mind responses of recent fads we have seen posted all over the net in particular is a) Train Surfing, b) NekNominations and c) even the seemingly innocent Planking

train surf

For those of you who live under a rock and haven’t seen this either on the news or online, train surfing is the act of grabbing hold of a passing train, usually at the very back of the train (above), and riding it from the outside. NekNominations was this process whereby individuals would skull a full pint of beer before nominating a mate to do the same thing within 24 hours. This particular one sounds relatively harmless, until you consider all the people that started doing dangerous (and illegal) things WHILST drinking their beer ie. Driving a car. And then there was planking, a little bit further back in time, and this one was just lying perfectly flat on some kind of surface, this too seemed relatively innocent until people started doing it from extraordinarily dangerous heights, on cop cars and even train tracks (below).

plank

I’m sure many of the people who complete these activities think nothing more than “it’s a bit of fun”, but in doing so, they want to be recognised as they are almost always filmed by a friend, or caught on security cameras, they want to draw attention to themselves. What’s more, others will then watch these videos, or look at these images and see it as something they MUST do in order to be considered ‘suave’, leading them to follow suit, usually upping the danger factor in order to be recognised.

 

So has social media created a society of attention desperate individuals willing to complete moronic and dangerous acts for the thrill of recognition and in the process encouraging others to do so as well? Are these individuals going with the “all publicity is good publicity” motto that they’ll regret later in life? Should we be caring more about our digital footprint and the repercussions it could have?

I’d love to hear from you and what you think! Comment below!

 

 

 

It’s Not Stealing! I’m Taking A Stand!

I’ve always seen illegal downloading as just that, illegal. It wasn’t until a discussion in class this week that I considered it as a means of ‘sharing’ instead of ‘stealing’.  I can go and buy the new Game of Thrones season, and then lend it to all of my friends to watch. Does HBO then have the right to sue me because I lent them my DVD’s? Isn’t illegal download the exact same thing just on a larger scale?

piracy

The main reason I believe people download illegally is because of the CONSTANT rising costs of paying for products like movies, TV shows, music and books legally. Just as an example: ONCE AGAIN! Village’s prices have gone up. My boyfriend and I can’t even go out to the movies without it costing us $34 for the tickets alone and that’s because we’re students! Once I finish Uni it will be straight up to $40 for the two of us! And that’s just with the regular screen! So we add on the $2 booking fee, the snacks, extra for 3D or VMAX, AAAAAAAAND if you go with 3D you also pay for your glasses (god I miss the days of the free red and blue 3D glasses!). The fact of the matter is that these companies are just ASKING for people to download illegally, the prices for these products are ridiculous and they’re wondering why they’re seeing such a slump in sales! Unfortunately this seems like a never ending problem for companies. It’s all about supply and demand; as the demand reduces from these consumers downloading illegally, the prices keep getting jacked up to compensate for lost sales.

MOney

The other primary reasons include the effort involved in acquiring products; it’s much easier to download than to make a trip down to the shops, and the variety of options for consumers; there’s an unlimited supply of products online for every person’s interests, whilst companies may only provide a limited selection.

Now these companies aren’t just going to take this lying down. To them, illegal downloading is going to eradicate jobs in the creation, production and distribution of these products. Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Disney and the Seven Network attempted to sue internet provider iiNet in 2008 for ‘allowing their users to illegally download’ in an attempt to set a precedent to prevent the larger internet providers from allowing online downloading. The legal battle was unsuccessful, however Parliament has been reviewing the idea more recently and could cause serious issues in the near future for illegal downloader’s. If this is successful, we could all face the same issue we had with LimeWire and have no choice but to pay these ridiculous prices that we as consumers forced up. (credit http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/biztech/film-pirates-put-iinet-in-the-dock/2008/11/20/1226770617457.html)

legal

Now in my opinion, the battle is not over for these companies! They just need to move WITH the times, and try to meet consumer needs in order to try and combat illegal downloading. Netflix is an example of a company that may offer a medium between ridiculously priced cinemas and DVD’s. They have continued to grow over the past few years to the point where they are now competing with Cable TV in the states for top position according to this report posted at the end of last year.

Graph

(Image retrieved from http://mashable.com/2013/12/05/netflix-cable-users)

Illegal downloading will never entirely be eradicated but it may be reduced if companies are willing to open up the option of online and affordable products. What are your thoughts? Would an online affordable option make you feel more inclined to pay for products legally? Do you think if these laws are put in place to prevent illegal downloading that consumers will have no choice but to pay? OR will consumers just fine a new way to revolt? Leave your comments below!!

downloading

WARNING! WARNING! YOUR PRIVACY HAS BEEN BREACHED!

I don’t know about all of you, but I personally get quite cranky over the fact that certain search websites, like Google, are able to communicate information to other companies about your search interests. Now, studying marketing, I understand that this information is vital for certain types of targeted advertising, however the reason this annoys me is because of the manner in which I am then bombarded with identical advertisements on every inch of my computer screen when I’m going about my usual procrastination efforts.

Now from the advertiser’s perspective it’s a fantastic way of trying to sneak into your possible consumers every-day lives. And PERSONALLY  I can say it works! Though I hate having those rotating adverts showing me all the possible “winter coats” or “Samsung tablets” I could buy (just a few recent searches that prompted this blog), I often end up mesmerised and eventually click on the link. How is this any different from the outside advertising we see on billboards, bus stops, train carriages, or at the start of a film I hear you say? Well that’s a valid point! Everywhere we go we are faced with advertising! Movies and music video’s think they’re fooling us with their subtle integration of everything from clothes, to booze, fast food, jewellery and much more! We don’t get mad at these methods of advertising that are arguably just as invasive, so what’s the difference??Winter coats

Well from my perspective, when I turn the telly on, when I go down to the bus stop, when I pay money to go and see a movie, I personally believe I am aware I am going to be shown adverts, I not only expect it, in certain circumstances I am paying for it (since I always rock up to a movie on time to make sure my seats not taken!). However, when I go onto my computer to chat to some friends on facebook, check my emails, or even do homework (lol jk) I feel like it should be a space that is mine, and my personal searches should not be shared with all these websites in an attempt to make me buy something. In addition I find it to have an element of ‘creepiness’ that these ads reflect the searches I have JUST conducted, like someone is stalking my every internet move.

So what do you think? Am I over reacting? Should I just suck it up? Is this an inevitable consequence of technology advancements?  Or do you agree this is this an invasion of our privacy? Should companies be given this information from search engines like Google? Post your comments below!