“Social media is life really. What’re you going to do without social media? How’re you going to connect with people?” These are the opening lines to Hamish Stephenson’s short film documentary, Counter Culture: The Curse of Online Status.” The documentary explores the exploitation of today’s social media, a subject that is especially relevant given Nike’s accusation of their ex-designers buying fake followers on Instagram to falsely boost their attractiveness as a part of their ongoing legal feud with adidas. Benefits such as the luxury of self-exposure, sharing one’s work, developing a following, and storytelling are discussed by individuals with substantial ties to the web such as online persona Mike the Ruler, and ADYN’s Matthew Moore. The documentary then shifts focus to the shortcomings and limitations of having an active social media presence. Mishka’s Greg Rivera and artist Aerosyn Lex shed light on the propensity of social networks to stagnate creativity, and foster herd mentality. Check out the thought-provoking documentary, which scrutinizes related subjects from online longevity to the correlation between “followers” and actual influence. Feel free to share your thoughts on this debate in the comments section below. Do you find yourself scrolling through Tumblr for inspiration, or are you hesitant to venture to similar online outlets as sources of enlightenment?
- Hamish Stephenson