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Subject of interest #191301 – Oh Dearism
“A Short film about how mainstream media simplify complex events and present them as “scattered terrible things happening everywhere, Oh Dear”, leaving the public feeling powerless to do anything about them”
In this post i would like to begin to explore the concept and relationship between the short film by Adam Curtis titled Oh Dearism, (first broadcast in 2009 on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe, in the third episode of the first series) and how todays customers (News Producers) and users (Jo-Publicq) of Social Media companies experience similar techniques.
At the heart of the concept of Oh Dearism is powerlessness, it’s something we all feel when we watch/read/hear a news item on some terrible occurrence. I have felt it and i have seen it in others discomfort, and utter confusion in their powerlessness to do anything about the disaster unfolding in front of them, it’s as if they were right there at the scene of the tragedy but are somehow being pinned down by a great weight – unable to take action, the resulting emotion is dread mixed with defeat.
“Well, what can i do?” …best just switch over the channel – “ah! look Grand Designs!” …aaaand escape.
Our Mirror neurons allow us to transcend time and space through our screens, it’s part of what makes the visual format so stimulating; and why as humans we often spend way too much time transcending time and space, when we ought to perhaps be spending more quality time with loved ones and exploring outside our comfort zone.
Oh Dearism hinges on the premise that i see something… i feel something… i feel i can do… nothing. This is understandable when applied to the one-directional TV format of yesteryear but what about the format of todays… er, year? Social Media, it could be argued is the opposite – all empowering, engaging, all encompassing even! I see something… i feel something… i feel i can do… something. Furthermore it lets us get completely wrapped up in the something we want to do something about, so we do something right?
Subject of interest #1357301 – Pictivism
We’ve all seen it by now, something happens somewhere in the world that reaches the top of the world news agenda for days, sometimes weeks. People feel an emotional reaction and look for solutions on how to signal they care, they see some friends on social media have changed their profile pics to highlight they are thinking about said news item – people join in, resulting in sometimes millions of profile pictures turning a certain color or national flag for a brief time.
The resulting feeling; i did something! – no more Oh Dearism, i can rest easy – i made a change, a contribution, and now all my friends know it – maybe they will also change their profile pictures too and then we can all feel part of this change movement. Result!
Have you changed your profile picture to support a cause? How did it make you feel? Have you done it again since? I am keen to understand the resulting emotion you felt immediately after, 24 hours after, 7 days after etc – did the feeling diminish? When did you change your profile back again? How did you know when you had gotten the change you desired?
Feel free to leave your comment below or tweet me @richtella
After spending quite some time now figuring out where Qwids can fit into the marketplace here in Sweden, I recently happened across an article called: “Social media marketing’ is completely useless – but it could be a lot better”
This article (By Samuel Scott) impacted me greatly and appeared to somewhat reaffirm my personal thoughts around engagement on social media. In the article he repeatedly shows us how people do not have any interest in engaging with brands; providing a comical example in the form of a real life situation.
“imagine yourself entering a supermarket. Ask random people – normal people, not marketers – if they want to “have a relationship” with any of the products in their shopping carts. They’ll probably punch you in the face for being a pervert. (Due credit: Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman’s “Refrigerator Test” was the inspiration for this example.)”
If people do not, and likely will not, engage with brands in the social media sphere then the author recommends his solution is simply to:
“treat social media platforms merely as new, additional channels over which marketers can choose to do traditional marketing activities.”
For me this feels a little ‘one step forward, two steps back’ He sights the Lexus hoverboard commercial as a great example. “That is not ‘social media marketing’ – it is doing brand advertising over social media channels.” he says.
The thing is; being from a skateboarding background myself and being a little tech geeky too, while the video was entertaining and as the author of the article states it had 14m views, how much of that brand advertising converted in to orders for Lexus? and how much of it disappointed viewers when they discovered; as stated in one of the top comments on the youtube video:
“They aren’t marketing the board. It’s never going into mass production. It’s a geek tech advertising for Lexus cars. It’s using superconductor technology that has been around for a century.”
Imagine for a second (as did the author of the article in his supermarket example above) that next time you interacted with a car salesperson at your local car dealer, they navigated you away from the cars and over to a shelf with an extremely beautifully designed quadcopter, the salesperson takes you outside and shows you what it’s capable of by flying it around.
As you stand there watching the car salesperson fly the super cool quadcopter around the skies with great ease and dexterity, at which point are you thinking – i really need that quadcopter, how can i buy one? – and at which point are you thinking – i am sure i came here for a car, what is happening right now?