I think the best aspect of the Internet is that everyone could have chance to express and show his or her talent to others. The development of the internet created new pop culture, video sharing sites like YouTube. Such a video sharing site enables its users to show their talent to numerous audiences all over the world. YouTube has become the best place to dig up new comers. I introduced two artists in the former posting: Nick Pitera (link to his channel) and Two Chellos (link). Both of them had gotten the chance to be professional through their videos on YouTube. Not only amateurs but also professionals enjoy these social networking sites. In NicoNico Video many professional artists post their videos. For instance, Japanese traditional instrumental players such as Nami Kineie and Toshiya Mizukawa (both are Japanese sites.) voluntarily show their performance. They play a popular game song with the traditional instruments like a Japanese bamboo flute, samisen, and so on. (link to YouTube ver.)Their purpose is to make these instruments familiar to young people. This video made seven hundred thousand hits in the short period and attracted many young people on NicoNico Video. These examples show that video sharing sites provide many users of the places to flourish and broaden one’s world.
On the other hand, the Internet also has the worst aspect. Although social networking sites like Twitter are useful to get information and communicate with others, they could spread malicious thoughts of its users. Especially, Twitter has been called as “a fool detector” among Japanese Internet users because some stupid users tweet malicious words and even expose crimes that they had committed. According to “Gilbert Gottfried Fired Over Japan Jokes on Twitter,” a comedian Gilbert Gottfried was dismissed from Aflac because of making some jokes about 3.11 earthquake in Japan. Gottfried did a voice actor of Aflac duck. Although his offensive tweets had been deleted soon, they included these lines:
- Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking.’”
- “I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.’”
It is hard to understand his motives. Furthermore, a MR of Nippon Shinyaku Co. professed to mix Halcyon (a sleeping pill) into alcohol of her colleague on Twitter. (link to the article <Japanese>) After the company confirmed the fact, they apologized and announced that they would dispose of her rigidly. She had created her Twitter account with her real name and revealed company name that she belonged to. Her behavior destroyed not only her future but also the credibility of the company. I do not think that social networking sites themselves are not malicious. However, these offensive and criminal tweets would surely hurt one’s mind and dull a sense of crisis for crime. They also would effect on adolescent Internet users.
The Internet has both positive and negative aspects. However, it is depending on individual users if these aspects have power on others. We should understand the nfluence of Internet and how to control it appropriately.