As an ideology, democracy gives all people a voice. It also provides space for people to express themselves freely, whether they agree or disagree, which can, in turn, empower people into activism. Democracy involves two contrasting visions of how the social and the political are intertwined to make essential decisions in their country or community. Democracy requires active participation and a feeling of collective responsibility.
Social media has become a platform for free speech that anyone can participate in if they have an internet connection. People can share ideas and inform others on political or social issues with just a click. Social media has also allowed strangers to connect instantaneously. Strangers can explore new worlds, new cultures, and they can build a sense of community.
Social Media Era & Creativity
In 1999, the introduction of social media was born. The sharing of ideas, art, information, career interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and online networking would change the world forever. Connecting with others online through websites or apps became known as social media. Many were skeptical of social media and reciprocated with fear of having their data visible to all, but now, it has become an essential and vital part of everyday life. We are far more active on social media than ever since the pandemic has gripped our world. There seems to be an urgency to stay connected with family and friends, stay informed of current events, stay inspired, and find a balance in our mundane life.
In the ever-changing world of connectivity, there are no shortages of artists, designers, activists, protagonists, progressive thinkers, rebels, or naysayers. Now we can reach all the corners of the globe with our ideas, thoughts, and art. With all the positive things about social media, there is also a darker side to it, where anything you say or post can harm or create streams of hatred, and unpleasant emotional retort. Despite these adverse effects, creators have been able to draw attention to important social events. Can Creativity bring change in the world through social media? Yes, there has been a massive artistic response to recent social phenomena. We are returning to using playfulness, bold, saturated color, and vibrancy in art. It’s a rebirth of the aesthetic of the ’60s; bold, bright, and colorful. The question we need to ask ourselves: can art create a movement of positive change to a person’s opinion? Can art make a collective body of people think differently? How can we achieve this change? Art and Creativity are visible in everyday design, architecture, advances in technology, corporations, etc. Huge corporations seek to hire social media marketers to elevate their social media to the next level of brand consciousness without getting overtly political.
You may be wondering, what is Creative Democracy? Well, Creative democracy was a term coined by John Dewey. He believed that democracy is a way of life, and the experience of human nature, in the faith of the human race to act morally with others. Dewey states, “the task of democracy is forever that of creation of a freer and more humane experience in which all share and to which all contribute.” Creative Democracy requires all people to participate and to have the imagination, creativity, and will to foresee a freer society and actively work towards it.
In some ways, Social Media has pushed forth Creative Democracy by creating a paradigm shift with a worldview underlying the theories of what is yet ahead. People are more vocal, woke, and engaged in bringing about change. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Youtube are a few of the many Social Media sites that continue to make tremendous changes in this world.
Facebook was the place to be; in the last few years, Facebook has failed to capture a younger audience’s attention. Ask any young person from the age of 12–19, and they would say that Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram are hipper, trendier, and more creative platforms. They say Facebook is for a mature audience (in their own words, Older). When Facebook started, it was always about sharing life events with your family and friends near and far, and yet that has changed drastically for the mature audience too.
Everybody has a voice here. If you don’t like what is said, you disagree, and most sometimes there are no pleasantries. People have credited themselves as the Facebook police.
Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese professional footballer without a doubt, has influenced many young kids to the game of Football. He has the highest number of followers as a sportsperson on Facebook, with 122 million followers and 230 million followers on Instagram. What a platform for the game of Soccer!
How many users does Twitter have? The answer is between 328–330 million active monthly users. It has also given Politicians an open platform to connect with the public; their followers. It aims to make them look as humanly as possible. It’s a direct line to their voters. Politicians are using Twitter to their advantage, and the information may not always be factual; it just has to get a like or a retweet. If you are as creative to tweet a message and have another Twitter user retweet it, your content controls the platform, and then you control the masses. For example, the President of the United States, Donald J Trump, is probably one of the only people on the earth who can make stocks crash with just one tweet. That is the power of the President of the United States, and that’s the power of social media.
Poets, celebrities, journalists, comedians, football writers, astrologists, activists, and librarians also use their platform to convey their message and build their brand. The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, is the most followed Twitter user with approximately 120.7 million followers, and in 2019 Taylor Swift was the most influential Twitter user.
Elon Musk is an entrepreneur, engineer, innovator, and industrial designer. He could be considered the guru of creative technology and industrial design. From creating self-driven vehicles at Tesla to space travel at SpaceX with futuristic self-landing rockets and sleek spacesuits. He has given us a view of the future to space travel and what it holds for future explorers by creating a new Space Age. The future of space travel looks nothing like what we see in movies, but it is here.
Instagram, or commonly known as IG, is a platform that provides a variety of unique, creative, and dynamic ideas to a younger audience between the ages of 18–34 years. Some use it to promote and flaunt the latest trends in fashion, skincare, technology, healthy lifestyles, food, etc. In contrast, others move in the direction to educate viewers on policies, candidates, the environment, climate change, and protests. Sometimes, they provide live updates on protests and marches. Along with that comes a tremendous responsibility to be ahead of the curve of art, culture, fashion, food, healthy lifestyles, travel, and technology. Instagram can be so exciting by keeping things fresh and entertaining.
Alexandria Villasenor is a 15-year-old climate change activist and founder of Earth Uprising with a broad platform of over 15 million followers on Instagram. Her call to action started in 2018, after being caught in a smoke cloud from a Camp-Fire in California. She is a strong advocate for climate change and a safe plant for children like herself across the globe. Our children are the future, teach them well, and let them lead the way.
Statistics indicate that there are about 3.81 billion social media users globally. That’s a lot of people connected to a platform and a lot of information shared with numerous people worldwide. It is clear now; we must make sure to use social media correctly and responsibly.
We are now able to create new ways of using creativity to make a positive and everlasting impact through these platforms. Anyone can start a movement or fight for a cause through their platform on Social Media. Platforms like JeSuisCharlie, AnimalCruety, Resist, MeToo, and GoFundMe have since paved the way for social media’s impact on the current political and civic engagement with a call to action.
Here at Kingdom Branding, we believe that sparking Creativity for the greater good is at the core of our company values. Through our social media management platform, KB Social, we partner with clients who are passionate about changing our world one step at a time. From social issues like climate change, eradicating single-use of plastic, or going paperless, we are interested in becoming a part of the conversations within your industry or community. Check us out at Kingdom Branding.