Most of my blog posts for the semester focus on the discussion about technology’s intended use and its unintended use. All of the subjects being discussed in those blogs are all designed with intentions to either better the connections between people on the internet or to bring convenience to people’s lives. But they also share another characteristic, which is that they all have side effects that if not dealt with extra caution will bring harm that offsets its benefits. During the discussions about those side effects, I often place myself as the observer and tried to focus on how other people could be affected instead of talking about how it would affect myself, something I really hope I had talked more about. And for that reason, I really want to revisit the last post I made about Alex Jones’ spreading of false information.
Just recently, I watched a video that contains footage of the celebrity Justin Bieber eating burritos sideways. After “confirming” the video by cross-referencing some news sites, I believed in the video wholeheartedly. When a YouTube video came out the next day showing how the group of people fool everyone with a paid Justin Bieber look-like and staged the whole thing, I was shocked. The irony of the situation makes me realize something I did wrong during my research that I have done when I wrote the blog post about Alex Jones. I personally would not trust Alex Jones’ reports on anything, but I completely trusted the excerpts about the research paper on gender changing phenomenon in frogs found in those reports around the whole incident. The problem is, I never read the paper myself either. I relied on the information given some second-hand news source to form my argument, which can be completely false itself. They are not Alex Jones, but they are still not backed with facts either.
This makes me think that a lot of times it is really easy to analyze technology’s downfalls in retrospect without realizing how easy it is to fall into the victimhood of it because of how accustomed we are to digital culture.