Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Making New Media Make Sense

*I’m going to backtrack now, from my last entry, to the first chapter of the book Making Connections in the Digital Age*

Whether we like it or not, there is always going to be a new source of connectivity. From the wheel, to the telephone, to the internet; as a species we are always evolving, and therefore our surroundings must evolve with us. Our society has turned into a balancing act between culture and media.  

I don’t believe one (culture nor media) can really change without affecting the other. This can relate to a theory in Nancy Bayms book Making Connections in the Digital Age that is called “technological determinism”. Broken down, technological determinism is: technology driving the development of our society, and our cultural values.       

The internet has changed culture so much already, one huge example I can think of is dating. There are online dating sites all over the place, and why not take advantage of these tools. No more wasting time getting to know each other, instead you just view a profile and see if you have anything in common, or if this person would just be a waste of time. I guess this is an upside to the internet, but on the same spectra what about false profiling? There are all kinds of pedophiles and people who lie on these sites, and doesn’t this just defeat the purpose? It’s putting many legitimate people at risk, and not only for a heart break but for safety as well. One of Nancy Bayms readers was quoted in her book Personal Connections in the Digital Age say this: “I am deeply in love with a man who is handsome, smart, and loving. We are engaged and happy together. The problem? We met on the Internet. Abby, he thinks I’m 26, but I’m not. Everything I’ve said has been a lie. I’m really 12.” (34, Baym) This is just the reality of how our culture has progressed and been shaped by media. Although dating has always been a part of life, never before has been this veiled. It allows the mind to wander and contemplate the future of relationships.

…The future of anything for that matter, I remember watching a video entitled Did You Know? 3.0 – Shift Happens ( I was completely blown away by the statistics thrown at me in under five minutes. What stood out though was the fact that because of the ever changing media, and the attempts to continually adjust and adapt; the information being taught to students in media programs in the first year, will be outdated by their third year. I am part of that statistic and it’s a bit intimidating, but I realize that it makes sense and that this program - this field,  thingswill always be changing and that’s the beauty of it - it's inevitable to expand our knowledge.

New media is evolving today, and we should not be scared or shocked because it has been this way since humans began roaming the earth. Their caves have turned into our penthouse suits, their oral entertainment has turned into our televisions oripods, and so on. If we fail to accept this process, we challenge society and insult the brilliant minds that have brought us to the 21st century with such amazing contributions to our world. There will be downfalls, as there always is in life but all we can hope is that the up rise is that much greater.

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