CONTEXT OF PRACTICE//PUBLICATION//SOCIAL MEDIA VOYEURISM//OUGD501
What is social media voyeurism?
Traditionally, a voyeur is someone who is watches someone secretly in some perverted way. Voyeurism in social media offers our society secretly watch things that they most likely do not want others to know about. We have also become such voyeurs of information. We want to know every detail about celebrities, news stories, and popular culture stories. CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, and other media stations provided an over load on information and an unhealthy fascination on people’s lives.
Social voyeurism culture pushes us to watch reality shows where we see people ruin their lives as we laugh or high-five our friends in celebration of someone’s misery. We thrive on personal information, especially juicy information. We share links of Honey Boo-Boo’s one liners (groan). Social media voyeurism puts us on information overload.
The social media voyeurism plays out on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other platforms and it feeds our need to know everything about everyone. I really do not need to know that a friend from college just joined the group “1 million people against Joel Stein” (sorry Joel). The whole concept of Facebook is based on the idea that we really need to tell everyone what we are thinking. I know… I have done it too! I once wrote a status update that said: “I’m trying to come up with a pity status update, but I have nothing.” Or, “I’m walking the dog.” No one needs to know that.
In the end, we need to discount and put boundaries about what we watch and share with others on social media. Whether it is celebrity news or the latest internet meme, we need to resist the temptation to be drawn into social media voyeurism.