RunningH20

Express Through Tech

The ways in which technology has enabled self-expression and the reach of socially impacting messages.

Technology has greatly enhaced our ability to function with what is inherent within us. The Interet is almost unarguably the most important and impactful invention since the printing press. It has put at our fingertips, in the palms of our hands, and often within a blink of our eyes, the ability to access information on virtually anything we could possibly wonder about. With that connectivity, it has linked our collective consciousness like never before — so much that we can better query the abstract concerns that can't be solved with a binary answer or a definition.

We're, without question, better equipped to collaborate on things intellectual, scientific, social, and even of leisure.

What about expression? How has technology, particularly the Internet, enabled us to more easily showcase our more personal and creative aspects? How has it served as a better, faster, more efficient conduit of ideas and messages that are posied to tip scales and balances, shake up longheld traditions and positions of power, and ultimately shape our lives for the better?

Expressing Our Creative Selves

In the not so distant past, much of anything creative had to be done with exclusive, expensive, or otherwise highly unattainable resources. As recent as the mid 1990s, if you wanted to record a musical album, you were required to either have access to high price instruments (that you also had to be skilled with), often bulky circuit-tripping studio equipment (or the money to rent studios — and compensate an audio-engineer), transportation to facilities with these resources, or face other hurdles of productivity. The same is true with anyone that wanted to create video. High-priced cameras and post-editing equipment was required. Additionally, you had to keep your creations of a fragile tape-medium — which also had to be stored in a special environment to prevent degradation of the media.

Technology has changed ALL of this, mainly as a result the big three aspects of it: processing power, storage space, and bandwidth. Now (to the chagrin of many, it's fair to say) nearly anyone can be a creative individual. Desktop programs, and now even mobile applications, has provided a low-cost, easily accessible way for anyone with a access to electricity to be able to create music, video, and flat visual art.

Expressing Ourselves While Meeting Economic Needs

Creativity is manifest in more than just music, video, or drawings. With the relatively low-cost, and often free, applications available for desktops and mobile devices, folks are enabled to do highly impactful and economical activities that are also personal expressions of themselves — such as designing their own house with blueprint and 3d modeling software. In many cases, we're even able to design our own shoes to submit to companies to manufacture, or even our own vehicles. With cloud-computing, this enabling force of technology is boosted exponentially.

Expressing Our Discontent and Desire For Change

Nearly everything remarkably impactful that is technology-related is also contemporary. A solid example of technology being a driving force for change to a social order is that of the "Arab Spring". A series of pro-democracy uprisings and demonstrations that occurred in several Muslim countries were highly illuminated by the use of social media — Twitter in particular. Messages, reports, and images went unhindered and largely uncensored with the help instantaneous virality brought about by the peer-to-peer, timeline-structured forum that social networks allowed by default.

Rather than having to go through the usual channels of submission, review, and release — a pipeline that leaves anything highly vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation and hindering — information straight from the front lines was able to be presented to the world audience, which allowed for free and critical thought, and ultimately demands for justice. A tipping point was reached, in that people were now with the realization that they no longer had to rely on the traditional institutions for news and information on what was really going on. Complimentary to that realization was the fact that folks no longer had to rely on these same institutions to get their messages out to the world.

A new aspect of the Digital Revolution had surfaced.

What Else?

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