Snapchat, the social media evolution of the twenty tens decade, a software that allows communication via image, video or text for a set period of time. The application that received a most probably unfair reputation of ‘a tool for sexting’, recently released an update that features live stories of global events. The phenomenon can draw in around 20 million people in a 24 hour time span, opening up cultural experiences to a worldwide audience; including that of religious occasions, social movements, community parades, sporting events, as well as traditional cultural encounters.
This mediascape has created a new media form for sustaining cross-societal bonds, it bypasses restrictions of geographical and cultural differences, allowing an intimate connection between the user and the celebrated global event. However, mediascapes have a tendency to be “image-centered, narrative-based accounts of strips of reality, and what they offer to those who experience and transform them is a series of elements out of which scripts can be formed of imagined lives, their own as well as those of others living in other places. These scripts can and do get disaggregated into complex sets of metaphors” (Appaduri, A 1996). In a philosophical sense, there is a worry that these global live stories will provide inaccurate or unfair examples of the events, opening up the live videos and images to interpretation, allows for a narrowed view of these cultures. Images are often the most influencing when people are forming an opinion, despite the ease of access to information in the modern world. The video below demonstrates the tool.
The software uses location services on a device, in order to gain the correct global ‘filter’, however applications have been developed that allow you to change your location, which in turn, creates potential for users to provide distorted information to the viewers, leading to the theory mentioned above, that mediascapes have the potential to fictionalise elements of reality. See this tutorial below, to find out how.
Without globalisation, technologies with these capabilies would be non existent. In a sense, Snapchat has created a forum for people all over the world to view current events, and in a way destroying (or attempting to) cultural limitations. It is restrictive, and allows for all variables of distortion, however it has formed a sense of connection for a world where people gain knowledge within communciation.
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Hogan, A. (2010). Appadurai’s 5 -scapes | Amherst College. [online] Amherst.edu. Available at: https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/courses/1011F/MUSI/MUSI-04-1011F/blog/node/229354 [Accessed 10-14 Aug. 2015].
Powell, J. and Steel, R. (2011). Revisiting Appadurai: Globalizing Scapes in a Global World – the Pervasiveness of Economic and Cultural Power. [online] International Journal of Innovative Interdisciplinary Research. Available at: http://www.auamii.com/jiir/Vol-01/issue-01/X9.Power.pdf [Accessed 10-14Aug. 2015].
Rocka, C. (2015). Get on any Snapchat story in any city.
. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERZjGdE3P64 [Accessed 10-14Aug. 2015].
Snapchat, (2015). Introducing Our Story (Feat. Tiësto).
. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZeDPfHiBC8 [Accessed 10-14 Aug. 2015].