Social Networking: A Modern Day Freak Show

3564 words - 14 pages

The carnival grotesque, with its freak shows and abnormal humans, was very popular and controversial back in the late 18th to early 19th century, by then it had matured into a distinct form of entertainment. In the 21st century, has the concept become dated? Has the freak show been revealed for the mistreatment and subjugation of many poor human beings? We live in times where many things that were once discriminated are now accepted and many kinds of people recognized as members of society and although there are instances that would challenge that notion, it is only a minority. This represents the progress mankind has made to understand one another. But has the idea of the freak show been abandoned with this new period? It is unfortunate to say that is not the case. In fact if anything it has only intensified with the advancement of society, particularly relating with technology and social networking. Social networking is the spectacle and barker in this relationship of the freak show to modern times. It is because of social networking, that we can see examples of the freak show displayed in our daily lives. I want to explore this further, explaining in greater detail how the freak show and the carnival grotesque have advanced with society as everything else and in fact plays on these advancements to contribute to the spectacle of the freak show and grotesque.

Of course, technology is how we advance in society. In advancement, we take on new cultures and let us abandoned many uncivilized ideas. Social media sites like Facebook or Twitter are examples of how we have advanced in talking with more people and social networking. With that, people argue that it has led to “more communication and not less” (Observer) and makes socializing easier and making difficulties like lengths and region null and void. Then now with that in mind, this has led us to incorporate more of social networking into our lives. The social media sites allow us to upload and express our identity. Of course there is debate on insults over Facebook post online, but debaters argue social networking is a new field of communicating there is no social conditioning really to establish how to properly act online compare to how different from how we act in real life.

It is also with social media that even when we point out the freak show and in some way degrade the person, it leads to a positive matter. (Observers) For example, the article, “Serious documentary or freak show” depicts a medical professional journey in observing a clan of deformed natives. The clan was being “sensationalize” by providing programming and donations to them for animals rights regardless it is a cartoon. However because of this, the clan got money and medical treatment for themselves (Koppel 325). That is an example of exploiting the deformities; it actually helped the clan despite a loss in privacy and dignity. That is true, that social networking has allowed us to communicate with more people. We...

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