Vlogging further bastardizes Web media

joeykern

Credit: Sloane
Credit: Sloane

I’m perusing YouTube watching inane videos when suddenly I stumble upon… an inane video. This one is different, though. This one claims to be a part of a series of other videos by the same guy. Vlogging? Huh. I press play with minimal expectations.

What meets my eyes is horrifying. A kid with a voice like Mickey Mouse and the biggest set of braces I have ever seen is discussing driver’s education. What the hell is going on here? I’m not quick to judge these kinds of things, but nevertheless I was somewhat skeptical of how this constituted media, or a video, or anything at all.

What I saw basically amounted to a verbal diary, with unfortunate social commentary interspersed throughout. What I saw was media in its most base and irrelevant form. What I saw was vlogging.

The innovation of vlogging, which translates to video-blogging for those not hip with modern word combinations (wombinations), has translated media into an accessible, not terribly informative, YouTube-centric medium.

Vlogging: It offers a chance for everyday people to offer their worthless two cents on a variety of issues: at what cost we have yet to calculate.

To preface this argument, vlogging, as well as blogging, has its merits and there are vloggers out there who provide reliable and interesting interpretations of media. But, this is not the prevailing culture of vloggers who, for the most part, are 14-16 year old YouTube purveyors armed with shitty senses of humor and their dad’s video camera.

It’s not to say that these people are not entitle to their opinion, they are; but, it would be nice if they could go through channels that ensure they are not corrupting the medium through which they are trying to get their voice heard.

How is this bastardization of media possible? Simple: the same series of tubes, known as the Internet, that brought us Youtube and Spankwire unfortunately swept amateur vloggers up with it, carrying them forth to ruin media as we know it.

Any time a person offers their opinion on a subject, as is their right, there is room for interpretation, and there will always be people who disagree. This, however, does not provide leave to those claiming themselves a form of media when operating from a point of view grounded in…nothing.

There is a line to be drawn when people can receive ad money, real money, for things as silly, trivial and inherently second-rate as amateur vlogging.

While it’s impossible to say the media form itself is to blame, the Internet’s accessibility via YouTube and the like has paved the way for accountability in media to disappear.

This is not restricted to blogging, as various Web sites and blogs are equally guilty of this kind of amateur hour media. Is there an editor to cull those with opinions offensive or at times even racist? No. Is there a publication with a representation on the line for what these people say or do? In many cases, also no.

These checks on baseless commentary are what is necessary for media to retain credibility and for people to be able to trust, or at least find grounds to trust, media outlets in general.

While restricted often to the realm of opinion, personally, I still would like to hear the opinion of someone at least qualified to hold a position somewhere, work for a publication, or get a high school diploma, something which is woefully untrue in the case of many a vlogger.