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Social Media, Social Movements and Political Revolution

The term ‘slacktivism’ is a derogatory term for internet activism. The kind of thing whereby hipsters ‘like’ videos or photos on social media and then brag to people that they have made a difference in the world….

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 Although some criticism of internet activism is merited, the fact of the matter is that most of these complaints come from baby boomers that feel like their generation that grew up in the 60’s were far more proficient at activism and also feel that the hippy movement was about actual protesting and focused on free-living and things that made a difference.

….But realistically, hippy’s and hipsters are pretty much the same thing and just because you got stoned in a field and listed to Janice Joplin and Hendrix all day when you were young….doesn’t mean you actually achieved anything.

Internet activism can definitely become a huge force politically, no doubt! We have already seen this during the ‘Arab Spring’. But it’s important to keep in mind that in the internet does not create the revolution, social media and the web is merely the medium in which the message is spread. (It’s exactly the same as hippy’s handing out no-war flyers in the 60’s, just a far more efficient medium). What creates a revolution or a movement is commonality shared between oppressed people-

“In every effective social change effort that you want to look at there is an inner-core of tightly bound people” (Kessler, 2010).

It certain does appear that cyber-attacks will become a weapon of war. Methods like sit-ins and DDoS attacks will evolve and become far more sophisticated in the future and will most certainly be used to cripple people, organisations and destabilise governments in ways that we cannot even begin to understand in our present time.

Oh and as for KONY 2012, I think South Park summarised the situation best.

Reference

Kessler, S 2010, ‘Why Social Media is Reinventing Activism’, Mashable, 9 October, viewed 22, Sep 2013

Creativity and Internet Age

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The emergence of social media and the age of the internet has given birth to the greatest age of creativity the human race has ever known.

Technology has meant that creativity in today’s world is inexpensive, wide reaching and infinite.

The major problem that creative people and artists faced in years gone by is that creativity was expensive and even if a person had the expertise and/or passion to build something, paint something or play a musical instrument, it would more than likely be out of reach for the common person.

If you did have the finance to fund such indulgent activities the obstacle you would then face is reach. If you were a regular person before social media and you wanted to distribute or broadcast something you had created, the only way it was possible was through mass-media organisations or by government announcement.

In the past, creating something and having it reach a wide audience was only reserved for a very small group of the population that were either exceptionally talented or exceptionally lucky.

But in the age of social media everyone has the ability.

And that’s how it should be because creativity is for everyone, not a select few and certainly not for an aristocracy.   

And the issue of remixing, reworking or parodying previous works has exploded with the creation of sites like YouTube.

Despite what some may say, post-modern art-“The recycling of past styles and themes in a modern-day context, as well as the break-up of the barrier between fine and high arts and low art and popular culture (Desmond, p.148)”,is an extremely important way to express creativity because it allows us as human beings to understand and evaluate ourselves and the cultural norms that account for so much of our world.

Having said that….There is still a lot of stuff that sux.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM_K73IyBMo

 

Reference

Desmond, K (2011) Ideas about Art, John Wiley and Sons. UK.