Film Review for “An Anthopological Introduction to YouTube”
Michael Wesch’s short film “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” does exactly what the title entails- he introduces YouTube from an anthropological point of view. While many may have issues thinking of YouTube as anything other than entertainment, Wesch does an exceptional job of connecting these two subjects. Wesch begins with introducing YouTube; that is, he explains how YouTube really got big. From the beginning of YouTube, he goes into demographics for YouTube. After this point in the video is where Wesch starts to talk about communication, particularly in social media. Anthropology is the study of human nature and human society. Anthropology aims to describe what it means to be human in a broad sense. Wesch, all from an anthropological stand point of what it means to be human, covers how YouTube became a part of today’s community, how it has the potential to destroy community, and how it builds community.
First, it must be understood how YouTube has become a part of today’s society. Wesch marks the “Numa Numa” video as the mark of the start of YouTube. This video gets popular in Italy. From Italy it goes to Europe in general, after this video heads to Japan and somehow lands itself on a computer in a suburb of New Jersey. According to Wesch, most of the videos on YouTube are homemade and intended for less than 100 people; however, he also states almost 100,000 of the 200,000 videos on Youtube are addressed to a YouTube community. This community can range from anyone to anywhere. Wesch references Robert Putman, author of “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”, who’s idea is that community has been lost over time. Over time, locally owned mom and pop grocery stores turn into Wal-Mart super stores on every corner. The face to face communications has been lost over the years, but people are starting to replace it with social media online.
Social media has been growing and...
An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube. Perf. Michael Wesch. 2008. YouTube. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.
McClard, Anne, and Ken Anderson. "Focus on Facebook: Who Are We Anyway?" Anthropology News 49.3 (2008): 10-12. Print.
"Number of Active Users at Facebook Over the Years." Finance.yahoo.com. Associated Press, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/number-active-users- facebook-over-years-214600186--finance.html>.
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