The New Digital Age: Governing the New World

Let me guess. Your day will probably start as follows: You would probably check your smartphone for text messages as you wake up. You will flip on the TV while you eat your breakfast to check the news and even attend phone calls from friends who might give you the time for the pick up to work. On the way, you would probably browse your net and check Facebook posts and even emails. After a busy day at work, you will head home, occupying yourself in the bus by watching YouTube clips on your phone or reading your favorite book on your e-reader. That evening, you will eventually settle down to watch your favorite TV show and while watching the show, you might also chat via Skype and make weekend plans with friends or laugh at some Tiktok videos.

Life has drastically changed over the past century, and a major reason for this is the progression of media technology. As you analyze this above extract, you’d realize that your life today is vastly different from the life you could have led few generations ago.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the trends that have contributed to this huge change.

The Internet

The Internet

It is almost impossible to dramatize the influence the Internet has had on media over the past two decades. Initially created as an attack-proof military network in the 1960s, the Internet has since become a critical part of daily life. With the introduction of the World Wide Web in the 1980s and the development of commercial browsers in the 1990s, users gained the ability to communicate pictures, sound, and video over the Internet. Organizations quickly began to capitalize on the new technology, launching web browsers, offering free web-based e-mail accounts, and providing web directories and search engines. Now that most of the industrialized world is online, the way news is communicated, the way we do business, conduct research, contact close ones, apply for jobs, and even watch TV has drastically changed. To give just one example, many jobs can now be conducted entirely from home without the need to travel to a central office. Meetings are now conducted via videoconference, written communication can take place via e-mail and employees can access company data via a server or file transfer protocol (FTP) site. In addition to the rising speed with which we gain access to information and the volume of information at our fingertips, the Internet has added a whole new democratic dimension to communication.

The Fourth Screen

The Fourth Screen

Usually, the eight mass media channels show the different forms of mass communication that might take place. The seventh mass media channel (mobile) is often also called the fourth screen (or third screen) with Cinema the first, TV second and PC the third screens of life; or with the third screen TV and PC the first and second “personal” screens and mobile the third. There is strong synergy with the four screens concept but these look only at multimedia/moving image video content. The eight mass media taxonomy allows comparisons and also contrasts with mass media that do not feature moving images, i.e., radio, (many) recordings and print. The four screens concept is, for example, strongly promoted by Nokia in explaining the unique abilities of mobile compared to personal computers, television and the movies. With the rapid growth of video networks in non-traditional sports such as movie theatres, bars and restaurants, gas stations, health clubs, and other place-based venues a category entitled “fourth screen” was created. The first three screens are considered: TV, Internet, and Mobile. The fourth screen is mainly used in the advertising and media space with the explanation and use of digital signage. With the development of technology, digital signage has expanded in this “fourth screen” section to include movie theatres, gas stations and health clubs. Although some industry experts have long predicted that the internet will render print media obsolete, mass-media executives believe that just like the broadcast industry, the print industry will evolve with the times. Just as the radio industry had to reevaluate its commercial strategy during the rise of TV, newspaper professionals will need to rethink their methods of content delivery during the age of the Internet.

What do you think about the new digital age?


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