Innovative Disruption. Although upon first reflection such a phrase could almost be perceived as an oxymoron, the momentum behind the growing presence of Innovative Disruption in modern culture, and more specifically higher education, is certainly a concrete force to be reckoned with across various spectrums. While innovation typically evokes a more positive connotation and disruption prompts more negative or hesitant feelings, the combination of the two blends together to form a stealthy yet powerful concept with the capacity to stake its claim virtually anywhere.

As opposed to simply change or improvement, Innovative Disruption stands unique in that the way it is perceived is dependent on the lens through which it is viewed and the way it is enacted. From the standpoint of consumers, there are often both pros and cons. From the perspective of say, existing merchants, such a shift might be encountered negatively. In the opinion of society as a whole, innovative disruption might be just the very thing needed. Nevertheless, the perceptions, motives, and driving factors behind Innovative Disruption are as equally complex and multifaceted as the effects that it produces.

One example of Innovative Disruption that I have encountered personally, in addition to observing in culture as a whole, is the Innovative Disruption of the rise of social media popularity. Before the social media explosion, the most popular forms of communication were IM, text messaging, voice calls, or yes even simply conversing in person. What you knew about the lives of other people was acquired by conversing with the person directly or at least with someone else who might be able to offer a bit of information of their own. But with the exponential popularity and growth of social networking hubs such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, such direct communication seems no longer as necessary or as popular. Advantages of this shift include the fact that it has become far easier, quicker, and more fun to stay connected with friends and family merely with the tap of a button. It could even be viewed as a time saving mechanism, since oftentimes committing to a time for face to face or at least telephone interaction is not necessary with these new tools. However, there are also several distinct disadvantages. Increased ease in regards to social media usage has indeed increased user participation, only further increasing the number of people one can connect and keep up with online. Individuals can become so preoccupied with passively observing the life happenings of those in their digital circles that living fully in the present is far rarer. There is hardly an audience you will look at or an event that you will attend without spotting dozens of people passively scrolling through their twitter feed or examining someone’s latest profile picture. The ease and popularity of social media certainly enormously helps to minimize the issue of being able to stay in touch with people or stay up to date on local events, yet also significantly lessens the appreciation for the happenings in the physical present. While the social media takeover has indeed revolutionized communication in many innovative ways, proponents of face to face or otherwise more conventional methods of communication may feel substantially more disrupted.

Innovative Disruption is a complex concept, yet is undoubtedly one that is critical in propelling forward a visionary and progressive society. However, one must be weary of the possibility that the very Innovative Disruption that might be striving towards streamlining life might make is far less efficient in another area or in the long run.