The Media Now and Then

Contemporary, the world is very much advanced with new technology being invented daily. Technology becomes an integral part of our lives, in which to a certain extent, there are people who can’t possibly live without them. The extensive penetration of technology into humans’ daily lives certainly has changed and left an impact towards the mind-set of modern society. Technology, directly or indirectly, affects our social behaviour characteristics and our surroundings too.

The two media that will be discussed in this blog would be the traditional media: television and the new digital media (the Internet and smartphones).

The 1950s was the golden age of TV with many shows aired during that era became magnificently prominent, which was also the beginning revolutionary of technology penetration into human daily lives. As more television stations appeared, more than 95% of all American households owned at least one television by the end of 1960s. (Thompson, 2014) As television produces a variety of programming such as health programming, 24-hour news channel, sports and weather channels, it helps creating a niche audience to suit individual needs. For several decades, television becomes the dominant medium for news and entertainment. (Emmytvlegends.org, n.d.)

Photo: fyitelevision
Photo: fyitelevision

Watching television at home brings togetherness among the family, as we can share bonding experience through laughter. Especially when there are festivals or special occasions, family and relative members would turn on the television to watch the latest show. It is indeed a way to spend quality time with family. Another phenomenon can be seen is during the World Cup football season, Malaysians would love to hang out at the nearby “mamak” to watch the matches live. If their favourite team wins, they will scream “goal” together. It is just remarkable how watching a show together brings all of the fans and friends in a unity.

Photo: The Star Archives
Photo: The Star Archives

In the 21st century, the rise of digital media such as the Internet, smartphones and tablets, seems to be overtaking the traditional media in a fast pace. According to Curtis (2014), “people in Britain will spend more time consuming media on their desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones in 2014.” “3 hours 41 minutes per day will be spent online,” “compared to 3 hours 15 minutes watching television.”

Photo: Getty Image
Photo: Getty Image

Smartphone plays the role as both working and entertainment tool. Unlike television, using a smartphone is personal and private. It provides the users to have their own space to do the things they want privately. It is so convenient to be used anytime and brought anywhere such as workplace, college, or even travelling. Although television also allows audience to experience a virtual reality, the Internet is what creates a powerful immersion of a virtual world through smartphones. Almost anything can be done with a smartphone: a navigating GPS, online banking, online shopping, reading e-book, booking flight, etc. Smartphone creates the platform for users to gain access to various social apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, Google, etc. Referring to Pew Research Center, “half (49%) of smartphone owners age 18 to 29 use messaging apps, while 41% use apps that automatically delete sent messages.” (Duggan, 2015) This gadget embarks users into a virtual private world yet in a public setting.

Photo: Hearing
Photo: Hearing

Another great feature of the smartphone is the camera function as we can capture the moment spent at the time itself just through a click. Even in a foreign country, with the access to the Internet, we can still manage to keep up and communicate with our loved ones back in hometown. With a hand-sized device and fast Internet connection, it imposes on people to feel like having the whole world in their hands. It has never been easier to be connected with other people or gaining the current information at a fast speed anytime and anywhere.

Photo: HLN
Photo: HLN

As a conclusion, these technologies have formidably transformed the certain conventional pattern of society in various countries. It is a privilege that we can have easy access to both the traditional and the new digital media.

References:

Curtis, S 2014, ‘Mobile overtakes TV as most popular way to consume media’, The Telegraph, accessed 4/9/2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/10702488/Mobile-overtakes-TV-as-most-popular-way-to-consume-media.html

Duggan, M 2015, ‘Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015’, Pew Research Center, accessed 4/9/2015, http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/

Emmytvlegends.org n.d., A brief history of television, accessed 4/9/2015, http://www.emmytvlegends.org/resources/tv-history

Thompson, RJ 2014, ‘Television in the United States’, Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed 4/9/2015, http://global.britannica.com/art/television-in-the-United-States

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