I found the idea of studying an online culture sort of fascinating. I never considered that you could study modern culture in two different forms. The online (digital) culture that we are all part of is both interwoven, yet strangely disconnected from physical cultures. A person can assume more than one identity, role and could be a contributing member of several different physical and online cultures simultaneously.
The fact that you could do an anthropological study of youtube is a very interesting idea. Mike Wesh had a very interesting comment in the VIDEO. He said that “the more individual we become the more we long for community”. I think this is interesting for a few different reasons. The first being that my first reaction to his statement was to assume that meant the “individual” was someone who chose to leave his “real” community and lost connections to people.
Many people are quick to assume that someone that spends a lot of time online are isolating themselves from their communities. Few consider that they are merely joining a different community. To me anthropological studies are reserved for living breathing communities that still do, or once existed. This idea was challenged when I was faced with the fact that youtube may meet all the specifications to be a society…
Digital Ethnography is a real and fascinating thing that is happening right now. The connection between the Anthropological study of youtube and the RSA ANIMATE video is one is talking about the relevance of culture and the other is talking about the evolution of culture and knowledge. These are relevant and interesting ideas when you consider that we are in the digital age and will be seen by generations to come as the pioneers of the digital age. For better or worse.
Having never considered the internet a real culture I am faced with the challenging question as to which is the more dominant culture. By that I mean is the physical or digital culture the micro/macro culture within the other?
The digital age has changed how we view knowledge and knowledge keepers. With information available instantly, is it important to memorize a lot of things? Or is it more important to ensure your connection with the internet? It is interesting to think about what education and teaching will look like as we shift away from thought patterns based on old ways of knowing.