This week I watched Johanna Blakley perform a TED Talk on ‘social media and the end of gender’. The title of the talk immediately intrigued me. Because on one hand, the young generation today is constantly dealing with online problems that no generation has ever dealt with before. This includes everything from a mandatory use of computers in the majority of schools to serious cases of online bullying. On the other hand, social media networks allow people to be exactly who they would like to be, even when they are not ready to be that person in the real world. For example: ones sexual status, age, or ethnicity. The presence of the digital and social media can thus be equally negative and positive. And if the internet is supposedly on its way to becoming a gender free platform, then perhaps that means that the young generation has moved one step closer to a more contemporary definition of world equality.
In the talk, Johanna Blakley commences to explain that media and advertising companies are still using the same traditional demographics to understand their audience. This would include age, gender, and race. However, with the growth of social media networking, the demographics are becoming harder to understand and track. It has become harder to track a person’s age and easier to track a person’s Likes on, for example, Facebook. Blakley continues to explain that as social media outgrows traditional media, women are starting to outnumber men. Thus, women are changing the gender stereotype of advertising, public relations, and media companies. Sadly, the speaker lost me when she commenced her feministic argument. The title of the video was “the end of gender” not “the rise of women” and because of this misguided message, I do not believe that Blakley presented a legitimate and focused argument. The discussion could have been very interesting but due to Blakley’s feministic and unequal stance, I was only left feeling as if it was a waste of an intriguing title.
Please watch it and let me know if you agree! Do you believe that a gender neutral media platfrom could bring the world a step closer to equality?