Social media has given us a platform for some pretty incredible possibilities since it began. In the last two years, we have especially seen some remarkable events occur in themselves through the use of social media. The Age Of Online Interaction has simultaneously crunched time, space and elements of diversity into an all round reaching livewire of communication where anything can happen. Social media certainly is some kind of practical magic in today's world. Now it seems to be up to the individual if this new found power is going to be used for good or bad...
Started a brand new music genre: Witch house
There was a time when a music scene came out of a geographical area where some kind of social unity had formed in the shape of artistic expression through music. The sound of a generation, in a certain area at a certain time that could relate to each other enough in order to decide on a genre name for their sound. Last year, the whole idea of a 'scene' was removed and made irrelevant as one of the most interesting 'genres' of music if you have to call it something, came out of the internet wire works. Welcome to Witch House. The perfect sonic example of the transcendent and relevant qualities which today, we consider so important, if not of the only importance. There is no official name or term for this music but basically how it works it through an underground or 'under-internet' site of contribution from artists who are making an aesthetically similar sounding music. Sometimes referred to as 'drag', Witch House essentially (well, sometimes) is slowed down hip-hop, electro pop with ghostly sound effects. Salem are initially understood to have pioneered this sound and demographically, the world over, artists are contributing Witch House orientated songs online for similarly interested people to listen to and consider. Not much of this music is available commercially and part of its whole concept is to be difficult to find and to keep. The relevance aspect of listening to an industrially created track for only a time after specifically trying to gain access (often difficult through use of symbols to avoid being searched for) to it is part of the experience. It was probably the most innovative step in music last year and continues to influence and change as we embrace the online phase of music production and distribution.
Started a socially mediated riot: London Riots 2011
The most shocking civil unrest since the 1980's broke out all over London streets as reported by the Associated Press on the 9th of August this year. The riots were made up mob violence, looting, setting fire to cars and buildings and general mayhem from the working class youth of London.
"The violence we have seen is simply inexcusable. Ordinary people have had their lives turned upside down by this mindless thuggery," police commander Christine Jones said.
These riots spread to Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool. How did these riots manage to cover such a massive amount of ground in this seemingly orchestrated manner of chaos? Social media. According to the Associate Press,"Youths used text messages, instant messaging on BlackBerry phones and social media platforms such as Twitter to coordinate attacks and stay ahead of the police. Police were also monitoring Twitter, and warned that those who posted messages inciting the violence could face arrest."
Since the riots there have been multiple political concerns and considerations around social media and whether it should be restricted to prevent further chaos.