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Kony 2012

When I first heard all of the buzz, and subsequently watched the Kony 2012 video, one of the first things I thought about was the potential for interesting discussion of the topic in my media studies class. I was very interested in hearing what others thought of the video and its calls to action.

Hailing from San Diego, the birthplace and headquarters of the Invisible Children organization, it was not my first encounter with this group and its video publicity of the horrific troubles of Uganda. My high school had a popular club dedicated to Invisible Children, I knew people who spent their extra time making IC memorabilia to sell and donate the proceeds to the charity, and seeing Invisible Children shirts was fairly commonplace. This I noticed, immediately set me apart from many in regards to my perception of the Kony 2012 video and the legitimacy of its contents, and the organization behind it.

Upon first seeing the various posts about the video, the first thing that struck me was the variety of people who were sharing the link. It is not unheard of for multiple people of a certain group or clique´ to share the same or similar links online, but what is uncommon is for various people from different states, colleges, ethnic groups, socio-economic groups and friend groups to all be sharing the same video. This fact is what lead me to spend 30 minutes of my time at home over Spring break watching the video on my iPhone with my girlfriend.

Though this was not my first time hearing of Invisible Children, it was my first time watching one of their videos. Looking back, I see that the first time I watched the video I was absorbed by it. I failed to notice any of the glitz and glamour. I was far too wrapped in the story of the videos characters to fairly analyze the video for what it was. A piece of propaganda. I am glad that after the fact I was able to see some of these ideas broken down and discussed in my class, I felt that it was a great opportunity for us to analyze something I had been directly a part of.

The Kony 2012 campaign has since died down from its previous popularity. On one hand it makes me sad to see a campaign that I have more or less supported in the past be part of a debatably failed experiment. I feel bad for all the criticism that they have undertaken. However, at the same time, it pleases me that the people stood up for themselves. It encourages me that people took the time to investigate the charity and took the time to write about the simplifications that the video made.

I found the Kony video and experiment a very positive one on multiple fronts. I think it displayed the connectedness of the world, and the ability for digital media to play a role in doing the right thing, when executed properly, and it showed that people, at least some of them, will not follow propaganda blindly. It showed that individuals still question, in a good way, the ideas and causes put in front of them.


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