I’m Shalayne. I am majoring in news/editorial journalism with a minor in Italian because I believe in the power of the written word and I’m mildly obsessed with Italy. I’m a sorority girl that you won’t find at Kams or Lion as often as you will curled up on a couch with Netflix scrolling through my Twitter feed. I have junior standing as of this semester, and I plan to make the best of my extra time by taking courses the truly interest me, courses like this one. Oh, and of course, I am a remixer. Aren’t we all?
The greatest and most blatantly obvious forms of remixing evident in my daily life are found conveniently all on my smartphone. I’m taking the three basics: Facebook, Instagram and (my personal favorite) Twitter. There are two elements of Facebook that peaked everybody’s interest. These elements are photos and status updates. Given time, we all grew tired of “liking” our “friends'” tropical vacation photos and commenting on riveting status updates that went a little something like, “Shalayne is wishing for a snow day :(.” So, we remixed. Well, maybe not “we” but somebody did. Instagram was born focusing on all things photos with the addition of filters for a little added pizzaz. Facebook would soon adopt this concept — though significantly less successfully. Twitter has taken status updates to a whole new level with the addition of hashtags and by changing the way we look at modern media in its entirety with only 140 characters to get a point across. Hashtags connecting common ideas from across the globe instead of Facebook’s status updates just reaching your pool of friends was a genius idea. Facebook has tried to integrate hashtags as well but again, Twitter just does it better. It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s immediate. What more could the modern world as for?
Modern improvements in social media have even drawn out the stars from hiding. It’s now easier than ever to get in touch, follow, stalk, etc. your favorite movie star, pop singer or any other public figure. What’s more, you may even get a retweet or some other form of response.
All of these media are interconnected by various common threads that are so interwoven it can sometimes be hard to tell them apart. But, they all are modifications of more original ideas that stem from humility’s desire for transparency and immediacy, as said in the reading. We want the digital world to feel as much like the physical world as possible. We want to break down boundaries whether they be between your own friends across the room on another laptop or someone across the globe. It’s like we want everyone in the world to be in our living room at our disposal for conversation and the occasional FB stalking session.
Now, this presents a problem when some people claim to have an original concept. What on this earth can be considered “original” anyway?
Let’s talk Twitterspeak. When I first signed on to Twitter I was a little intimidated. That, and I really didn’t see how the world could be interested in me tweeting my every move. So, instead of jumping right into the hashtag universe, I scrolled through my feed and retweeted a ton. (Buzzfeed always manages to garner a retweet from me at least daily.) I was essentially directly and shamelessly copying someone else’s words and ideas. As I grew more comfortable though, I began to quote tweets adding in my own hashtags and so forth. Finally I felt confident enough to tweet on my own. But, when you think about it, my tweets even if it isn’t a retweet or a quoted tweet, are not original. They may be a quote from someone I heard in class that day. It may me a song lyric. It may be a popular meme. With every hashtag I add I am contributing to and modifying existing ideas. I am remixing.
In summary, we all learn from the world around us just as much as our technologies and social medias are growing out of other ideas. The concepts that we label as original are hardly new ideas but rather modifications and remixes of other ideas that make up an interwoven map that is well, humanity.