The Future of Media

Not only have I learned a lot about the state of media within the past couple of months, but I’ve been trained to think more critically about what is going on around me in our new media culture.  Media is always changing, and it is very complex in its content and messages.  But, you can easily step into any current event happening around the internet or on TV or by picking up a magazine and analyzing it, either in depth or in a broader sense.  By doing this we can learn so much about how our society functions and develops, and allows us to predict how things will turn out down the line.

I think the new media culture has already proven that our lives revolve around how we communicate.  Social networks like facebook and myspace have shaped how we interact with friends, employees. and complete strangers! (hopefully not) we can display our beliefs and ideologies through pictures or videos we post to the internet, and news can be acquired quickly and efficiently.  Of course these can all be negative things too.  People come into contact with dangerous people through facebook, argue over controversial images, and are misled by false news reports.

Here is an article I found earlier today…http://www.today.com/health/when-thigh-gaps-attack-targets-photoshop-fail-goes-viral-2D79356844

Target has been photoshoping their models?! Who knew?!  It is hard to tell why people were surprised about this image.  Were they surprised that a model’s body was changed and posted to the internet, or surprised that Target let it be so obvious?

The point is… the internet IS whatever we make of it.  People are becoming consumers of media at a very young age, and because of that we have to take initiative to make it a safe and productive environment.  If future generations grow up with adults arguing on the internet about a woman’s image being manipulated for advertising purposes, it will transition and become a norm and eventually become a fundamental part of our society.  There are so many other things that we need to worry about as a society, and making this silly controversy the headline of a prominent website gives people the wrong idea.  Everything that is posted to the internet is a powerful message, it was intended to be a tool to help society progress.  But, when the wrong message is sent to the public, it becomes a tool of destruction rather than construction.

The Future of the Media

I believe that the media will still be a very strong driving force behind how people get their information in the future.  I think that the new media culture and technology will still have a similar effect, if not a stronger one, on my peers and myself in the future.  Being a Strategic Communications major at DU, I have realized that many of my classes have taught me how to correctly operate social media sites to promote businesses.  Also, as an intern this past fall term, I was in charge of doing majority of the Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts that promoted the festival I was interning for.  A while ago, a major teaching you this line of work was unheard of.  Now, it seems to be a norm throughout many schools (however, they usually call it just Media Studies or Communications). This new major opportunity in colleges leads me to predict that the media will be a very important tool used by all companies in the future, as many are hopping on that bandwagon now.  I think that my peers and I will be using more types of social media outlets and seeing the news on mainly a computer screen in the future.

I think that the future of media and the lives of the future children will be a brighter outlook.  Though I spent most of my time outdoors as a kid and occasionally a computer/video game or two, I feel that the future generation of children will be spending much more time on the newer kid-friendly tablets that they are creating for children.  I will definitely still make my kids play outside, because that is the fun of being a kid, but I think that the new children will be very accustomed to the new technologies since it seems to be a trend that kids 8 years and older have tablets (once saw a 3 year old with an iPad; don’t know the logic behind that one).  The new program that is all over commercials, ABC Mouse, is a testament to how young children are using technology to further their education.  I feel that the new generation of kids will be extremely technologically savvy.

I also predict that many of the social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, will be slowly filtered out to make way for newer and more efficient social media sites.  I also feel that there will be more social media sites in the future, which has the potential to complicate things.

What began as a futuristic way to send and spread information has now seemed to engulf many people’s lives in a swirl of different social media sites. I for see this trend continuing in the future.  I predict that different forms of media (typically technological media) expanding and the print media slowly dissipating. I hope print media does not die out entirely, but I see it fading into the background by the time our generation has passed on.

Addicted to Technology

I don’t think there is doubt in anyone’s mind that technology has been a great asset to our society. Cell phones, the Internet, and many other devices and applications have made life easier and more entertaining. However, this has come at a price. Personally, I can say with confidence that a great deal of my time is mindlessly wasting using technology. In fact, I actually sat down to write this more than an hour ago, but before I could force myself to start, I browsed, Imgur, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, my email, and various other sites where procrastination is made easy. I hate to admit it, but I am addicted to technology- and I’m sure I am not alone.

Our society’s current addiction to technology is one that represents a larger tend of addiction to entertainment. This can be seen in many aspects of our media, from the sheer number of reality TV shows to our focus on “infotainment” stories in the news. As of now, this trend is one of a negative nature. Rather than focusing on what is really going on in the world, we choose to focus merely on things that bring us pleasure. By no means is gaining pleasure from media and technology a bad thing, but when it causes us to lose focus of some of the more important happenings in the world, it puts us at a disadvantage culturally and academically. I am plenty guilty of this myself. The pursuit of pleasure through entertainment has definitely numbed me to the current events of the world, which is something that I know I need to work on.

If this trend continues to grow, it will affect not only our current generation, but the generations following. And with the rapid growth of technology in our society, I fear that there is no stopping the trend. Thus, because we cannot combat technology, as a society, we must place a renewed emphasis on the importance of knowledge outside of entertainment culture, as well as the importance of activities not involving the use of technology. We must teach our children that entertainment can be found outside of the computer or television screen and that true knowledge is more valuable than trivial pop-culture information. This will not be an easy thing to do, as our obsession with entertainment is deeply ingrained in our culture, but we must at least start to fight this. As far as I’m concerned, it is a necessary battle.

Sources

http://www.reddit.com

http://www.imgur.com

http://www.facebook.com

http://www.twitter.com

http://www.webopedia.com

The Media’s Future: “Infotainment”?

The new media culture and its ever-changing technology has greatly changed both the way we live and communicate. What began as a mere way to spread information to the public has since been high-jacked with the bombardment of advertisements trying to sell us, not only a product, but a lifestyle. We now see a polarization of viewpoints represented across various different cable TV channels, but even more than that is the selection made available to us. All of these channels cater to an audience wider than ever before (i.e. The ‘Golf Channel’ exists, I kid you not). Any cable subscriber can flip through tons of channels, and this speaks a lot to how far we have gone as a collective society.

Gone are the days in which we spend our leisure time “outside”, a word we are now completely unfamiliar with. The programming itself has become so much more centralized around entertaining the public rather than informing it. As discussed in class, there is the notion that we are collectively ‘dumbing ourselves down’. The evidence as of late would clearly support this argument, i.e. CNN’s ‘Breaking News’ alert when Justin Beiber was arrested.  Even I myself am guilty of this, as an avid reality TV viewer who spent a good majority of his weekend watching a marathon of America’s Funniest Home videos. While watching guys skateboard into rails and end up hospitalized is great and all; it really offers me no sort of intellectual benefit. Am I aware that I should have been reading a book or using my time more productively? Of course. Will this realization change my overall actions in the future? Most likely not, and therein lies the problem. Society’s obsession with celebrities and entertainment speaks volumes about where we are headed.

The future is difficult to predict, as we already know. What I can be certain of is that technology will continue to change at a rapid rate. We are above and beyond where we were even 10 years ago. This ever-changing technology will continue to out-do itself as we progress further. Technologies today are constantly working to be ‘the next big thing’ as companies attempt to actively out-do one another. We have recently seen our phones evolve into smartphones, and then tablets and watches, and even now to smart glasses (i.e. google glass) and this competitive fight to be the ‘top brand’ has only made the general public the “winners” as we stand back and buy every new product out there. This new technology, while engaging and highly efficient, has also come with its fair share of burdens. What used to be the norm was mailing letters to distant relatives, and now we instead Facebook them. What used to be the norm was having face-to-face conversations with friends, and now we instead Instant Message or text them. Just last week my geography professor Dr. Russel Fielding told us about how he facebook friend-ed a native of Tristan Da Cunha (very small remote island off the coast of South Africa) and he spoke to this individual about how our class was learning of the island’s unique geography. To which the islander responded, “Oh how fun! Please feel free to come on by anytime.” Dr. Russell Fielding now plans to create an Interterm course where he will hopefully be able to take a few DU students out there. Had this exchange taken place a mere 20 years earlier, it would have taken months of letters going back and forth. This new instant communication is quite powerful, but also makes us very lazy.

Taking it further, parents often times use an iPad as a parent figure as a means of quieting the child, which may seem like the easy solution for the moment, but this begs the question: Is that really the most beneficial solution for the child?  We see children today receive their own phone at such a young age, and this is a trend that will continue to be monitored moving forward. I would argue that having children rely on technology does more harm than good in that they ultimately learn very little. Since we have google to find any answer to pretty much any question, our actual in-depth understanding has diminished. In order for us to succeed moving forward, it is in our best interest to maintain the appropriate balance. Will society act on this notion? That’s the big overarching question yet to be determined.

Photoshop Frenzy

My piece of online media is from Upworthy. The video displays a woman during a photo-shoot, and how Photoshop is used to transform her body into something other than her own. At the beginning of the video, the young woman has no make up one, and is half naked. Hairstylists and make-up artists do their work and create a completely different person. The lighting is then changed so that the woman looks longer, leaner and thinner. Then Photoshop comes in to play; making her eyes bigger, neck longer, legs longer, and so much more. The final product is no longer the same woman. She is edited and airbrushed.

In terms of ideologies, we can see through this picture, the nature of the how the world views beauty and women. It’s the ideology that we need make-up and styled hair, airbrushing and Photoshop to be beautiful. And if we don’t have any of that, we aren’t worthy of being beautiful. This piece of media illustrates how our society is obsessed with external beauty, rather than internal.

The stereotype that women aren’t beautiful in their natural, untouched skin is a stereotype portrayed here. This has a huge effect because women, and young girls need to love themselves just the way they are; yet with Photoshop, an unrealistic view of a woman is portrayed. This has a huge influence on young girls, going through puberty, who are growing up and want to be seen as beautiful. This video shows them there is only one type of beauty, and if you don’t fit that mold, then you aren’t beautiful. This has huge consequences, such as self-esteem issues, eating disorders, depression and others.

Another problem is that the woman is topless. Her chest is hidden, but this video glamorizes taking off ones clothes to the public. It shows that you need to take your clothes off to receive attention from men, the world, etc. This is a problem, because it’s a show of disrespect for yourself. Everyone deserves respect, and every body should be sacred, and shouldn’t be showed to the whole world. Being that exposed, in my opinion, shows a deep lack of self-esteem and confidence. You don’t need to take your clothes off to be beautiful; it’s possible to love and be proud of your body, without revealing too much to everyone else.

http://www.upworthy.com/see-why-we-have-an-absolutely-ridiculous-standard-of-beauty-in-just-37-seconds

The Future of Media

I believe that the media industry will continue to grow and expand as the years go on. There’s no denying that it consumes many people’s lives. In the U.S. at least it’s extremely hard to get away from it. For example just being a college student, your required to have a laptop, grades and many assignments are posted online, registering for classes is online, so no matter how hard you try you have to stare at a screen for at least the four years you’re here. It’s very hard to predict what the new next big thing is, because media trends feed off of each other. Who would have thought that vampires would become cool? But after the book series Twilight made into the movies, it became a huge phenomenon that sparked the television series “Teen Wolf” and “Vampire Diaries” which were related to vampires/mystical creatures. Same goes for the “Hunger Games” book series made into movies, now we see other trends of “utopian” worlds playing out in books and movies.

I can’t predict what the media will be like in the future, only that it will continue to expand just as it has in the past. If people are worried about future generations being too consumed by the media than it is our job to teach them what we feel is important; our traditional values/morals, that what you see on the internet/television is not always real, and to help guide them through these understandings.

Media and Technology Today

Throughout history there has been a silent understanding between the media and society, it has been a process of sharing information and knowledge.  When and why did this understanding change?  Today there is a disconnect between the media and society through what the media deems popular news and entertainment and what society wants or might expect to hear/see.  In this class we have learned some of the reasons for this disconnect.  From big media conglomerations and oligopolies, the realization that news can make money, journalist trying to maintain their position as gatekeepers and individuals taking on the responsibility of gatewatching and crashing in order to maintain some authority in an environment that is controlled by those with money vs. those with information.

In my opinion technology is the biggest advantage and disadvantage to the media and also to the individuals using it.  New forms of technology enable us to communicate our opinions and the ideals we believe in but it can also negatively influence those same beliefs.  A mass majority of our time whether in class, at work or at home is spent interacting with technology but how much of the content is informative and valuable?  The majority of media is a distraction from what is truly going on around us.  Yet, this new technology also gives individuals the ability to become their own journalist and share real-time, live information from around the world.  Creating the citizen journalist.

For me it is not about where the information comes from or how the story is uncovered, it is about finding a balance between news and entertainment along with objectivity and business interests.  I want to be an informed citizen but why does that mean searching multiple news outlets to find diverse accounts and reliable information that is not about celebrity gossip or political slander.

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