Thursday, January 17, 2008

YouClick!

A lot of recent events have prompted me to think that the most GOSH-DARN-AWESOME thing about today's technology is not that you can keep in touch with people in atlanta, not that you can type out those boring reports and be professional even with the handwriting of a 3 year old, not that music is now (illegally) free..(although that is a HUGE perk!) not that you no longer depend fully on that DVD store down the road that has movies made 2 years ago, but that now, finally, and indefinitely, the POWER is in YOUR HANDS. The power to do just about anything. The power to change the face of journalism, the power to change someone's reputation, the power to impress, amuse, confuse, influence, and convince.

Confused? As an example...My friend chacks made an audio clip of him singing some song, "Jaya Nagaraj Tara"....and this work of pure genius enthralled me so well, I don't think I've ever been THAT entertained with a one minute (or less) audio clip. Now, this medicine (and By that I mean laughing that hard will definitely cure anything) wouldn't have been released if it weren't for the wonders of today's technology. For one, he'd have probably recorded it, and it would've stayed with him. But now, that clip was retrieved, and put up on my friend's blog! And its out there! The truth is out there! The truth can also spread like wildfire ( I can include a link to it, someone else can do the same thing...but I'm not going to do that because I might get slaughtered.)

The same goes for a lot of other things. Someone sings funny? Or dances funny? The wonders of bluetooth enable everyone to share the fun. A crazy Prank call? Its now on your phone. These are all things that we can keep and amuse ourselves with anytime. Another friend of mine recorded this guy's bathroom singing..(Yeah..You're not safe even in that private domain!) and..well..let's just say the music brought tears to our eyes..(If you know what I mean.)

Going beyond personal amusement (Which of course, is the most fun way of enjoying the POWER of it all...), the Impact of technology today means journalism is no longer single-handedly in the hands of media giants. Everyone now has the right to report, record, capture moments as they see it, and given that Journalism deals with such an unpredictable world, this is a benefit that everyone can see. Pictures were captured by people's cellphones during events like earthquakes, the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bomb Blasts, The tsunami..and these pictures were the ones that eventually made it to the headlines. These people just happened to be there...and sudddenly..they had the power to report. They had the power to tell their story. They had that power to make a difference.

Photography and Impromptu video making is no longer reserved for the experts. Anyone can get into it..I've seen people who don't even possess a professional camera take stunning pictures with their cellphones. I know people who make stunning music just by using mixing software. Youtube became a sensation because suddenly, everyone had the power. Everyone could put up what they wanted, noone was restricted to the views of others anymore.

I missed the 'We the people' episode on TV, and I got to watch the entire thing online. That kind of power was un-imaginable before. Its fabulous-everything can now go according to your time, your requirements. You get to decide. Its all about you. Don't get a certain show aired in your country anymore? You'll get it online, no problem. You don't have freedom of speech in the media in your country? You blog, and tell the world what you think. The number of pakistani writers expressing their angst online during the time of the country's emergency recently was astonishing. No one can curb that power anymore. You might have to face dire consequences if its on print (see my earlier post titled "Petty Poetic License") but if you want the right to information that is legal,all you have to is reach out and grab it. That is power like none other.

Obviously, with the Yin comes the Yang, and here comes the downside. Everyone has the power. The upside IS the downside. Record Labels no longer make the money they used to with their music. Anyone can put up anything, and credibility is definitely compromised. In India, a few years ago, The DPS school video(No prizes for knowing about that!) messed up the lives of the students involved in it. But people need to get smart. People need to try and be aware of who is recording what. People need to understand that with that kind of power, all you can do, is make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of people it shouldn't be with. Its not easy, but it has to be done. Everyone's recognized that the power is now with the people. I'm glad Radiohead and Madonna considered the internet a prime factor when it came to releasing new albums. It just doesn't work the way it used to.

What I'm trying to say through this entire essay-like post( I promise I'll try and restrict these...sometimes I can't help myself) , is that...don't misuse that power ( Why mess things up for yourself?), but don't shy away from it. Its now our world. Record, write, Participate. Because you actually can. You can actually get things going your way. In a strange way, we all possess the power that makes us the heroes of this generation ( Yeah, yeah..I know..I like being this dramatic!)..so..no sense in wasting it. And...P.S- if you do have some videos or clips that MUST be watched or heard...Let me know...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Evangelizing, anyone?
Just to play devil's advocate to the fast and almost viral explosion that technology follows -
(I'm hoping that you're the person who visited my blog)
You use Firefox 2.0.0 with Javascript enabled on Linux with a resolution of 1024x768 and a dynamic address from Airtel broadband.
"Big Brother" Part Deux. I'm hoping I've made my point.

Ramya Rajan said...
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Ramya Rajan said...
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Ramya Rajan said...
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Dredger said...

if u wanna watch a hilariously ridiculous video, try tuning in to CNN everyday post 10pm - George W Bush in the flesh will be regaling one and all wit his gyaan!

Ramya Rajan said...

ok! Thanks!
And..I didn't mean to preach. It was just my opinion....
Point taken....

Dredger said...

lol i swear to the high heavens there was no sarcasm or preaching intended.. i just thot it wud lend a fun tone to the whole thing! apologies if it was misleading!

Ramya Rajan said...

lol..okay...

 
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