Hey there everyone, it’s that time again where we’ve come to the end of our road… for this semester at least.
Throughout centuries, mass media with the help of technology has become an integral asset to society, thereby changing the way in which people live their lives today. However, technology was not always advanced. You see, changes started occurring in the media and public communication in the early 21st century but before then mass media fell into two categories – print media and broadcast media. Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th century invention of the movable type printing press made the mass production of print media possible. However it was not until the 19th and 20th centuries that print media became the leading form of social communication consisting of newspapers, books and magazines. Be that as it may, with the rise in technology, print media began to receive a competitive challenge from broadcast media which sought to become more dominant with the introduction of radio in the 1920’s, the viewing of television in the 1940s and 1950s and the rise of the internet in the early 21st century. The print and broadcast mediums played vital roles in the lives of individuals because they were the main sources of receiving information and a general form of entertainment. Up until the 20th century books, magazines, the television and the radio were the only forms for an individual to extract information.
The 21st century is the era that has evoked revolutionary change throughout the universe. Change is inevitable and as a result of this, the world today will never be the same since the evolution of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Any product that stores, retrieves, manipulates, transmit or receive information comes under the category of ICT. The dawn of ICT has been a powerful tool that has facilitated vast advancements in the everyday lives of people. ICT has greatly influenced several aspects of the world, such as communication, business, education. However, today we’re only paying special attention to communication.
The 21st century changed everything with the introduction of new media, playing the biggest role in lives to date. Since the evolution of new media, it has trickled its way into every second of the world with mobile phones, computers, tablets and other electronic devices. It is everywhere – it’s in the home, the schools, churches and places of recreation. The media is a positive avenue indeed, however it has its wide range of effects as well. Marshall McLuhan uses the phrase “the medium is the message” as a means of explaining that the media themselves are instrumental in the shaping of public opinion. The mass media itself holds an enormous amount of power over society.
Media on the whole directly and indirectly influence decisions people make every day through various mediums. Whether the information is generated through print media, broadcast media or new media, people have become extremely dependent on it. Advertisements entice and persuade viewers to purchase electronic devices, purchase particular clothing and food. Creating a desire in the minds of individuals that they ‘must have’ and if they don’t have, their lives will be incomplete.
Moreover, the broadcast and new media project different stereotypes of the world we live in today. Causing teenagers to worry about their body image as a result of watching television. They feel insecure if they do not fit in with the latest body image trend like ‘thigh gaps’, ‘thick lips’ and ‘perfect eyebrows’, resulting in eating disorders and low self-esteem. These are harsh effects the media can have on an individual. However, the new media has outshone both print and broadcast media becoming the most powerful tool of communication. The internet (World Wide Web) has revolutionized communications like nothing this world has ever seen before. Since the appearance of Web 2.0 in the 21st century it has fostered the rise of social media and other interactive, mass communications tools. The internet has the ability to broadcast worldwide, connecting individuals through computers, smartphones and other devices, creating a new way of interaction along with disseminating and receiving information without regard for geographic location. It has definitely changed the face of what the world used to be to what it is now. It is extraordinary how data can travel through time zones via a sender and reach the receiver.
Before the internet, friendships and relationships were face to face with a casual telephone call or mailing letters. Now that times have changed these interactions can be fulfilled online through Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and online Dating websites such as Black People Meet.com and Christian Mingle. Over the years the internet has basically made life easier. This new form of media can often be defined as way to ‘escape reality’. Since in internet is everywhere it has now become impossible to imagine a world without it. The average person spends about two-thirds of their waking hours using media in form or another. Whether it be spending the whole day playing video games, watching television or using mobile devices to connect with the outside world. Generally people spend more money on entertainment media than they do on healthcare and food (Baran & Davis, 2015).
Well friends, as you all know, the media is and constantly will be evolving every day. Introducing the world to more extraordinary things as time presses forward. Consequently, considering all the aspects that comes along with the influence, consumption and technological advancement of contemporary media, it can be viewed as one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age.
That’s all for now guys, I know this post is long but that’s only because I enjoy talking about the media and I jump at any chance I get to write about it.
1st Photo Credit: http://www.wisesmallbusiness.com/grand-opening-ideas/
2nd Photo Credit: http://bigcict.weebly.com/lesson-1.html
3rd Photo Credit: http://www.charltoncreativecommunications.com/media-production/
4th Photo Credit: http://nmtmarketing.com/new-media-management/