What is Participatory Culture?
A simple way of understanding what participatory culture is thinking about every time you were placed in a group for a reason. It’s about the collaborations that you have with others and striving onwards to get the best out of it. It could be a simple one time group thing or it could be like a club organization or community that you turn to for help. A community that is based on each individual’s participation to support one another. With the use of social media, you will always want to find where you are the most comfortable. Finding the social media that you have the most connections with will probably be the best place to focus on as there will be more people to support you there. Not having support or a community to turn to in certain social media can be draining to oneself. That’s why you should be open and participate in groups as a lot of things are public, therefore you can take part in their community too.
Social media was a huge part for me during the pandemic. There was nothing to do because of quarantine and so I would spend hours on Facebook, YouTube, and all sorts of other social media. I would find groups on Facebook like Pokemon, LeagueofLegends, online shopping discounts, etc… to join and participate in the things that were posted. It was a way to connect with others through an online platform since it was not possible during the pandemic. Social media gave us that ability to participate in things and connect with one another and possibly even create a friendship out of the people you met. Before the pandemic I wouldn’t care much about trying to connect with others through online and focus on the relationships I had with in-person. Although, with the pandemic it made it much harder to connect with those in-person and so online was the next best thing to do. I know for a fact that I have used social media to find a job more than before. The communities that were built that I have taken part in has helped me go through the pandemic a lot easier because without it, it would’ve been harder mentally.
One thing that Henry Jenkins talked about during his TED Talk we watched was about video games and the online community. I could resonate with the things he mentioned because throughout the pandemic I played League of Legends a lot, which is an online game that interacts with thousands and millions of people. I would find a community of people that I play with on a daily or weekly basis for the fun of it. It is a game that consists of five vs five and so a game goes around 15–30 minutes. Finding a group of people to participate with in a game like this can really help them in ways that you never thought of. For me, it was like a stress reliever whenever I played the game with that group of friends because I enjoy talking and playing with them at the same time. I didn’t get the chance to go out much during the beginning of the pandemic because of how scary everything was, so this was a way for me to connect with others in the outside world.
In the blog by Greg Kulowiec of I’ve been thinking…It is time to revisit Jenkins’ Participatory Culture. He mentioned this point of participatory culture’s definition, “with strong support for creating and sharing one’s creation with others”. I think this is such a key idea of participatory culture because it should be a group/club/organization/community for anyone to join and share their thoughts and/or work to feel supported by one another. It’s about spreading the positivity around and keeping that vibe, but it is a lot harder done than said because there will always be someone who says something bad about it. But if there is the support from the community, things like that won’t even be a bother to that individual. In times like these, social media and the participatory culture goes very well together in keeping everyone connected.