HomeStandard StyleEdutainment mix: The era, error of the internet in arts

Edutainment mix: The era, error of the internet in arts

By Raymond Millagre Langa

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forth a huge tide of change in the arts sector where there is a shift from the live shows to the more digitised sphere. This also enables the creative to have a more diverse and wider audience, who follow with likes. The internet therefore, has played an important role in broadening the reach of the arts sector during the Covid-19 era. One important thing about the internet and social media is that it is interactive and the audience can also communicate their views back to the artist.

This has been a new era of showcasing art, and interestingly, the internet has also made everyone to feel like an artist. For instance, take Tik Tok, and the skits we see on Facebook, which has shown us that many people, are creative in dance, comedy, and several other forms of art.  This all shows the power of the internet in art.  Some people are also making money out of the skits that they post on internet, and they have earned thousands of likes and followers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also shown artists the power of the smart phone and camera as internet can be accessed through the smart phone, and artists can post their work on social media.

The internet and social media has also made everyone a model and a therapist, where they can share ideas about different issues.  People with entrepreneurial minds are also selling wares and making money through advertising their stuff on internet, which is actually very positive.  In short, social media has indeed contributed to the growth of the arts industry, and as artists we are indeed privileged to be in the internet era as it is contributing immensely to the growth of the arts industry.

However, there is noticeably an error in the internet era on how it also disrupts the relevance of an artistic performance, presentation or experience.  For instance, people can admire art online, but it does not mean that they can afford it and the creative artist does not gain much.  When it comes to music, the performances are something organic and very analogue, and I believe that internet is not a very viable tool to measure artistic prowess.  Artistic experience is a very interesting phenomenon in person than on the internet.

Another error of the internet era is that “madness” can also be masked as an art.  We have seen a lot of social media celebrities masquerading as artists, and their influence has grown so much.

However, the problem, which I term the “error”, is that in the name of gaining popularity, nudity, sex tapes and posts where personalities use foul language on each other have become popular and the most followed “arts” on social media.

Young people are, therefore, vulnerable, and they are not getting edutainment that is going to build their characters.  The messages from artists that speak on serious issues about socio, economic, environmental and political rights are not heard, except for these distractive, useless messages in the guise of art.  These are spread through social media, and to make it worse they are accompanied by vile comments from the audiences.

The internet also has shortcomings for artists in that it does not necessarily offer free content. In essence, the audience buys data.

This affects the artist in that the audience tends to download what appeals to them, and the artist has to package their artworks in a manner that will attract the audience.

Unfortunately, it is the wrong messages such as sex tapes and useless gossip about socialites that seems to be attracting audiences on social media.

The other very painful error about the internet is that the audience can troll the artist, and this might affect their artistic expression.

The artist ends up dwelling more on impressionism, which in actual fact weakens their art.

Imitation also remains a challenge where the many young artists fail to create original new sounds and art works with a positive message as they copy what has been trending on social media, which is often negative stuff.

However, social media has several other advantages, which include use of high quality media to review artists.  Its different platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, You Tube and others can actually assist artists to grow their carriers.

Before social media, musical artists would need record companies or music promoters to promote their work, but with the social media revolution, musicians are now given an opportunity to showcase their work to the masses, which previously they would only do through record companies that would have signed them in.

The advantages of social media are also that it takes the form of multi-media where an artist can use audio, video, pictures, text to showcase their art.

In essence, we could also say that the digital world is a very populist force which levels the worlds between the rich and the poor, educated and also the un-educated.

Technology has also extended the arts sector to individuals who did not have the money to attend big musical shows, but can now view some of these shows through their smartphones.

Due to the huge influence that social media has on individuals, artists are therefore encouraged to edutain as opposed to telling audiences about their private lives and bedroom issues.

If used in the correct manner, the internet is a platform with the power to develop positivity in audiences and to orient them on developmental issues that would improve their lives.

The internet is a reality in the new normal; hence the artist needs to embrace it in the era of Covid-19 despite the error that negativity is also spread through social media.

  • Raymond Millagre Langa is a musician, writer, orator, and founder of Indebo Edutainment Trust.  Follow Raymond Millagre Langa on Facebook, Instagram @Millagre Ray L, email indeboedutainmenttrust@gmail.com and millagrepapaito@gmail.com

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