Brian Anonymous
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Can the Internet Decrease Our Inspiration?

With information at your fingertips, the motivation to discover changes drastically.

When I first started break-dancing back in the early 2000s, it was fresh and everything was a new discovery. This was partially because I had just started learning the dance but it was also because break-dancing was having a sudden resurgence and everything was new to everyone in the scene. The motivation was high and everyone was inspired to create new moves and having a blast discovering new things. Despite these discoveries, some of the break-dancers of the era focused primarily on fundamentals they've learned from older dancers and mastered these moves so well that they encompassed the moves rather than the moves encompassing them. They had different motivations, but the love for the dance was all the same. 

As the years go by I find that the dance has become more institutionalized because a lot of the dance moves (even the ones that had been discovered in those early 2000s) have become established. Everyone can do everything and if they can't, they can learn the moves from YouTube or some other source off the internet. This is hardly a bad thing, but I find that the ambition of discovering new moves and the old atmosphere of everything being new isn't as prevalent now that the information superhighway has a presence in the scene. I guess this bleeds into other activities other than dancing, but I'll use the dance as an example. 

I remember a time before the internet was so popular. It was time when there was still an atmosphere of mystery. People would tell us wild stories and these stories would make us curious about things. If we had the internet, we could easily fact-check the stories and even find video evidence. Back in the day, there was intrigue and curiosity. We'd build tall tales about people and they'd be mythical superstars. So when we'd hear about a special guest dancer coming to the city or that dancer was in at a certain event we'd want to go to those events to check it out. We were more curious as to how they danced and what they could do because we heard all of these wild stories about them. Today, it's a little different, gigabytes of footage of all dancers are posted online every day. The mystery is gone and that motivation to go to the event to see the dancer is gone and those mysterious moves are there at a click of a button.

Also, because all of that footage is available over the internet, people tend to have this idea that everything has already been done and simply copy moves frame by frame. There's a growing complaint from older dancers that they think the next generation all look similar to one another because they follow dance trends. They believe that the ambition to create new moves is gone. I wouldn't blame the internet for that. I would say that it's partly how we're brought up to learn as well. We've been taught not to question authority in school by regurgitating everything they teach us on tests in order to pass tests. If we question the curriculum at the exam then we might not pass the course. How do we blame the next generation if they were taught to absorb information rather than dissecting the information and rearranging it the way that they chose to use it?

With footage and lack of mystery where is the motivation to travel to meet new dancers and connect with one another? This is a hard one. On one side, I would say that the internet does make it harder for people to justify traveling as much. We've become more isolated because we connect through telecommunication rather than physically being in each other's presence. Using telecommunication is a lot more efficient and cost-effective. Still, there is a totally different connection when you're face to face with someone and feel the atmosphere of an event or place. This motivation will be different for everyone. That's not to say that traveling is motivating for everyone either. Maybe working on your craft at home is all you need to keep your motivation to keep going.

I know I started off making it seem like the internet ruins our motivation for innovating at the craft that you do, but really, if you continue doing the craft year after year, my assumption is already ruined. The internet is a great source of information I just think that people should experience that mystery that I felt in the past. It was a major motivating factor that kept me going for a long time. It's sort of like experiencing a great movie trailer for a highly anticipated movie. I'm sure creativity is alive and well today but if more of us stop rushing ourselves and carefully dissect what we're learning we could probably think of more things from the information that we are gathering.

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Can the Internet Decrease Our Inspiration?
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