As this blog title suggests, technology places an extremely important role in my daily life. Coming from someone who participates in pretty much every form of media imaginable, I would say I’m pretty exposed to media convergence. Even now as I’m writing this blog post, I have my laptop open typing away like crazy, I’m watching my favourite TV Show Friends, I’m listening to music, texting a friend and waiting for another to open my most recent Snapchat!
Henry Jenkins defines media convergence as “The flow of content across multiple media platforms.” Therefore, suggesting that the constant changes in our media environment are so consistent that most of the time we are oblivious to how fast our technology is improving and integrating. Take your phone, for instance, all the apps you have downloaded are a perfect example of convergence. We are now able to use our phones not just for calling and texting, but as calculators, maps, newspapers, torches, calendars, cameras, notebooks, iPods, alarms and basically everything in between. If you’re still a bit confused about media convergence click HERE…
As new media platforms emerge through the process of convergence, we see a shift in not only technology itself but also in the role that those who view and interact with technology play. Gone are the days of media audiences solely being consumers. In today’s society, almost every consumer can now be classified as a producer. With the world literally at our fingertips, we no longer just play the role of the audience, observing and viewing media. Now actively engaging in and producing media ourselves, pushing forth the concept of citizen journalism, being described as “The collection and analysis of news and information by the general public, especially by means of the Internet.”
So, not only has technology merged various media platforms, it has also bridged the geological and cultural gap between everyone in the entire world! We no longer solely rely on mass media platforms such as the news for information, because consumers who are active producers can also create media with their own individual opinions and experiences. It’s pretty unbelievable but I can even classify myself as a producer, from the creation of this blog and posting about it on Twitter.
However, as stated in last week’s lecture there are many positives and negatives to this new convergence. Yes, technology has paved the way for our generation, providing us with so many opportunities and platforms to enhance the quality of our lives. But, on the other hand, this convergence is also contributing to the extinction of other media platforms such as the newspaper and numerous other outlets being forgotten about. Although these new technological advancements (such as all the applications on our iPhone) make life incredibly easy, I think it’s important to not forget about where the multiple technologies integrated into our devices originally came from.
One may even start to question, at what point will technology actually start hindering us from an authentic lifestyle? Have we advanced too far? There’s a thin line between just enough and too much, and it’s fast approaching with the invention of new technologies such as Oculus Rift…