When people talk about breaking down barriers for change in media, we have to mention the book Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. Shirky’s idea of barriers being collapsed helps form different ways to get things done. An example of how group action has collapsed is mentioned when Shirky reveals how getting Ivanna’s phone back was by the help of the media. Shirky shows us how an isolated incident can change the way the people use the media for the right purpose instead of the wrong purpose.
Shirky says about Evan, “He used his existing social network to get the word out, which in turn helped him find an enormous audience for Ivanna’s plight, an audience willing to do more than just read from the sidelines” (7). We are able to see how rewarding it is to use the media in multiple ways and not have barriers to form group action. The observers of Evan’s website were able to read his story to see the evidence he had to go along with and gather together to take action. Furthermore, “When we change the way we communicate, we change society. The tools that a society uses to create and maintain itself are as central to human life as a hive is to bee life” (17). It shows we don’t just need the tools, but the motivation to try and bring a group of people together to solve a solution.
Theodor Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machines and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed texts, like Shirky’s, have explained about the breakdown of barriers new media has provided. In Computer Lib/Dream Machines, Nelson explains how barriers are subsided when it has to deal with students becoming participatory in the classroom. Nelson sees the cause of students not being interactive because teachers talk and drown them out with so much information. He says, “Education ought to be clear, inviting and enjoyable, without booby-traps, humiliations, condescension or boredom. It ought to teach and reward initiative, curiosity, the habit of self-motivation, intellectual involvement” (310). Doing some activities that could get the students attention like warm up exercises can get their brain functioning besides going straight to workbooks. Teachers need to let the students have the power to run the class so they can feel at ease and comfortable to talk about subjects that interests them. Students need to participate so they can feel that enthusiasm and involvement in the classroom.
In Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal demonstrates the breaking down of barriers can be separated from actors and spectators. Boal’s mentions “All these experiments of a people’s theater have the same objective-liberation of the spectator, on whom theater has imposed finished visions of the world” (352). However, peoples actions can be expressed through our body not always the mouth. Boal states, “The participant is asked to express his opinion is asked to express his opinion, but without speaking, using…a group of statues, in such a way his opinions and feelings become evident” (342). He explains how theatre makes a difference on participants because they can express their actions the opposite direction from actors. According to Boal, “Theater creates great excitement among the participants and starts to demolish the wall that separates actors from spectators. Some ‘write’ and others act almost simultaneously” (342). This gives the viewers a chance to interfere in what the actors are doing in their own creative style without restriction.
Shirky’s displays to his readers how barriers that prevent group action from taking place have collapsed. People have the freedom to discover new ways how technology can change the media landscape. Even when we get into a situation like Ivanna was in; we have the power of breaking down barriers that will not hold us back using technology in different ways. There is a chance for these spectators together to collect and develop different scenarios to promote change.