Media Criticism Spring 2012

Part 1: Deconstructing Super Bowl Ads

We’ve Come a Long, Long Way Together

Posted on | April 25, 2012 | No Comments

When I hear people debate about advances in technology, I often hear two opposing sides.  Some say that the internet is something that they absolutely cannot live without; others claim that dependency on technology is ruining our lives.  What do I think?  I would have to agree with both sides.  I’m not the type of person who would put my laptop on my list of three things to have if I were stranded on a desert island, but I have to admit that my daily life would be very difficult without it.

The internet has completely revolutionized the way we obtain information.  We have come such a long way in the last decade.  I would argue that online networking should in no way be a complete substitute for human interaction (which is why some people are appalled by it).  On the other hand, I would never have been able to reconnect with an old friend who moved away during elementary school had it not been for online networking.  And to think, I was able to communicate with this person just by tapping a few keys on my iPad.  Let’s face it; whether you agree with it or not, technology is changing our lives.  Welcome to the digital age.

Ken Doctor, author of Newsonomics, says that technology makes the news business easier, faster, and has opened up new possibilities that were not available before.  One of Doctor’s laws is the application of the ten percent rule.  Essentially, technology should do 90 percent of the work (the heavy lifting), and humans should do the remaining 10 percent – the skills, intelligence, and judgment (Doctor, 2010).  One must adapt to the changing landscape of news (a central theme to Newsonomics).  Ken Doctor mentions Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times as an example of man becoming a pawn of changing technology.  Technology should not make humans obsolete; it should improve the way humans work.

As an undergraduate student, I rely on technology to achieve academic success.  Approximately 90 percent of the assignments I have received involve using a computer; without one, I could not complete my work.  I can work efficiently and quicker by using the internet.  Over 60 percent of college students believe that technology improves learning.  Most college students are considered “digital natives”, meaning they have grown up  surrounded by technology.  Technology is emerging in many social institutions, not just the media.

Unfortunately, the digital age has made news distributors suffer.  The biggest online news sites are Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.  Print is becoming a thing of the past, and when it comes to online news distribution, these big aggregation companies win (Doctors, 2010).  Change is necessary to keep up with technology.  According to Klinenberg, “the newsroom has been completely redesigned so that journalists can move freely between print, television, radio, and internet outlets and meet the demands of the new media environment.”  With changes in technology, readers change how they receive their news; they want the stories they wish to read in the fastest, easiest way.  Technology is key to the distribution of news, and like other institutions that utilize technology, it is a matter of adaptation.  So whether or not you believe technology has been beneficial or detrimental to society, the digital age is here to stay, and we have to navigate it.

 

References

Doctor, K. (2010). Newsonomics: Twelve trends that will shape the news you get. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

 

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