In lieu of taking advantage of our week off, I was perusing the internet one morning and I found myself on the “Tumblr.” page of a fairly well-known celebrity. It was the page of an R&B artist whose work became popular by way of the internet. His music is great and most of it was distributed, for free, as mix-tapes. In fact, the previous night I managed to stream and download the entire library of his free work and I did not have to feel guilty, for this act was not illegal pirating; this artist put his music out for free in order to expose his talents and his work to the world and make a name for himself off of his sheer talent. As I was scrolling through his “Tumblr.” page, I was amused and even sort-of amazed that I was able to read his personal posts about his feelings on things as pertinent as politics and as irrelevant as his favorite movie clips. It made me realize that the people we see on television and hear on the radio are people just like us. They are affected by the same laws that we are subject to and they are exposed to the same media that we indulge in. As I had never been on “Tumblr.” before, I decided I would check out the pages of some of my friends, thinking for sure that they would not be as entertaining and well put-together as this artist’s. I was shocked to find that some of my friends had pages that were equally as creative and pleasing both aesthetically and content-wise as the first “famous person’s” page I had been on. It also took me by surprise to see how open some of the posts were. Some of the pictures and posts were extremely bold and opinionated, something that seems to be becoming more and more of a trend now-a-days. It actually made me happy to see people expressing themselves in such a creative way. Websites like “Tumblr.” provide outlets for people to vent, to be funny and creative, and even to show off their internet talents.
The above anecdote was told in order to prove a point. It is quite obvious that the internet has opened up a whole new field of experiences. These experiences are having a profound social impact on communication, self-expression, and talent. The websites that we use and indulge in everyday have obviously been designed to be quite user friendly, but it seems to me that people have managed to hone their web-design skills and go beyond what the designers of these sites originally intended. Creativity seems to be blossoming. I believe that, for these individuals, these skills offer a multitude of opportunities in a field that is literally growing by the second. When used for the right reasons, I think that the internet is an extremely useful tool and method of communication and self-expression. In addition to job opportunities, it is a great way to put oneself “out-there,” so-to-speak. Anyone with any sort of tech-skill can show off these skills through his/her site and/or an average person can become a celebrity in milliseconds if they are talented and/or lucky enough to have the right audience at the right time. The internet is also a place to go to find and appreciate work such as music that may not be considered “main-stream” as I did with the artist’s music that I mentioned in the beginning of my post. It seems to be a growing trend that many artists are embracing rather than shunning.
There are some pitfalls to technology, no doubt. But there are also some really great things about it the serve to enrich our personal knowledge, social conversations, and lives in general. People are able to express themselves in ways that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. As can be seen with the slough of celebrities who were discovered through the internet, it is clear that the internet provides talented people with the exposure they need to accomplish their dreams. I think that it is an American Dream for the twenty-first century. So, in order to fulfill our dreams, it is quite obvious that we must keep surfing!