Commoditization of technology has democratized several ‘once-upon-a-time-privileged’ professions, talents, skill sets, and goods making amateurs and professionals competing in the same market. This is a relatively recent phenomenon and it opens up several possibilities since we can afford to explore our multiple selves and talents - a luxury the prior generations never had. That said, it’s also daunting to many of us.
I will use music as an example to explain since I can relate to it more easily. Singing, playing an instrument, making people pay attention to you performing used to be a privilege once upon a time. Over time, that sense of wonder has been lost as music became a mere commodity.
Nowadays, we teach music to empower mere mortals and for many of us, creative pursuits have become a self-actualization goal. That is, there are many singers who take up singing and sustain it in the name of ‘keeping one’s soul alive’ (or so I think) than as a hobby or career. Personal development/self-actualization has become the mantra of consolation to our troubled souls and to maintain our sanity in the modern confusing world.
It’s not even five years since all these developments became more visible to us. I guess it’s just a matter of time when the current privileged careers will soon lose its charm. The democratized version of these jobs is hiding and bubbling underneath somewhere. It’s just that the creative areas such as music, art, film, and photography got commoditized a little earlier than several others that are waiting to get commoditized soon. The point here is not to debate whether this trend is good or bad. We would need a few more years of data to figure that out. Amongst all these uncertainties, there is one thing that we can be sure about - this is going to be the norm going forward.
In the big picture, this new normalcy is a humble reminder to keep ourselves grounded and not get too arrogant about our talents and skills and also, acknowledge our differences. It is also, a chance for us to be kinder and more compassionate to the ones who has lost their jobs and who are doing jobs that they don’t enjoy. The future can homogenize the talent pool in ways we cannot imagine.
Sign up below for our weekly newsletter to receive articles and ideas to thrive as a musician.