While fashion can be used as an outward display of personality and character, allowing one to customize themselves to match their inner aspects, the digital world offers many ways one can tailor what they see within the media landscape. People can craft their own websites through different blogging sites, personalize through both premade layouts or custom-made on programs such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and other platforms and use social media as means to express themselves through status updates, pictures, video, vlogs and more.
However, while the digital world allows the online user to use the Internet as an outward expression, they can also customize their participation in our current media landscape.
On a large-scale people can choose to sign up for some social media networks and refuse to join others because of lack of skills needed to join. This can narrow mind the full potential of the online user within the culture of media, for those who do not have the same skill setting as others can be left behind and unable to network in the expanding cyberspace of the Internet. Henry Jenkins calls this the “elective”, meaning that, “people can opt in and out of different levels of participation. “ This can be empowering to those with the knowledge of new media technics and freighting for those without the means to be active in the digital world.
Furthermore, customizable social media can make it difficult to stay tuned into all that connects people to society. Participation in new media culture also stems to what we are tuned into on the Internet. On different social media communities, the user can choose to follow, friend, subscribe or watch whomever they wish blocking them out to the endless possibilities that come from seeing all sides of the media. For example, one might “like” only one of the Canadian political parties, which alienates the person from the opinion of the other parties, keeping them in a narrow mind.
The contributing factor to this issue is education, never before has it been more important for people to understand the possibilities of cyberspace to share information, thought and communicate to audiences. Not only should education seek for people to be media literate but also understand the importance of using as a tool to broaden one’s knowledge, not narrow it.
Jenkins, H. (et. al). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. Retrieved from https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/free_download/9780262513623_Confronting_the_Challenges.pdf
Jenkins, H. (2006). Eight Traits of the New Media Landscape. Retrieved from http://henryjenkins.org/2006/11/eight_traits_of_the_new_media.html
Tornero, J.M.P. & Varis, T. (2010). New Media Literacy & New Humanism. UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. Retrieved from http://iite.unesco.org/pics/publications/en/files/3214678.pdf