The web is littered with distractions, social media is divided into factions, and true friends no longer hang out on Facebook. According to Pew Research, one-in-three people on Facebook “engage in cyberbullying.” Social media can be super stressful. Especially when it comes to conducting a class.
The social media we have is so much more powerful than other Internet sources. With the use of image or video-sharing sites, we not only don’t see who our viewers are, we can be made fun of by your peers as well. Even with a webcam on us, there is always somebody out there who will record what we are doing. We may be able to see who is watching us, but what if they do something to harm us?
Our experience is much worse than it should be because it is hard to know exactly what people are doing in a 2D screen. I don’t have a full understanding of what my classmates see when they look at me, but I know what they did. Class is emotional for many students. We have to deal with each other for a week before we are ever able to sit down and work together. Working on a shared issue with people who are near you while your best friend is trying to look at a laptop while avoiding the gaze of their crush is extra stressful.
In one case that I heard about, an art student was making a special display for her class. She was made to record every stage of the process in a loop. In case they missed a step, the recording would become clear. The filming began on a Tuesday morning, the end of the day many people wouldn’t be awake. The next day, a surprise party was held to celebrate the completion of the display.
The director of the art department noticed that part of her display had been missed. Upon reviewing the photos, he realized that someone had taken a photo of it while the recording was still on. If he would have known, he would have pulled the trigger and probably killed the creator.
The star of any great YouTube series is the editing. People love to watch someone edit something, whether it’s a moving picture or video. The best video editors are the ones who can monitor the outcomes of their work and be able to pause and halt it. In a situation like this, I imagine the same thing. The director of the art department watches for patterns and makes sure his students will be safe. When I was in an art class, I did the same thing. It would definitely give you pause if your private work was only visible to people who look like they came from your best friend’s pool party.
When people consume new information, they are always looking for what they have never experienced before. They are searching for knowledge. If they are not comfortable viewing somebody else’s work, what could you possibly do to make them want to? Trying to get an audience for your internet music videos is an uphill battle. Have people be enthusiastic enough about your work to contribute and see how you measure up? Only you can do that.
At the end of the day, a college education is an experience to be enjoyed. I have found that learning from the internet is more rewarding when people give feedback on your work. If the class is looking at something, ask the teacher if they know anything else about it that could give you a better understanding. I was fortunate that some of my peers wished me well. My goal as an artist is to learn something about each one of my videos. Being able to show the people who can’t see my work that I have such a great ability to tell a story. Their constructive critique will motivate me and move me in my goal to improve my work.