Has Social Media Spawned A New ‘Age Of Creativity’?

Social media has spawned has started something of a "Creativity Renaissance", paving the way for the never-ending flow of music, art, photography, animation, video, film, writing, design, and more.

The amount of creativity that floods the web on a daily basis through sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, WordPress, Myspace, Facebook and other sites never fails to astonish me. The new outlets for imagination that social media has spawned has started something of a “Creativity Renaissance”, paving the way for the never-ending flow of music, art, photography, animation, video, film, writing, design, and more. Have you ever stopped to think about the effect social media has had on creativity, originality and art?

Consider the following:

  • There are hundreds of millions of active blogs on the web. People around the globe are blogging about everything from their personal lives to their hobbies, political opinions, professional lives and more. If it weren’t for blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger, how many of these hundreds of millions of bloggers do you think would actually take the time to sit down, brainstorm ideas and write on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis?
  • Today one of the first things you hear out of many people’s mouths when they take a photograph is, “I can’t wait to put this on Facebook!” People take pictures with their digital cameras on their vacations, at parties, and in their everyday lives to share with their friends on the web using Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and other sites. Many people are finding themselves more excited than ever to take pictures of their friends, family, pets and interesting things they see because they can’t wait to share them with their social networks.
  • Each minute over 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. People upload videos of their kids, their vacations and their lives to share with friends and family and keep memories. However, just as many people who use YouTube to capture memories are using the site to try to get a lot of views and achieve their fifteen minutes of fame. To do so, people have to get incredibly creative. Dancers are busting out moves the likes of which have never been seen before, animators are trying to come up with original new ways to create moving pictures, comedians are trying to come up with the funniest jokes they’ve ever told, and artists are trying to innovate like crazy.
  • The majority of big brands and companies utilize social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to converse with their customers, as well as to grab consumers’ attention with creative promotions and ad campaigns. Before social media, advertisers were pretty much bound to television, radio and print ads. Now the whole world is at their fingertips with interactive campaigns, contests and new innovative advertising methods, some of which we haven’t even seen yet.

Social media has made our audience a whole lot bigger as well. In the past, a video artist may have entered a piece in a festival where a couple of hundred people would see it. Today, they can upload a video to YouTube where an audience of millions can watch (if it’s creative enough and viral enough). A photographer who once displayed their work in a month-long exhibition can now put their work on the web where it will stay for good, racking up views, comments with constructive feedback and where fans can share their photos with their friends. However, social media has also made our competition a whole lot bigger, meaning that we’ve got to be a whole lot more creative to stand out.

Artists, writers, musicians, dancers and regular Joe’s are suddenly faced with the possibility of making a worldwide name for themselves, and it doesn’t cost a penny. They spend time online in social networks and social media sharing sites looking at what’s popular and striving to come up with something bigger, better, more original and more creative and it’s resulting in some amazing stuff.

A few months ago Chris Anderson of TED gave an interesting talk about how web video is driving innovation. As one creative person uploads something to the web that they’ve created they inspire others to upload something creative, and so on and so on. Social media is inspiring us and almost forcing us to be creative, original and artistic. After all, in today’s world you’ve got to do something totally innovative and creative if you want to get noticed on the web.

Has social media inspired you to be more creative? Would you say we are living in a new Age of Creativity?

Image Credit: MaurilioAmorim.com