Going Live on Social Media

By Sepand Salem, Staff Writer

So far, the 21st century is all about trends.

From the latest fashion craze to the latest dance craze, modern life is dictated by the phrase “What’s in?”

Social media has become a big medium through which trends are shared, but this time, it has become the trend itself.

Everyone’s looking for “What’s in” and it is becoming quite clear that live streaming has caught everybody’s attention.

Junior Will Rawlings explains, “I like live streaming because it gives me true and direct access into someone’s life, traditional posting simply doesn’t provide that”

Livestreamed video took off in early 2016, however 2017 seems to be the year it will explode.

As Facebook brought the livestream into the mainstream, it quickly became a way in which sharing gained an unprecedented authentic dimension.

Social media has frequently been criticized for adding a superficial layer to social connections. Prerecoreded video and written posts provide a method for users to hide their flaws and adopt a counterfeit persona.

Creating an image while hiding behind a computer screen frequently results in nothing but the imagination of the person behind it which can hinder the true communication that makes real life interactions special.

Live video eliminates much of this inauthenticity and replaces it with a special kind of candidness.

When watching a livestream, anything goes, flaws and all, and that harbors an enormous attraction to users.

Some see this new medium of hyper-reality as potentially problematic.

Mathematics tutor Thomas Wilson explains, “Livestreaming is somewhat scary in my opinion as protection of privacy is in jeopardy. However, those who don’t embrace it will be left behind when it comes to social media platforms.”

The social media giants of the age-Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc- have recognized this and are restructuring their sites to fit such a video-centric model.

Video will be the fastest-growing content category, with Facebook reporting that live recorded video gets three times as much engagement as its prerecorded counterpart.

With the growing influence of social media in our daily lives and the rapid growth of video, it is not hard to tell that live video is igniting a revolution.

However, revolutions are not always pleasant, and the same holds true for live video.

A growing propensity to livestream violence on social media has become an unfortunate byproduct of this new age of connectivity.

On January 1, four teenagers used Facebook live to broadcast their kidnapping and torture of a mentally disabled man they accused of supporting Donald Trump.

Although the specifics of their actions are too gruesome for words, one thing is becoming quite clear; the relationship between livestreaming and violence must somehow be broken.

These sites and apps all have rules and regulations that look to limit this type of live streaming behavior but the unpredictable nature of real life makes it almost impossible.

These incidents have caused many to question whether live streaming is too ‘real’ for its own good. Maybe our earlier age of social media superficiality and editing was exactly what we needed.

However, as was said before, revolutions can be rocky, but in the end, something beautiful can arise.

Livestreaming is certainly no exception.

Photo from Tech Time