In a film titled Generation Like, last night’s Frontline took a look at social media and asked the question “Are You What You “Like”?
Social media and what it means for young people was the focus and shows how self-esteem is now tied into the approval of peers on Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites, where kids compete to see how many “likes” a new photo or post can achieve. Also explored is the relationship of teens to the marketers behind social media.
Eight Montclair teens were featured and filmed at one of the girl’s homes in town.
The results are not exactly “Like” worthy.
Douglas Rushkoff, Generation Like correspondent explains:
What we learned surprised me. We didn’t find a generation of rebellious teens, struggling to evade the ever-present pull of marketing. We found quite the opposite: a generation of teens looking for ways to participate in the process. The efforts of a snack food or soft drink company to win “likes” and “follows” isn’t seen as something to avoid or critique, but rather a self-promotional opportunity gain more likes for themselves.
In fact, the more kids participate, the more they appear to absorb and express the values and agendas of the marketers. After all, the key to success in music or art or even writing these days is to bring a social media fan base along with you. Likes and views can be a ticket to fame, a path to a career or even way out of poverty.
Watch the full episode here, we highly recommend it.