Social media “happiness” is so passé!

I’m planning to write a full article on the subject, but until then, I am posting some brief notes.

It’s a long time now that I am observing more and more social media identities embracing the “always happy” narrative. Actually, some of them look so happy, like Julie Andrews singing happy at the hills (The sound of Music, 1965) . Don’t get me wrong, I like very much both the film and Julie Andrews’ performance, but all these massively-expressed, constant and uninterrupted happiness/success/beauty demonstrations, make me feel…bored. They leave me also with a feeling of “fakeness”, but I will not get into meaningless discussions about fake – real or true – lie, because, after all, we are discussing about constructed identities. Additionally, sometimes the “happiness” narrative coexists with a strong tendency to follow, for long periods, visual trends, even when these are considered “outdated” (how many more years should I look to bad-edited duck-face selfies or to “exotic” dinners)?  What I would like to point out is that these personal narratives are not working as they were meant to, they are bad narratives with even worse editing.

Continue reading “Social media “happiness” is so passé!”

The Incredible Flowability of Audiences: Video games are not just for those who play games

Yesterday, I read an article about the partnership between Facebook and Blizzard games, in order to stream video games on Facebook. While video game streaming is not today’s news and there are many groups of people that are engaged with video games not only by direct interaction, but also through viewing, until now the viewers were deriving mostly from strong gaming communities, like the one existing in Twitch. Also, Facebook has already hosted several Blizzard live streams. But this partnership signifies something different and it is very likely to change not only the market landscape for video game streaming providers, but most importantly, to reshape the base of video game consumers.

girl_watching_cartoon_mobile_hires02

The convenience that this partnership is providing to Facebook users, that is watching games through their own timeline, transforms video game streaming to a social tool. The simplicity and easiness of access, it is very likely to attract even those who are not related with gaming, but they want to watch someone they know playing, to become members of a community, to socialize. Watching is attractive and enjoyable per se, as video game streaming is in essence a blend between attending a live event/performance and film viewing. It is easy to spot similarities between this experience and other social practices, for example the way fans are participating in a football game, by watching their favorite team playing. Of course, watching video game streaming is not the same with watching a football game, but it still holds strong analogies, since both football fans and video game viewers feel that they are actively involved through watching their team, or their chosen streamer accordingly. Continue reading “The Incredible Flowability of Audiences: Video games are not just for those who play games”