Technological advancement of contemporary media

Technological Advancement of Contemporary Media

The influence, consumption and technological advancement of contemporary media can be viewed as one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age. Critically discuss

As we know, the media has been around for many years, and has been essential to us all. However the media was not always as advanced as it is today. In fact compared to the past and now, all the various mediums are completely different. This is not to say that media was limited back then, but simply top say that they worked within their means. The media has definitely evolved, making it one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age.

Before we aim to explain how the contemporary media or rather the new media has transformed this world, we should first look at the media in general and how it started. In general, media refers to the various means of communication used to get information out to a large number of people at one time. The media is our main source of information; we trust it as a credible source. Up until the 20th century the main source of information were, television, radio, magazine, newspaper and lately the internet. These various mediums play a big and crucial role on all our lives. When there is a need for information, the media is what we turned to. It is a good source of information and entertainment. The media directly or indirectly influences us whether we like it or not. It tells us what to think, however it cannot tell us what to think about. The media affects the way people see themselves, however there is still the majority that claim that what is seen throughout these mediums does not affect them. The media and its wide-ranging effects have been around for a very long time from the time nations were developing methods of communication ways of extending the scope of one's naked voice beyond hearing range, and giving form and substance to one's thoughts.

We have truly come through an era where the media have definitely been changed by leaps and bounds taking this whole universe by storm, touching both rich or poor. In the early stages only those fortunate was able to access and get a glimpse of the media world since money played a big part in. Some people were not able to afford any form of communications whether it was television, radio or telephone and many people had to rely on magazines, messengers to relay messages. This was a task that usually took a couple of days but in today's technological age things can be done at a seconds notice.

As we know, the media has a strong social and cultural impact on society. This is predicated upon their ability to reach a wide audience with a strong and influential message. Marshall McLuhan uses the phrase "the medium is the message" as a means of explaining how the distribution of a message can often be more important than content of the message itself. It is through the persuasiveness of media such as television, radio and print media that messages reach their target audiences. These have been influential media as they have been largely responsible for structuring people's daily lives and routines. Television broadcasting has a large amount of control over the content society watches and the times in which it is viewed. This is a distinguishing feature of traditional media which new media have challenged by altering the participation habits of the public. The internet creates a space for more diverse political opinions, social and cultural viewpoints and a heightened level of consumer participation. There have been suggestions that allowing consumers to produce information through the internet will lead to an overload of information.

The new media has definitely changed over the past decades and I can honestly say that it has for the better. One often wonders how did mankind survive without such technology in the past. Each individual medium has improved in its own way, making it easier for us all. Various mediums such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines and last but by no means least the internet have all changed the media and they way that the public view it. In fact, the internet has probably changed the media the most.

Everywhere we turn, there is the media. You can find the media in various forms such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and now the internet. The job of the media is to find the truth and tell it to the people. The media has the power to inform the public, but often the information they receive is deemed to be distorted for various reason. The media has shaped the individual's view of society and it is by listening to what goes on in the media that we choose our leaders, make our rules, and construct our values. It has the power, although indirectly, to encourage people to like or hate the government. The media promotes what it believes is easiest for the public to accept, but in the process it fails to cover the issues adequately. The media can make us wiser, than we are. But, the media can also cloud the public's judgments, and cause confusion and disillusionment as well. It is easy for a writer to leave out facts, whether they are important or not. By leaving out certain facts in an article, it only gives the reader one side of the situation. However, such is not encouraged in the media, but sometimes still occurs. A writer can either give the good side or the bad.

The radio, television and newspapers endeavours to shape public opinion on a variety of things. The media attempts to manipulate those values instilled by parents and society in general, thus taking away from our being human. The media make messages to influence peoples' attitudes, desires and decisions fall upon society urging those people to buy a certain product, vote for a certain political figure, or support a "worthy" cause. The daily attack of media and advertising persuade the public to be one and the same, rather than allowing them to function as humans who follow their own beliefs. Public opinion is formed through media propaganda. The network of communication systems - radio, magazines, newspaper, television, and films - informs those exposed as to their roles in society and their culture. Advertising has but one purpose: to sell a product or service or to promote a political figure by any and all means necessary including brainwashing the general public. The mass media prevents us as human beings to be fully human. Propaganda unconsciously causes the public to act in ways they may not have, had they not been exposed. Values and attitudes no longer come from one's upbringing, but are influenced by what is shown on the media to be popular and common to the world. Appeal to the general public is the only way for advertisers to trick their subconscious minds into purchase their product or use their services. The media and advertising indirectly tell the world what clothes to wear, what foods to eat, what behaviors are appropriate, etc., causing the world to conform as one, rather than stand out as individual humans.

Media consumption is what the population takes in from the various forms of the media and how much they take in. In an age of information overload and international news "under-load" the message appears to be lost on today's society. Now, more than ever, journalist must evaluate the nature of news media consumption for the sake of our futures, and make critical decisions about what is more important, news sales or global citizenship, and how we can maximize the technological evolution of journalism. As technology advances and media choices increase, children are developing unconstructive social, learning, and health habits that many parents are greatly unaware of. Parents don't realize that the amount of time children spend consuming media is second most to anything else children do, besides sleep (Dunnewind, A1). Children today spend more than four hours a day either watching television, messing around on the computer, or playing video games (Vanderkam, A1). It is estimated that by high school graduation, teenagers will have spent more time in front of the screen than in the classroom (Children and the media). Research goes to show that today's media plays a significant role in shaping children's lives.

The mass media triggers children's minds and habits in numerous ways. Parents used to only have to worry about the effects of television on their children. Now they have to worry about the advances in television along with DVD players, Nintendo, Playstation, computer games, and the Internet (Dunnewind, A1). On average, the American child grows up at home with two televisions, two VCRs, three tape players, two CD players, one video game system, and one computer (Dunnewind, A1). Above all, television is probably

Studies conducted by the Readership Institute at the Media Management Center (2003) suggest that young readers spend less time reading newspapers than their parents did at their age and certainly less time than their parents do now. The study shows that nearly 40 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 do not read a paper at all, compared to fewer than 30 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds. What is even more unsettling is that one of the institute leaders focused on the implications of these results for the newspapers, and not so much the impact this would have on society's well-being. It is not the volume of news publications sold that we should dwell on, but the loss of valuable information on future generations. Let us hope that youth get informed soon, through print or other ways.

The media has advanced significantly throughout the past years. In our ever growing world of technology, and communication, people are constantly looking for new and easier ways to use expression and become closer to the world around us. Before the computer and the internet became a common staple in the American household, people used technology such as television, newspapers, magazines, telephones, and radios (now commonly referred to as "traditional media") to communicate. Since traditional media in our society is old and aging, the new wave of communication and expressing ourselves is through various forms of Digital Media. The definition of Digital Media in a nut shell is broad, it encompasses many sectors and sub-sectors such as content (text, sound, images, "animated images" and video), platforms, software and technologies. Overall, it represents the convergence between traditional media and the growing online media segment, with the related telecommunications and information technology enablers.

In the past fifty years technology has revolutionised the way we live. The advancements in technology have not slowed into the new millennium and as they continue to advance so must we and the world around us change to keep up. Before the turn of the century we were in a world of mass media. As a population we were clumped together and all marketed at in the same style regardless of class and other social and personal differences. Pop culture was central, hug and controlled by big trans-national media companies. This has changed drastically in the last decade. With the advancement in internet technology such as mobile internet and broadband people have more access to various forms of entertainment, information and communication. With all these changes the way we interact and use media has changed, however questions can be raised about how much influence this has on us and who controls this. The media corporations, which make up the mass media, have also had to change by using new technologies and platforms to sell their products. New technologies have raised new problems and questions can be raised as to whether this is really progress?

Internet is causing a revolution. It is now within the reach of ordinary individuals to publish something. And the reach is world wide. This was a situation unthinkable in the past. In recent years, the explosion of new media --- particularly the Internet --- has caused new anxieties. Or to put a more McLuhanesque spin on it, the advent of the new digital media has brought the conditions of the old technologies into sharper relief, and made us suddenly conscious of our media environment. In the confusion of the digital revolution, McLuhan is relevant again ("Wisdom of St. Marshall" 124).

The influence, consumption and technological advancements can indeed be viewed as one of the most phenomenal transformations of our age. With each new day we are seeing more and more amazing things happening in the world of the media.


Roach, John. Young Americans Geographically Illiterate, Survey Suggests. National Geographic News. 2 May, 2006.

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