The Internet is a place of fleeting thoughts and hot topic debates that go as fast as they come. This reality is not always noticed because we all are often part of this culture of short attention, moving from article to tweet to Facebook post as quickly as we take steps down the street, however through the experience of ‘writing as a social action’ it is more profound to me. I took to the social media site of Reddit, which is website that houses thousands of message boards covering every theme and topic one could imagine. It is a website that allows for fans of numerous different subjects to identify with one another and to communicate amongst themselves while sharing thoughts and opinions.
On this occasion I specifically looked into the Reddit page dedicated to the Star Wars franchise, as it is currently a hot topic because of the recent massive convention held in Orlando for the fans. A this convention many of the stars of the films were present, including one Mark Hamill, the man who has portrayed Luke Skywalker for four decades. In an interview he did at Star Wars Celebration he spoke of certain changes he wanted made to the script of Episode 7 of the franchise. There was a thread on the website dealing with this interview, and being there were over 500 comments on the subject I figured it would be a great place to start. So, I left a comment expressing my thoughts on Hamill’s comments early Monday morning and left them to see how others would respond. The response was interesting and harkens back to my opening notes. I received two up votes, which is the equivalent of two likes on Facebook, and I received one response from another Reddit reader. What was interesting about this was that the majority of the 523 total comments made on the post-made Sunday-were prior to my comment Monday morning. The topic was hot for a split second, and then moved past.
Many early comments received dozens, if not more, responses and hundreds of up votes. Could that be that people took to those other posts more than mine? Of course, but I do feel the constantly moving minds of social media users in this day and age is a factor as well. Many of the other posts made around or after mind were not regarded much as well. In fact, very few comments were added to the thread after mine. It was the flavor of the day, and then was moved past. I feel this experiment shows how our culture operates in more than just social media; you must capture the attention of people quickly and then find a way to maintain the grip, otherwise they will get over it. This applies to social media as well as television, film, music, and many other areas of our society. The fleeting attention given to Mark Hamill’s comments is just a statistic in what I feel is a broader mindset across ages and mediums, not just Reddit.