On the Blurred Lines of Social Media

In the past year or so, there has been a trend of pushing the limits and stirring controversy in the media. Well, I suppose it’s been happening for a while, but the tone has been changing lately. There has been a knack for irony.

Last week, I touched on it with my post about “Hard Out Here” by Lily Allen. She addressed the topic of female oppression with blunt sarcasm, while showcasing the tropes of the mainstream media.

A lot of artists are going the route of taking those exact tropes and stretching them to the extreme. You know what I’m talking about, parading naked ladies around, sending dollar bills flying every where, and manipulating our collective unconscious fetish with gyrating asses. All these things are a cornerstone of our culture and they spell out one word, consumerism.

However, of late, these things have been used as tools. They are no longer blind actions that sell; they stir a response. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the people behind these music videos and songs still have the main intention of selling in mind. But, the primary method of selling now is what creates a dialogue within the public. With the Internet and social media, what sells is what gets people talking.

Aware of his complete douche-baggery?

Aware of his complete douche-baggery?

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke is a prime example of this. The people who produce and market these music videos are experts. They know exactly the response it will have in the media. So, they knew the lyrics and the ass-naked women next to completely clothed men would get people talking, primarily in the feminist community. It’s possible some of the people who worked on the project were feminists themselves, because it caused people to think about the oppression of women that is so common.

This song and its music video initiated a lot of awareness towards the issue of objectifying women and treating our sexual consent as if it’s unnecessary. Ultimately, what came of it was positive and eye opening.

We live in a world where the intended response of a piece is not always the same as its message. Because of this, the audience often cannot tell the intention of the artists (or, more appropriately business people) involved. It becomes confusing whether or not we should be up in arms about something like “Blurred Lines,” or if we’re being played for fools.

Personally, I don’t like to complain about things like Miley Cyrus twerking or anything seemingly offensive. Instead, I like to celebrate the pieces with clear and positive messages. These bring people together towards a goal as oppose to causing disputes and controversy that turn everyone against each other.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/stijnvogels/8684103348/”>Stijn Vogels</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


2 thoughts on “On the Blurred Lines of Social Media

  1. I definitely don’t like heated response to popular culture either. Popular culture is simply not live threatnening nor critical enough for me to care. I ain’t no fool. :P

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