Media Convergence

Media Convergence

As I sit here writing this I am watching a show, chatting with a friend, and listening to music. I’ve also read the daily local news, ordered food, done research for a paper, and shopped online. The twist? I am yet to leave my bedroom. I can do all of these things from the comfort of my own home. In this digital age we all know how technology can isolate us from the outside world, but what I have found is that I am becoming increasingly isolated from other technologies. Every single one of the activities previously listed was done on the same machine: my personal computer. This is an example of media convergence- how all information can be accessed from the same medium. The technical definition of media convergence (according wikipedia) is “the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks”. These new technologies we have developed are putting each other out of business because they are all doing the same thing.

While thinking about media convergence and how it effects my every day life I find my mind wandering to Steve Jobs. I found out about his death on twitter through numerous people talking about it. I also saw it on the news, read about it in the paper, and saw numerous blog posts about it. All of these technologies performed the same task: to report on Steve Jobs death. Ironically, almost everyone I know (including myself) found out about his death on a device that he invented.

Image

This cartoon, found on (http://hoseaputera.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/cartoon1.jpg?w=523) gives us another example of how our technologies perform the same tasks, and how they are putting each other out of business. People go on the internet to chat, read the news, watch TV, shop, or do just about any other thing imaginable (short of actually leaving the house). I can’t help but have a lingering anxiety when I think about this. The Big 4 Media Conglomerates (Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, News Corp) already control what information is given to the public, but now we have to worry about how we get out information too. Media convergence is a scares me because what is next?

 

Grace Marlette

Comm410

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