Online telecast takes the shine off events - GulfToday

Online telecast takes the shine off events

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.


US Vice President Kamala Harris watches a screen of attendees during a virtual event for St. Patrick's Day at the White House in Washington. Reuters

I’ve said repeatedly in the past year that I hope to God that the ‘new normal’ is not here to stay. Doing stuff from the comfort of your home, like online shopping and online meetings, may sound like a blast when you’re doing it for the first time but after a few months it becomes stifling and starts to get on your nerves. You get to the point where the new phrase ‘stay home/stay safe’ becomes annoying.

I think that some things done online, even in a livestream, just don’t seem right. Education and the recent spate of entertainment award ceremonies, online concerts, fashion shows and art shows are a case in point.

I am sure most people will agree, including the recipients of said awards, that nothing beats being there and experiencing things first hand.

The thing is that online fashion shows are not really innovative, the concept having been around for decades.  Even now, if you turn on a fashion channel on your television you will be inundated with countless models on the catwalk from around the world’s fashion capitals, all day and every day. It’s just that they are now live via a link on your smartphone or laptop. The same goes for online concerts. Since television has been around for decades, so too have recorded pop concerts, and the Music Channel springs to mind. A lot of people touting these new modes of entertainment overlook the fact that seeing your pop idol on your screen is never the same as seeing them in person. I’ve never been to a concert but I am sure a lot of people go to concerts not just to hear the music but to show camaraderie with fellow fans and to see their idols in the flesh. Plus, of course, the chance to go temporarily deaf in the name of their favourite group.

But where art exhibitions are concerned, exhibit recordings were never broadcast. So I’m sure many professional and amateur artists feel that they now have a chance to view an exhibition they would otherwise have missed, especially if it’s held halfway across the world. But nothing really compares to seeing paintings first hand, like looking at their sizes, the brushstrokes and the colour mixes, which are not always truly rendered on camera. Plus there’s the chance to meet the artists and the exhibit curator, both of which are crucial networking opportunities, especially if you fancy yourself as a bit of an artist who’d also like to exhibit someday.

But have you seen how award ceremonies and concerts are now being broadcast, in the name of Covid? It’s really somewhat of a joke and on who I’m still not sure. I am a huge fan of Korean dramas and try to catch the annual entertainment and drama awards at the end of every year. I like to see who won of course but I also like to see if any of actors I saw won or were nominated or presented awards. But imagine my irritation in December 2020 when the awards were held as usual but there was no one in the audience which usually comprised famous celebrities. In addition to empty tables and seats, the wall facing the stage was covered in hundreds of screens with people watching from behind them. On top of that every single celebrity who came on to accept an award or present an award either accepted from a different location or came on wearing a huge mask which meant, yes you guessed it, it was extremely difficult to recognise who they were. I found that infuriating.

In America’s award ceremonies most actors accepted awards from their sitting rooms. Funny thing is that most just appeared on the screen wearing their everyday clothes which is totally understandable. But I have to question those who did bother to dress up. Why?

Again, doing stuff like this online is not the same thing. Surely those awards are more than just getting a statue? It’s about getting on the stage, giving your speech with cameras flashing, reporters around you, being on the red carpet and simply enjoying the moment.

And finally, I think kids doing online classes are being done a huge disservice. I saw one Korean reality TV show where a 9-year-old girl was no longer attending school classes in person and taking lessons online. On that day there was a maths class and, get this, it lasted all of 10 to 15 minutes. I ask you, which class did you go to at school that lasted 15 minutes? Now that’s what I call a complete joke and a disservice to today’s children everywhere.

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