Can A Smartphone Become A Tool For Self-Expression?

words Al Woods

A computer in a pocket, that precisely how we’ve been describing smartphones since the apparition of the first iPhone in 2007. Steve Jobs has dramatically revolutionised the way people interact with mobile phones.

It’s hard to remember when was the last time most of us thought of the smartphone as an item to receive phone calls. Nowadays, your smartphone is a hard-working device that combines multiple functions. 

A practical and stylish device that is fast and hyper-functional, your mobile lets you work on the go while remaining reachable at all times. It’s an integral part of your day-to-day life. It’s a storage place for important documents such as plane tickets; it’s a digital wallet that lets you pay in stores; it’s a remote workplace that enables you to manage emails and projects away from your desk. Your phone is an extension of your everyday roles. Therefore, it is only fair to wonder how far your smartphone can support individual expression outside of work and communication. Indeed, can your phone be a tool for self-expression? 

Smartphone creativity

Unsplash – CC0 Licence 

A downloadable piece of art

Digital artists have embraced the potential of the phone visual. The typical smartphone can use a variety of images, for the wallpaper, the lockscreen and even as a personal icon, which can now be provided by talented artists. Putting their work as a downloadable gallery for smartphones allows creatives to showcase their skills and visuals. It’s a new take on the art gallery and one that makes art directly available at the touch of a key. For digital artists, the smartphone can give a unique platform to develop a new identity or expand a portfolio. Unlike previous art pieces, a smartphone-friendly creation can be part of individuals’ everyday routine. In an old world where art was designed to exist exhibited on a wall, the downloadable creation makes art accessible and makes it part of day-to-day life. 

A new photographic edge

What does a photographer need to capture a winning shot? Does the camera make the photographer? The apparition of the everyday photographer makes the smartphone the star of the show with high-quality iPhone photo apps and Android apps. As a result, photos can be taken in real-time with no additional preparation, making the smartphone the ideal tool for casual shots on the go. 

The addition of smart filters and editing apps can allow creatives to tackle the lack of specialist tools and camera extensions, ensuring a quality result with an everyday device. It is also fair to mention that smartphone technology has encouraged a surge in intimist portraits with selfie shots, casting a new light on individual lives and domestic themes. 

A new level of storytelling

Everybody has a story to tell. Blogging has been a popular approach to express personal thoughts and your inner world since the 1990s. Nowadays, mobile blogging offers a new approach to the digital story. With dedicated tools and apps, content writers can use micro-blogging as a way of documenting their lives. Providing insights into the emotional journey of a creator, or the routine of a wandering mind, mobile blogging can capture a short moment in time. For writers, comedians, or any other word workers, the power of storytelling from a mobile can take different shapes, from short SMS-length texts to lengthy notes and casual emojis. There’s a lot to say and many ways to get your message across. 

Recording your creative voice here and now

A video blog, or vlog for short, is a tool that is often associated with digital marketing. In reality, the vlog is a short film that can share any types of content, whether it is informative or creative. As an artist, a vlog can be utilised to showcase skills and work in progress. A painter, for instance, can record the process starting from a blank canvas until the final creation, via a smartphone. Visual artists, such as dancers or musicians, can use their smartphones to create a live streaming show, which is an option available directly from your YouTube channels, for example. Vloggers recommend the iPhone 11 Pro max and the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 for video recording, making these excellent choices to reach out to your audience and create engaging virtual events. Live streaming events are a highly intimate exchange that invites viewers at the heart of an artist’s process in a way that encapsulates the vulnerability and strength of creation.  

In an era where a mobile phone is a highly individualised product that recognises your fingerprint and captures user-specific data, it is interesting to explore how the connection with the individual expands beyond security and tracking purposes. Behind the screen, there’s an artist who craves recognition and attention. Writers, photographers, musicians, and many others can rely on their favourite smartphones as an extension of their creative force. 


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