– How often do we see a bad performance on Youtube and comment on it?
– How often do we repost a status for a good cause like the breast cancer foundation?
– How often do we click a like button on facebook just to get their discount offer?
And why do we do that? Well, it’s simple; because we exercised our critical thinking and have decided that it is the best thing for us to do.
– We Comment on a bad performance to spare the performer from further humiliation of themselves in the public.
– We Repost a status for a good cause to demonstrate support by raising awareness.
– We Click the like buttons to get awesome discount to save more money.
And it is all logically sounding…However, are we really exercising critical thinking? Or are we merely controlled by the hidden agenda that we no longer able to see through due to our busily scheduled life with the overflowing of information?
I mean, think critically, truly critical and not only the surface;
Every comment and view on Youtube makes money for the producer.
Every repost on Facebook constitute a better figure for organisation to bargain with investors.
Every like buttons create an extra avenue for companies to advertise to us cost-free.
And although us as the producer of the content produced those information, what did we get? Perhaps a more expensive bills for the faster internet and NOTHING.. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Meanwhile, social media super stars such as Ray William Johnson and Smosh are making thousands and thousands by exploiting us the produser.
Never will I deny that produage is an interesting phenomenon. It, arguably, since the break of don, allowed those whom use the information, not only participate in the distribution of the information, but also in the recreation of the information. A piece of information can be absorbed, reproduced, reabsorbed, recreated and reproduced and so go on. Theoretically, the forever continually recycling of the information allowed us the perfect chance to think things through critically.
However, it has a flaw… and just like communism, this flaw made it work only on paper… and not in reality.
When information flows so freely, and every minutes it has the opportunity to be reproduced and recreated, the amount of information available out in the publicsphere increase rapidly. Although our ability to process information has improved since than, the speed of our evolution can never catch up with the speed of the recreation of information.
And as a result, we became cognitive misers.
We no long has the time, nor the ability, to critically think through the intention of the original producer of the information.
We are doing more surely.
But we are also becoming more dumber.
Here’s an Example:
Rebecca Black is perhaps the most hated singers since Chris Brown since the whole Rihanna fiasco, and her song Friday was so negatively viral that it had more than 30,000,000 views since 2011, having more than 623,779 youtube users expressed their displease with the song expressively (via the dislike function on youtube). Furthermore, even until today, most of the reviews are still negative on the Rebecca Black Channel, and the content are still… “unintellectual” and “soft”.
And yet, we still watch it and bitch about her, showing it to our friends and bitch about her together, showing it to co-workers at work to butch MORE about her… and the cycle of “bitching” is never-ending… and we all thought that it is logically sounding: a person wished to be humiliated shall be and will be humiliated by the public.
However, think critically, WHY would she post clips after clips KNOWING that she is not well-received?
Because she makes a tone of cash out of it.
Not to mention that for every thousand viewers she gets a certain amount of money (her total viewed to date is 86,236,712… just imagine if she get a dollar for every thousands view! That’s $86,236… the annual salary of a university professor!), she utilises her negative image to advertise her albums.
Sure, people are not buying her albums because she is a good signer; they are buying it just to tease her… but the unchanging fact is that she is probably earning more than both me and you… times ten.
Though, can we really see through the surface and understand her underlying intention? No, because most of the time we focus on discussion about how horrible she is as a singer and that we need to mock her every chance that we can, utterly unknown that she uses it as a marketing technique to further her income.
And remember; she did not reproduce or recreate any information.
And what do we get? Nothing but a sense of self-sanctification (perhaps self-gratification) of teasing her.
But what did she get?
Millions and millions of dollars… from us.
So still think produsage is helping us to improve?
I doubt it.
Surely, we are doing more.
However, we are also becoming dumber.
Produsage is, undoubtedly, making us dumber by making us do more.