There are many who believe this increasingly connected virtual world is negatively impacting social skills. People tend to talk lesser to each other all of us have become Phubbers. Kids are replacing time spent playing with other kids with their eyes glued to one of the screens. Social networking sites alleviate any guilt associated with not keeping in touch with loved ones.
While it is a lead in, this post is not to debate the case merits of the “multi-media world”. Suffice to say that there are extremely good arguments on both sides. This post attempts to reveal one such dimension or an insight.
The author believes that despite the virtual world having created these bubbles or silos that we live in, the people today are more willing to let themselves be judged than ever before.
The past decade or slightly more has witnessed the inception and growth of what are termed “reality shows” especially the talent or skill based variety. What separates one from fame and money (read success) today is not chance or opportunity, but their individual skill or talent. These shows and the advent of social networking have given wings and fuelled aspirations of millions. They have given rise to a new breed that does believes there’s a place in the spotlight for them. Whether it is singing, dancing, writing, acting, playing an instrument, cooking or for that matter something as inane as the ability to spit with precision on a target! There is a platform available to showcase ability. Opportunity today is ubiquitous.
Contests, competitions and pageants have been around a long time so what really has changed? It is the scale. The connected world has removed the subjectivity of the talent scouts and placed in the hands of the audiences. While it might not be the right way to do it, it has definitely democratized the process of selection. The opinion of the few is being supplemented with the taste of the masses. This for whatever its worth has lent itself to the perception of “fair play”.
More and more people are venturing out of their protective cocoons, unafraid what the world will say. In fact, the world is the promise and failure or ridicule, a very small price to pay. Talent and skill are just exaggerated manifestations of this insight. The gains need not always be monetary, they can be personal boosters too. The willingness to be judged is evident in every single act of in the social networking space. We put up our photographs, air our views, and share our moods all of which are being judged in real time. Likes, +1’s, re-tweets, views, comments, shares are the new determinants of success.
This new found confidence transcends demographics, culture, social strata you name it. From babies to octogenarians nobody seems to have an issue with stage fright anymore. As an audience what is on view ranges from the amazing to the ridiculous. There is no such thing as infamy, popular is the bottom line.
You generate the content and put it out, the seekers of the content will gravitate towards it. The number of home-made or amateur or non-professional efforts that have viraled in the recent past are testament to this. Bloggers and twitterati with following are an integral part of digital marketing plans. Every day more and more content is put up on sites that give a platform to users. From e-books to self-produced music videos it’s all there. Every passing year talent hunts get unprecedented participation and ever increasing social footprint.
Overnight success is no longer an infrequent occurrence or a fairy tale it is expected. There are several more Justin Biebers knocking on the doors of fame.
As they say it’s not spreading your wings but courage that makes you fly!