The whole controversy with SOPA and PIPA got me thinking about online creativity and fame. Do we really need that? Is online creativity something really creative or is it just a time killer online? Do we face a bigger problem here? Yes, we do.
"Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes" is probably the worst thing Andy Warhol could have said and we have a full right to get furious with him. But it's probably the most envisioning sentence he has ever said at the same time. He was absolutely right stating that new technology innovations and the way we express ourselves will enable us to get famous for the oddest acts the human kind could exhibit. Just look at our online video stars! No, I am not talking about those with real talent or the inspiring ones with disabilities turned into abilities. I am talking about those -- who in an ideal world would not be able to get any attention of any kind in any way. Yes, I'm talking about the girl with a name that rhymes with Quebecca.
There is nothing wrong with being famous for 15 minutes; it's temporary, one can say. But is it worth paying the price of constantly evaluating our lives by the views of our latest cute kitten or Gaga parody video on YouTube? The anticipation of getting "liked," "poked" or "shared" is what drives our need to post more, to share more online. On the other hand, the anticipation of getting some laughs is what drives our need to tell a joke or act silly in the pub too, and we measure our self-esteem by that as well. But does it mean that we have to quit our daily jobs and become stand-up comedians if our mediocre joke once killed at family dinner?
Creativity blah blah
We are spending our boring days in a world filled with misunderstood artists who are hoping to make it big one day. And it's inspiring! There is just one thing wrong with that concept. The definition of "making it big" has expanded to a freakishly unnatural umbrella term which includes such acts as getting drunk in public and making a scene. Or trolling your best friend's grandma with a weak heart, literally scaring her to death. I mean literally. Would you watch that? I am sure you would.
Now that fame is easily accessible through a vast variety of different gadgets, it became very easy to record your video and just sit, stare at the screen hoping that your latest show-off will go viral. Don't get me wrong, I love viral videos, I love memes and I am the biggest fan of lolcatz with their cute accents. But it would be more comforting to know that "going viral" is not on every bucket list.
The most connected generation in history -- that's who we are; that's why we struggle to get instant gratitude from our peers online. Generation X, Y, Z... Who cares? Just dance, but go viral responsibly!
Cool problem, boring solution
Do we have to make them stop? The army of singer-songwriter-baristas is conquering the world and proving that talent is the most important, not a record label. Services like SoundCloud or YouTube enable them to chase the dream of sharing their talent with the rest of us. It's the dream of going viral that's scaring us and the only way to eliminate that dream is extremely boring -- education. We must have not only sex education, but online sanity education classes too. And we need it fast to save the forthcoming decades from our newsfeeds piling up with worthless hopes and dreams.