Identity

I am an avid youtuber.  I love watching videos that have gone viral for their humour or how horrible others claim they are.  One of my latest obessions is with the song Friday by Rebecca Black. 

I usually wake up and within an hour am singing her song, but it’s not becuase it is a good song, but becuase I have heard it so many times as it is posted and reposted again for humorous purposes.  After first watching the Friday video on youtube I could not help but to scroll down on the page and read the comments below even though I knew they would not be nice.  I was shocked to read that she was 13.  I was also shocked to see some of the horrible posts about her video.  So I had to keep on searching the internet until I could learn more about her.  I came across this newscast that gave me more information. 



I had some inital thoughts after watching this video. 

My first thought was how the lady interviewing Rebecca Black is a grown lady, well into her career, who is sitting reading hate comments to a 13 year old girl and gauging her reaction.  I could not believe they aired that.  It seemed almost like the newscast was another way to make fun of her.

My second thought was what was the point of using auto tune when Rebecca Black actually has a great voice!  When she sang the anthem I was not expecting her to have such a great voice but she did. 

My third, and final, thought was the fact that she is selling her song on itunes is amazing!  She is making so much money off of people who ‘hate’ her song.  I loved her positivity in saying that at least the negative comments are still publicity.  Neil McCormick, a music critic, touches on some of these issues in his blog

Rebecca Black is not the only one to have her whole identity formed from a video that has gone viral.  It seems like in this day and time, anyone can get a negative digital identity just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It is rare that horrible, hilarious or inappropriate moments DON’T get caught on some sort of recording device now.  I can’t image the amount of viral videos that could have went out becuase I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or I said something that I shouldn’t have.  I could have a whole digital identity that could ruin the rest of my life.  I don’t though and I am one of the lucky ones.  I don’t have others taunting me for a time I danced in what I thought was privacy.

What happens to these people?  Will Charlie always be the boy who bit his brother or will we ever actually know the Star Wars guys name.  Will the UCLA girl always be known as the racist or will the fountain girl ever be able to hide the fact that she fell into a fountain?  A digital identity will not go away.  But there are people who have a very positive digital identity as well. 

I wonder what my digital footprint will be like in five years.  To take precautions and to keep it positive I will continue to follow simple rules/steps.  Right now my digital identity is pretty bare.  I know this after googling myself.  But I will follow some of the simple ideas on this slideshare presentation.  I do not know anyone who wants a digital identity, I can’t imagine losing a job or harming the future by not being smart about what a digital identity is.  I will do what I can to give myself a positive digital identity, but as we know, sometimes that is beyond a persons control.

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2 responses to “Identity

  • Brittney B

    Brandee,

    I agree with your post, you make a valid point. It is crazy how a video released out of mere fun is now being taken, shared, edited and portraying people in a negative way. I feel bad for Rebecca, she is only 13 years old. I mean clearly she put time in editing her video and as far as i am concerned good for her – a lot of work went into it. It makes me concerned too what i have lurking on the internet world for I have no control over the I or even a friend posts. Simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can give a person a negative image. I have also googled myself and feel satisfied with the context portraying my image.

    Where will the internet be in 5 years.. is a great question. Scary actually.

  • Daniella T

    I think that a lot of people don’t really think about what they put on the internet until it is too late. I also think that a lot of parents think that a video of their child is really cute and they want to share it, but how will those children feel when they are old enough to feel the repercussions of that decision.

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