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If Social Media Is Now Considered Art, Then I Am An Artist -- And So Are You

If you’re browsing GIFs on Tumblr, taking pictures for Instagram, or crafting tweets for Twitter, whether you realize it or not, that’s art.

The rise of the smartphone has single-handedly given each individual in this generation the inadvertent ability to convey and ingest creativity in all its forms. In this day and age, we are consuming and creating art in more ways than any generation before us. Think about it: Every single morning, what is the first thing you do? Now, I’m willing to bet 99 percent of you reading this said, "Check my phone" (or at least you thought that in your head, because if you didn’t, you’re talking to yourself and that’s just plain unacceptable).

Kids and adults alike are increasingly allocating more and more time to their phones. Recently, it has become rare for me to spend more than an hour without once looking at the pixelated information placed on my phone's screen. Even if only to briefly look at my Twitter mentions. BUT (that’s an all-caps "but," people, so you better sit down and listen up) the increase in cell phone content consumption is not the point of my writing. The point of this article is the growing correlation between art and social media.

If you’re browsing GIFs on Tumblr, taking photos for Instagram, or crafting tweets for Twitter, whether you realize it or not, that's art. The expression of human creative skill and imagination is oozing from every corner of your mobile device, and there’s no denying it. You are creating and viewing art every single day. In fact, you're participating in a very new medium of modern art. Look at you, you little culture connoisseur.

I’ve been on social media for over five years now, and it’s taken me four of those five years to fully grasp that what I do is a new, blossoming form of art. We’ve become so numb to the ingenious magnificence that is the smartphone that we neglect to remember how powerful this tiny contraption truly is. We now have the capability to take photos, videos, to edit, draw, design, post, re-blog, retweet, and so much more at the tips of our fingers. All of this is done on, and made possible with, a pocket-size, 3-ounce metal device each of us has on our person at all times. Do you understand how crazy that is?? Not even 30 years ago, people would've thought that was absolutely ludicrous. Those same people would lock you up and throw away the key for even thinking such things. Are. You. CRAZY.

None of this was even feasible until very recently. This technology has only been around for a short amount of time, so it’s understandable that we don’t quite comprehend the level of its genius just yet. If you want to wrap your mind around the insanity of its capabilities, just show your phone to one of your grandparents. It will blow their minds (and create amazing content if you film it).

Although we don’t always appreciate the technology we have, I’m here to say that's OK. We shouldn’t praise it, but we should praise what we do with it. Right here and right now, realize that you are an artist. You are equipped with every necessary component to take part in the current creative revolution. There are advantages and possibilities right in front of you that people would only dream of having just a decade ago.

Recognize the ability to create on a daily basis. Notice the serendipity of constant art in our lives. Utilize its presence and exercise your right to take part in it. Understand that we are the initial chosen few to be given this luxury. We are the first of many, the beginning of a new age, and this is our chance to change how the world sees art.

OK, you can click out and check Twitter now.

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