Monday, December 24, 2012

Gossip Girl: A show dependent on social media

Photo edited by me via Textually

I hope this post finds everyone filled with Christmas cheer! I know the holidays are a stressful time, but remember to be thankful for everything that you have and enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Having said that, my post today focuses on a show that has been with us for many holidays over the past five and a half years - Gossip Girl. Now I know this show may seem a little juvenile to be discussed in a blog for college age students, but I'm sure many of you have followed this show from its first season back in 2007 just like I have and were very upset when the show had its series finale last Monday. It had been entertaining to watch the cast go through situations similar to my life and see their triumphs as well as failures. They cried over relationships, they stressed over college acceptance letters, they landed their first jobs, and they pioneered social media on television. 

I was not always aware of this last fact, but when I stumbled upon a Mashable article, it made perfect sense. After all, Gossip Girl held all of her power via a blog and received tips from users who followed her and used their phones to send her pictures and videos. The characters always kept up with the times and the most up-to-date phones. From flip phones to blackberries and finally, iPhones, Blair and Serena had them all. These product placements were clever, as I always remember looking at their phones in envy if I was still using an outdated model ( I always wanted the Sidekick). 

This show was indeed the first show one to focus on the "connected generation". That is, the generation that sees the internet as an essential element of life rather than a novelty, are dependent on their cell phones, and share content for people, including friends as well as strangers, to see.

Now of course, Gossip Girl's Blog would probably not have as much influence as it did back in 2007. As journalists are now witnessing, everyone is Gossip Girl and has the ability to post scandalous photos and information to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the world to see. 

Gossip Girl epitomized millennials' feelings that being talked about, positively or negatively, by your peers makes you "special". Dan Humphrey emphasizes this in his final speech during the finale when he discusses the power the internet has in strengthening or weakening a person's reputation.

Gossip Girl evolved simultaneously with the growth of technology. Back when it started, you were lucky if your Motorola flip phone got pictures. By the time it saw its final episode, the iPhone 5 was out and you were carefully glued to your Twitter stream reading your friends opinions about the newly disclosed Gossip Girl. 

Ultimately, this show had quite the impact. Whether it be its effect on social media and technology or its effect on your lonely heart for Chuck and Blair's romance, Gossip Girl will go down in history as a significant and cleverly produced CW11 production.

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