Function and Future of Media

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Reading this article by Nicholas Carr, I have a lot of points I agree with. First, when I read something on the Internet and even on the book, my concentration is unsustainable and I start to think of something else to do. Second, I have keenly aware of the loss of the memory recently, especially a short-term memory problem. And what I want to stress is that I have felt these tendencies since I have a digital device, that is a feature phone. I don’t know someone else has a same feeling but I do before reading this article.
Here is an interesting experiment. In the study that is open to 46 college students, they were asked to type trivia statements — “Bluebirds cannot see the color blue,” “Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer,” and so on — into a computer. Half were told that the statements would be erased, while the other half believed the statements were saved. When asked to recall those facts from memory, the “erased” group fared almost 40 percent better. The researchers say the internet acts as a “transactive memory” that we depend upon to remember for us. About the effect that the Internet gives human beings, Dr. Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University said that transactive memory “is an idea that there are external memory sources – really storage places that exist in other people” in her paper, “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips.” After all, her opinion is that people handle with information in the easiest way. By not remembering the detail but remembering just the storage, they deal with big problems they have to understand.  learn more

Here is the interview of Dr. Sparrow about the study.

Digital media make our communication simple, short and practical. People come to make a point of speed and briefness. These trends cause problems like reduced information processing and memorizing as I mentioned before. On the other hand, the way of communication itself has also changed with the trends. It is switching from Face to Face communication to Face to Tool communication. That is, with the development of digital media, we communicate with others using digital devices like smartphones and laptops. It leads we don’t use nonverbal messages to recognize other’s ideas or feelings. It may make people difficult to memorize something comparing with people years ago. Communication competence is the ability to understand what others say and feel correctly and tell what you think about it logically. Digital media could make it possible briefly. But they say that young people have less communication ability and it is because of digital devices that depend on verbal messages. As I said in the last post, digital media enable us to interact with people and form groups. I’m sure these elements make our society convenient and enjoyable and generate potentiality for digital technology. So, Does the development exceed the downsides? If not, do you think the media industry continue developing their goods ignoring the downsides?

Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Lays Out His Plan For The Future Of Media

When I think about the future of media, I remember that some people say televisions will disappear in several years. As the reasons of this idea, first, television is a passive medium. What people have to do watching TV is just sitting in front of it, so many people think that contents on the Internet is much attractive. Second, a television itself will go away and we will come to watch TV show on other devices like smartphones and tablets. They don’t claim broadcasting of television will disappear but expect it will switch to a totally different form.

media sign

However,although television raised its place as the medium of entertainment at one time, the trend is fading away for sure. Especially to young people, topics they talk with their friends are not about the TV show they watched the other day but about posts on Facebook and Twitter and videos on YouTube. Therefore, television is expected to live with the Internet connecting with Facebook and Twitter rather than be replaced by the Internet. As far as news contents, people will not only know news on the television but also speak their opinions and discuss problems on the Internet. If media in the future are dynamic devices that continue evolving constantly, it is going to be the problem how people use them effectively. So, it is important to make media possible to customize according to each user and offer service. Also, we have to consider about the problem with privacy now. It is a problem that we didn’t have to care before. People care of it but they tend to offer their address to amazon without hesitation. You can see advertisements that you are interested in and it seems convenient in a sense. But it means they track you. Media play a role of offering  services but at the same time they prey on consumers. My question is media will much make a point of audience’s participation and can they still offer correct information? And how can we address with the privacy problem on digital media?

related stories:
The Future Of Digital Media In 2015
Digital Disconnect: Robert McChesney on “How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against  Democracy”


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