The Future is Exhibitionism & Voyeurism
Live streaming. It’s not new, but Meerkat sparked our intrigue enough to make it relevant again. There was a collective group orgasm at SXSW, celebrities jumped in, Periscope invited themselves to the party and now we’re all stuck in the middle of hundreds of mundane streams of people doing mundane crap. Yay!
I’m not here to debate which app is better — I feel both serve different purposes. In my eyes, Periscope is like Twitter and Meerkat is a weird Facebook/LinkedIn mashup. Both are fine, I prefer Periscope.
What I am here to toss out at you is the larger concept behind the re-emergence of live streaming: exhibition and voyeurism. Now, live streaming didn’t create this shift in mindset and behavior, it started way back with IRC and AOL Messenger. But what Meerkat and Periscope have shown, at least to me, is this continued desire to see and be seen. It brings out our best quality: vanity.
In a world where the vast majority of the public worships fame and notoriety; where we seek instant gratification and the idea of acceptance — whether by one or by many, the popularity and eventually mainstream adoption of live streaming captures and delivers on all these insecurities.
It’s not a bad thing. It isn’t wrong. In fact, I think it’s a great “next step.” Like all stages of growth, the awkwardness is inevitable. But what’s awkward and humorous to you, is maturity and development for others. We need to be patient and see past the cringeworthy. Because the live streams of some random dude in Jersey cooking breakfast will eventually lead to a more personable and emotionally compelling experience. So sit back, crack open your door and peek into the window of the world around you.