My presentation is on popular culture and media – specifically online social media – within the digital community as well as society as a whole. Popular culture is difficult to define or learn about in the traditional sense; the term “popular” refers to the transient nature of trends, which build on one another or are reformulated into a new trend. Inevitably each trend helps define a culture and time (such as TV shows, memes, and social networking – an example of which is the shift from MySpace to Facebook).

Three main facts are noteworthy about popular culture:

“…[it] is often synonymous with a consumer culture that is produced for mass consumption ([such as] Disney’s animated films [and] McDonald’s Happy Meal toys);


Popular culture is often used to refer to things that are less sophisticated or considered “low” culture;


[and] Popular culture might also be defined as a place for creating new forms of expression as well as a vehicle for critique.” (http://www.rethinkingschools.org/publication/rpcm/rpcm_intro.shtml)


When examining social media, it’s easy to see that they interact because many of the hot topics of social media are related to popular culture. A great example of this was when Ellen’s Oscar selfie made Twitter crash, which was shared or retweeted more than 2 million times in around 2 hours!


The top 15 most popular social media sites as of November 2014 in order are (http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites): Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus +, Tumblr, Instagram, VK, Flickr, Vine, Meetup, Tagged, Ask.fm, MeetMe, and ClassMates.

Microsoft Word - web 2.0 logos.doc

Our culture is becoming increasingly connected with the world, into a worldwide, global culture – much of it digital and observed on such sites as those above. As well as through tangible changes to our societies. I have broken down the ways in which this connection is transforming us as a people into 5 main points:

  1. By Changing Our Exposure to a Diversity of Cultures and Viewpoints


Nowadays, there are websites about nearly anything one can imagine; it has become as easy as a click of a button to learn all about any culture you can think of – past or present. Innovations such as Youtube and Daily Motion allow us to stream incredible amounts of visual information with alarming speed and ease. This further immerses us and enhances our understanding of diverse cultures functionally, aesthetically, as well as aiding in the spread of differing opinions.


This leads to a generation of people continuously learning from this abundance of information (whether good or bad, whether they realize it or not). It leads to a group of people who are more curious and if not, then at least more easily informed via this massive digital culture.

This leads to…

  1. Us Challenging the Status Quo


The Internet allows us an important platform to connect with others on issues we find important so that we can self-organize and have our voices be heard where they might not have otherwise been. A prime example of this was January 18, 2012, the largest online protest in history, in order to stop the online Internet Censorship Bills, SOPA and PIPA.

Website: http://www.sopastrike.com

As well as…

  1. Supportive Communities

This is helpful to the average person, entrepreneurs, and businesses as a marketing strategy.


This helps people because they can connect with others anywhere in the world – you can talk with someone you would have never known existed without such forums or websites. There are sites where you can post videos, writing, music and the like to get peer feedback or to help market yourself (providing opportunities that may never had come otherwise) so entrepreneurs and start-up companies can get easy exposure. A great example of this is Kickstarter.com, where people can read a description and any other information provided on a proposed product and decide whether or not to fund the person or group to see their invention or idea come to life!

Businesses are helped in a multitude of ways by social media – it is an easy way to observe a target audience wants and reactions to products, allowing them to gauge and tailor marketing campaigns with increased precision. At this point in our society, any business that hopes to make it big must have a website. Many businesses are website based, making the majority or all sales online.


To highlight the importance of this shift I’ve taken a few facts from Shopping and Ecommerce Statistics from 2014 (https://selz.com/blog/40-online-shopping-ecommerce-statistics-know/):

80% of the online population has purchased something using the Internet, 50% of the online population have purchased more than once.

As this relates specifically to social media:

  1. 46% of users read reviews and blogs before purchasing online
  2. Blogs influence purchase, 13% said a blog post had inspired a purchase
  3. 84% of online shoppers refer to at least one social media site for recommendations before shopping online

It also helps as…

  1. Creativity and Inspiration

Not only can we learn things far easier than ever before through blog and video tutorials, but also with this increased connectivity and access there are endless amounts of material to draw inspiration from and innovative techniques you can learn to use in your creative pursuits.


And lastly…

  1. Crowd Based Perception and the Exposure of Truth

Wisdom and experiences are passed on now more than ever. This is evident when examining the sheer amount of websites where “Doctors answer your questions” or the website https://www.quora.com, “a question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.

As for how this interconnectedness helps push the truth, a prime example of this was our classes interview with Zeinab and the others in Tehran, which was extremely informative, exposing common misconceptions and exposing some differences in beliefs.


(New Horizons Conference in Tehran, 2014)

Connectivity through social media is creating a global culture from which all societies are being effected in one way or another.

I have constructed a video through the power of global media connectivity using youtube videos to give a quick look at the statistics and some examples of the power of social media to connect us and create a ‘digital global culture’.

The song it features is Lightshy by Owl Vision.

My question is: is the spread and integration of pop culture throughout the world a reflection of the power of social media to bring about social change? Or, is pop culture itself a reflection of social change, and not the cause of it?


Written References





Video References

Bollywood Dance Flash Mob – Canada’s National Ballet School – International Dance Day uploaded by Lopa Sarkar


Beautiful Chinese Music【31】Traditional【The Red Plum Blossoms】 uploaded by MadePossible


“นางรำ” (Traditional Thai dance) หนังสั้นสร้างแรงบันดาลใจ โครงการสานรัก uploaded by AIS


PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V uploaded by officialpsy


和楽 六兆年と一夜物語 Traditional Japanese Dance uploaded by isesimatuin


Indian Dance Songs (HD) uploaded by MrMovieSoundtracks


Traditional Mongolian Music & Dance “My Beloved Country Mongolia” Song uploaded by OTMT


Beverly Hills Ninja (1/8) Movie CLIP – The Great White Ninja (1997) HD uploaded by MOVIECLIPS


Kyoto at night: Dance performances by real Geisha 【HD】 uploaded by Kyoto Fan


Ricky Rebel – “GEISHA DANCE” (Official Music Video) uploaded by JoeNationTV


Beautiful Hula Dancers uploaded by kenaiproductions


Just Dance 4 : Gangnam Style (Psy) uploaded by GameNewsOfficial


GANGNAM STYLE flashmob in Paris, France, at Trocadero on October 7th 2012 (파리 강남스타일) uploaded by Orient Extrême


[120820] Sydney Gangnam Style Flashmob uploaded by Bening Wardani


Samurai Battle Festival with Gackt – Kawanakajima in Joetsu 2013 uploaded by Ronin Dave


The Last Samurai Official Trailer #1 – (2003) HD uploaded by MOVIECLIPS


The Warrior’s Way Movie Clip “The Sad Flutes Arrive” Official (HD) uploaded by Clevver Movies


The Warrior’s Way Movie Clip “Yang vs. The Sad Flutes” Official (HD) uploaded by Clevver Movies


Disney’s Frozen “Let It Go” Sequence Performed by Idina Menzel uploaded by Walt Disney Animation Studios


[겨울왕곰] 겨울왕국 페러디 – [Frozen Bear] Frozen Parody’s @놀라운 대회 스타킹 140315 uploaded by starkingsbs


이새롬, 한채영 도플갱어 @놀라운 대회 스타킹 140111 (Beyonce) uploaded by starkingsbs


The Karate Kid | “training” clip FIRST LOOK Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan uploaded by moviemaniacsDE


“Karate Kid” (HD, 3D) — Best scene — ‘Crane Kick’ w/ 3D option (1984, original) uploaded by Bobzeda


Wii U – New Super Mario Bros. U Trailer uploaded by Nintendo


Meet Japan’s Batman – Chibatman a real life Dark Knight- BBC News uploaded by BBC News


Batman – The animated Series Opening [Full HD] uploaded by HD RetroCinema (0cooL’nGuest2)


2NE1 – I AM THE BEST (내가 제일 잘 나가) M/V uploaded by 2NE1


Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (11/12) Movie CLIP – Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves (2003) HD uploaded by MOVIECLIPS


Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (9/10) Movie CLIP – Level One: X2 Bonus (2010) HD uploaded by MOVIECLIPS


10 Shocking Facts About McDonald’s uploaded by Alltime10s


Outfoxed Part 1 uploaded by social science materials


Rupert Murdoch Still Reigns: Inside His $12B Empire uploaded by Bloomberg News


Look Up uploaded by Gary Turk


11 Shocking Facts About Social Media uploaded by BuzzFeedVideo


Social Media 2014 Revolution uploaded by kiavash bastani


Large-scale Hallyu festival takes place in L.A. 최대 규모 한류 축제 LA서 열려…’한류 산업화 추진’ uploaded by ARIRANG NEWS


[HD/MV] SNSD/Girls Generation(소녀시대) ~ Gee (baby baby) {Full MV with Lyrics} uploaded by BRENZiiTV


Issues in Globalisation: How Fair is Fashion? (Preview) uploaded by Pumpkin Interactive


Miranda Kerr – Victoria’s Secret Runway Compilation HD uploaded by wichapi


Original Pokemon Theme Song & Intro [EN] – [HD/HQ] uploaded by Arkane Media


South Park-Ninja Battle uploaded by Element21/Vikings055


the evolution of communication uploaded by MrHicox’s channel


Identity SHORT FILM (Award Winning Inspirational Short) uploaded by Kalhil KJ Adames


‘Black lifestyle’ in Japan uploaded by VPRO Metropolis


Superman Fan Has Plastic Surgery To Look Like Superman uploaded by Barcroft TV


Brazilian Man gets Plastic Surgery to look Korean ft. Timothy DeLaGhetto & David So uploaded by JustKiddingNews


Superman The Animated Series Opening (With Lois and Clark Theme) uploaded by SuperShadow2099