The evolving media landscape and emerging technologies offers a flowing community of networking elevating society’s connection to a global scale. Never before has information traveled so quickly across many different mediums on an international level. Additionally, how we connect to others can be divided through many scales, from the personal to the vast communities available through different social media platforms.
However, while our Internet connection has strengthened to bring people together under the medium of the media landscape, has it also put our ability to interact and communicate with others? Has the current media landscape alienated humanity in a bubble known as the digital world birthing a newfound divide? Is this necessarily a bad change for society?
The growing technological gap is significant in understanding how the new media landscape can divide and alienate society. It is evident to see that people born fifty years ago grew up in a very different media environment, even those within the nineties were brought up in a contrasting digital world, therefore the participation of different generations can display the furthering divide. As stated by Jenkins (2006), Adults know less than they think about what young people are doing online and young people know less than they think about the values and assumptions that shape adult’s relationship to media.” Therefore, this segregates generations in the participation of people within the fast-paced digital world.
While this is true that the evolving new media landscape is changing how we as society communicates and interacts it does not undermine the importance of media literacy. The digital world that some can argue inhibits their quality of life within reality, has transformed how we communicate. The program “Skype” allows families and friends from different countries to stay connected and has replaced the snail mail letter system of the past. Furthermore, on a smaller level, the application known as “Snap Chat” allows friends to send simple pictures or ten-second videos to one another.
Media literacy has changed society’s methods of communication, it has both expanded our connection to others on the global and interpersonal scale, allowed for vast amounts of information to be available and allowed for participation throughout generations (as in any form of communication, there needs to be a sense of collaboration between people), all one needs to do is sign on.
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