Can Social Media Be Art?
In addition to all of the new forms of art the digital age has inspired, social media has become a launching pad for artists.
Art changes along with the centuries. Modern technology has led to the development of digital photography, digital illustration, digital photography, pixel art, and electronic music. It has also led to the creation of memes and creepypasta. Although the latter might not seem like traditional forms of art, stories posted to Reddit have led to the creation of famous monsters like Slenderman and memes have made statements meant to provoke a larger discussion, which is the purpose of any form of art.
In addition to all of the new forms of art the digital age has inspired, social media has become a launching pad for artists. It is changing the way we consume our art and the way our art is presented to us. Instead of going through the traditional route of publishing a book or signing to a record label, artists are able to skip over the middleman and speak directly to their audience. They do not need a contract in order to show their talent to the world. All they need is an internet connection.
Instead of picking up a pencil and sketching faces, artists can design video game characters. Instead of publishing books of prose, poets can post their words on social media. Instead of performing in bars and cruise ships for free, singers can upload videos of song covers and make money off their advertisements.
With the help of social media, feedback happens instantaneously. Instead of releasing a movie months after it is filmed and waiting for responses, the comments below YouTube videos come pouring in seconds after the clips are published. A video could be recorded, edited, and reviewed within the same day. This means the creator can read through their feedback and adjust their future videos accordingly unlike movie developers who are well into their next project by the time reviews are released for their previous project.
Social media can be encouraging for young artists because they receive instant validation. Instead of dwelling on the number of times their work was rejected from art galleries and short story anthologies, they can focus on the hundreds of likes they receive from strangers across the globe who appreciate their work. Of course, this could create the opposite effect, discouraging artists who only get twenty likes because their competition has been getting two hundred.
Since artists intend on getting paid, just like members of any other profession, social media is not the best place to upload finished projects for free. However, in a society with shortening attention spans, social media is the perfect place to debut sneak peeks of art.
Comedians can post hilarious tweets to show off their funny bone. Models can post pretty selfies to show off their style. Chefs can upload personal recipes to show off their skills. Every type of artist can grow their audience with the help of social media, which means more eyes will see their posts about the cookbooks they are selling or the fashion line they are launching.
If someone stumbles across a two-sentence post from a poet on social media, it might encourage them to buy a print copy of their latest book. If someone hears an original song while browsing through videos, it might convince them to buy tickets to the concert. If someone sees a painting, it might encourage them to buy one for their own home. The more followers they have, the higher their sales will grow.
With the help of social media, anyone can be an artist. Anyone can showcase their work to the world. You no longer have to break into the industry. You can create your own industry.