I have never watched a Star Wars movie before. I have never read a Star Wars comic, or played a Star Wars game. But I know who Luke’s father is, I think Hans Solo and Chewbacca have the sweetest bromance and I sometimes even wear my hair in Princess Leia buns.
So how do I know all of this without my own personal awakening of the force? It’s through popular culture and propagated by the glory that is Information Communication Technologies otherwise known as ICT.
ICT and popular culture are dependent on one another. The advances in technology that brought us radio, TV and cinema, essentially created the platform for the sharing of mainstream popular culture. This platform grew with the arrival of the internet.
In 2015 an estimated 46% of the global population was online, that’s around 3 billion people, 28% of the time each one of those 3 billion people spent online, was spent on social networks, the new found home of popular culture. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. To begin to understand the relationship between popular culture and ICT’s, we should understand what the two are.
The term popular culture first appeared in the 19th century and was seen as a departure from official culture. Wikipedia, the ‘reference home’ of mainstream culture defines popular culture as “the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture….heavily influenced by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of the society”. This includes entertainment industries like cinema- what’s up Star Wars, music- work work work work work work work, TV- winter is coming, eep, sports, fashion and design, language and politics, we see you Trump.
Excluding that last one, politics is real yo, popular culture was traditionally seen as fluffy, trivial and ‘dumbed down’ to please the masses. But recent years the worlds’ attitude towards popular culture has seemed to change. This could be attributed to two things.
- The quality of things we consider as popular culture has improved, TV is now better than ever.
- The other being that the global consumption of trendy culture has increased due to globalization through ICTs- we can enjoy TV in HD glory- if you’re stilling watching TV on a TV
Getting ahead of ourselves again now.
Information Communication Technology is a product of globalization. In its most basic understanding, an ICT is any platform that allows for the consumption, creation and sharing of information . This consumption and creation could be through your cell phone, computer, Ipad, radio, TV, any telecommunication medium really, and can be shared with anyone, your mom, your bff, the whole world, you decide.
So as your beginning to see ICT enable more people to access more things, and with more people sharing, there is more culture present and more to share- thus a space for popular, trendy culture. In the coming weeks this blog will look closer at the relationship between ICT and popular culture and our relationship with the two and what we know, even if you haven’t seen the movie #starwarsvirgin.