The practice of uploading one’s videos on video sharing sites may seem commonplace, especially among youths. Based on fieldwork done in Japan between 2010 and 2011, however, it appears that this was the exception rather than the rule among Japanese youths. There was the anxiety of standing out among their peers.
Yet, in more recent times, there have been some noticeable changes. Japanese video sharing sites such as Mix channel, C CHANNEL and Vine have become very popular among them. Like most of their counterparts elsewhere, Japanese youths are now producing self-videos with their smartphone and uploading them to these video sharing sites, which are also popular outside of Japan. What has brought about these changes? What has happened to the fear of standing out? How does the possibility of using videos to communicate transnationally with people who do not speak their language contribute to these changes? How useful are indigenous concepts such as uchi and kuuki in combination with etic notions of impression management and self-recognition in explaining why it is now cool for Japanese youths to share their videos?
Takahashi, T. “It’s Now Cool to Share: Japanese youths and their changing relations to video sharing sites”. 2016 Preconference of the International Communication Association (ICA) Communicating with Cool Japan, Tokyo, Japan, June 2016.