Generation Like


“When I was a kid, we were outside from when the sun went up until the sun went down” and “Why don’t you kids ever put those electric boxes down and go out and make some friends” are two phrases I heard from my grandparents weekly while I was growing up. And they make some good points. WHY does this generation insist on being glued to their phones 24/7? As silly as it sounds, there are entire worlds on their phones.

When my parents and my grandparents were young they would come up with imaginary worlds, or pretend games to play, but this generation doesn’t have to. Everything they could ever imagine is already on their phone. And before anyone gets mad at me for this – I’m not saying kids shouldn’t go outside, and I’m not saying they should be glued to their phones 24/7, I’m just saying it the way this generation sees it.

Growing up with the internet as such a massive part of day to day life has definitely made my life great at times, but it has also made it terrible. Being a part of a tech-savvy generation I can’t imagine trying to drive more than 30 minutes out of my town without the GPS on my phone. Along with the technology that is useful in our day to day life, it’s incredible how quickly the whole world can know about something seconds after it happens. There are some perks to this, but there are definitely some losses. It’s great to be able to keep up with friends and family you haven’t seen in years, or celebs that you’ll never meet, but there were definitely some days in high school where I wished I couldn’t see all of the parties I didn’t get invited to broadcasted live on everyones snapchat stories.

In the documentary, Generation Like (2014) they interviewed various celebrities, and talked about how the internet has impacted where they are today. One of the people they talked to was YouTuber Tyler Oakley. I have been following Tyler for probably 5 years now. He was born and raised in Michigan, he went to Michigan State University, and we have a lot of the same interests – the most major one being Pop Culture.

Tyler Oakley got famous on accident. He went off to college and was no longer with his family and his high school best friends everyday. To make this a little easier for him and for them he started making random, low quality videos about anything and everything. As he continued to make these videos he started getting a following, and today he has over 8 million subscribers on YouTube.

Tyler is one of many internet stars, and one of few who are using their power and their voice for good. From reminding all of his followers to vote, to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, it is incredibly important for people with a following as massive as his, to use their voice for good. What is the point of having 8 million followers if all you’re going to talk about is Justin Bieber and Grey’s Anatomy?

Social media has become a crucial part of day to day life, especially right now. With the election just a few weeks away, I feel like every time I log onto anything all I see is Donald Trump this, or Hillary Clinton that, and I’m still not sure if this is good or bad. Although I do believe that everyone has a right to share their opinion, are some of the opinions being shared taking it too far? I have many friends who will try and talk politics to me and all they can talk about is some article they saw on FaceBook that said this or that about one candidate so now they’re voting for the other.

Although it’s hard to be bombarded with so much information every time you log on, something my parents always taught me, and something that I think everyone should do, is take EVERYTHING you read with a grain of salt. Just because your second grade teacher shared an article on FaceBook does NOT mean that it’s true. Overall I think that the presence of social media in everyones lives, although it does have its consequences, is for the better. It’s a quick, easy way to share a photo with your grandma, or connect with your best friend from 4th grade. Maybe we should all just humor the grandparents who tell us to go outside, and bring our laptops outside from time to time, and surf the internet from there.

Koughan, F., and Rushkoff, D. Generation Like. (2014). United States: Public Broadcasting Station.


Technology at ArtPrize Through the Years


Technology is everywhere. It’s a part of our education system, it’s making its way into the workplace, so obviously, it has made its way into ArtPrize. ArtPrize is the largest juried art contest in the world and it takes place in Grand Rapids. It generates a massive turn out every year, and everyone has a favorite piece of art that they want to win. When ArtPrize began, there were physical voting sites you would need to visit, and wait in line at, to cast your votes. In 2014 they launched an app that could be used to vote. This really simplified the process, and in return, more people began voting. Every entry had a different code, and with that code you could easily vote for that piece of art in the app. The only way they could really simplify the process is if they added a QR code to each voting block so voters could just scan a code to submit a vote.


                                                                                   The man who created this piece, made it out of literal garbage, and other recycled items, and lived in it for the entire duration of ArtPrize.

To learn more about the voting process click here.

When they launched the app in 2014, they called it a “Technology Suite” and it truly is. The app that they released had a collection of impressive features. One of the major features they released was a “list” feature. Essentially, visitors could create their own lists of pieces of art. This was used one of two ways. People could either get on the app before they went and create lists of art they wanted to see, or they could make lists as they walked around, for friends or family to view. There were also lists created by ArtPrize jurors that contain pieces that they were excited about, or pieces that are trending in the public vote (Woods 2014). 

Every year since the app came out, they have released an updated version of their app. This year, the app included a “Discover View,” which “delivers ArtPrize blog and event calendar integration — continuously updated with important ArtPrize announcements, special events and on-the-fly happenings” (Woods 2016). Along with this, they updated their map. The map was extremely helpful when walking around Grand Rapids. It made it easier to find the art that you’re looking for, or anything else you may be searching for, the map “help[ed] visitors easily navigate to accessible venues, public restrooms, and public parking options” (Woods 2016).

Along with technology coming from the management of ArtPrize, it is becoming more prominent in the actual art. For the past couple years Honda has been doing a “Design & Drive” competition. Not only is this a good way to advertise their company, but bringing cars into the competition is adding yet another aspect of technology. Although they’re painting on the technology, it is interesting to see how Honda is making ArtPrize a bit more modern each year.


As the years go on, people are also trying to make more of a statement about the impact of technology on the world. This year one of the pieces that stood out to me was a piece by Douglas Rogge, called Cityscapes Around the Lake. In his piece he used old circuit boards to create a cityscape, and he attached them to a background that he painted to look like a lake. I think it’s interesting how artists are letting technology influence them. Whether they’re making art with technology, or in his case, making art out of technology.unnamed-2.jpg

They have also greatly increased their Internet presence in the past eight years. ArtPrize has a FaceBook, a Twitter, and Instagram, a Tumblr, and various other social media platforms. This year ArtPrize even had a SnapChat filter, or GeoTag. This not only helps them reach out to other audiences, but it extends the ArtPrize magic to places much further than West Michigan. Overall it is clear that ArtPrize has been greatly improving their technologies each year, it’ll be interesting to see what they do next.


Design & Drive Art Competition | West Michigan Honda Dealers. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

How To Vote. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Kaczmarczyk, J. (2014). ArtPrize 2014: New tech tools will change how you experience the sixth event in Grand Rapids. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Woods, J. (2014, September 4). ArtPrize Launches 2014 Technology Suite. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from

Woods, J. (2016, July 26). ArtPrize Launches New Mobile Experience. ArtPrize. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from