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Six Second Masterpiece

Posted by Stephanie on May 24, 2013

The growing popularity of social media coupled with the need for a concise, yet profound online presence sometimes makes you feel as though life is reduced to 140 characters.  Is it accurate to blame the generation of people making this new media popular? They (we) seem to be the people who can’t sit still or concentrate on just one thing at a time. Multitasking while being connected to a multitude of mediums is becoming the standard, however managing it quickly AND successfully is also expected.

Vine is yet another app supposedly seeped in creative expression that circulates around the concept of fleeting time. The brainchild of Twitter, Vine is a video app that allows its users six seconds to create looping footage to then share with people in their network. Vine joins the trend alongside apps such as Snapchat that encompasses the notion of speed and imaging. An article from Mashable informs its users that the key to a good video is to make the most of your six seconds.

“With Vine, you have six seconds to really impress a viewer. Thankfully, six seconds is more than enough time to dazzle someone, tell a story or share a laugh.”

Are we really expected to impress someone in six seconds? Apparently it can be done, but is this becoming the new expectation? Although it’s just a recreational app, Vine seems to be at the forefront of a trend that is taking particular facets of life, condensing them while expecting them to be substantial. The notion of “slow and steady wins the race” isn’t only now antiquated, but is becoming obsolete.

-Stephanie Saulsbury


2 Responses to “Six Second Masterpiece”

  1. Stephanie said

    *on a side, my youtube clip wouldn’t embed no matter what I did. I thought you just needed to paste the hyperlink and WordPress would embed it… any tips?

  2. hlg123 said

    Thanks for sharing, Stephanie. The Vine app is something I’ve had mixed feelings about. I think the pressure to create new technology platforms that condense information into smaller and smaller increments is beginning to bottom out. Creative people will always find ways to work within any constraints, but six-second videos seem pretty ridiculous. Once the amount of time it takes to log onto the platform is longer than the length of time it takes to view the content, I think things have taken a silly turn. In my opinion, there always needs to be a balance between content and delivery. Perhaps it’s the traditionalist in me, but I refuse to believe that a “six second masterpiece” is possible. That being said, I think there is a good chance someone will prove me wrong on that. I’ll just have to see what develops on Vine.

    Outside of the app’s framework, Vine has also been in the news this week for a very different reason. The Wall Street Journal published a piece,, highlighting employer concerns about the continued blurring between employees’ work and personal lives that apps like Vine continue to encourage.

    The article notes that, “Employers who are just concerned about what their employees are just doing on Facebook are missing the bigger picture of how smartphones are infiltrating the workplace.”

    This highly combative perspective of social media seems counterproductive. Social media and smart phones are here to stay. Whether the Vine app will continue its upward ascension in the existing social media hierarchy is too soon to know, but employers would do well to harness the potential of these platforms rather than focusing their energies on suppressing the actions of a disgruntled few. While employees’ negative actions on social media do have the potential to severely effect a brand, developing clear company guidelines for social media use, while encouraging positive employee practices, freedom of expression, and utilizing employees as brand advocates seem to be much better alternatives to censorship and other restrictive employer practices.

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