Mass Media in the Internet Age

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People who “proudly” state that they aren’t on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, or any social media platform, baffle me. I told someone statistics show that one in five couples meet online and she retorted that Facebook was the leading cause of divorce today, so she and her husband had deleted their accounts. I explained that people have been unfaithful since time began and the marketplace had simply changed. If Facebook were a country, it would be the largest country in the world by population, but she shook her head.

When it comes to social media, I maintain that the rules of engagement are still being written and should continue to be written. A gun in the hands of a soldier inspires confidence that our country is being protected. The same gun in the hands of a teenager walking down the street, inspires fear. I was social media shy once, then I started blogging. I now embrace social media and by extension the internet.

In the fifteenth century, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press system that aided the rapid mechanization of bookmaking and led to mass production of books. The implications for mass media were astounding.

According to Wikipedia, “the relatively unrestricted circulation of information and (revolutionary) ideas transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its peoples led to the rise of proto-nationalism …”

Sound familiar? Yes! The Arab Spring, various hashtag advocacies e.g. #bringbackourgirls, viral videos, the Occupy movement, etc.

Some say the advent of the internet and prevalence of social media is similar to Gutenberg’s work, which democratized knowledge and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy. The internet is rightly called the information super highway.

We’re living in exciting times for anyone, yes, anyone who has something to say. Social media provides an accessible platform to disseminate information and make possible bilateral intimacy, where audiences can engage with producers of content.

Not everyone is delighted with this development or taking advantage of it. A video producer grudgingly pointed out that the cutthroat business of producing videos has been made harder by social media because people and companies can upload videos made with their cell phones on YouTube. The same could be said for writers who compete with free content online. However, when trends shift, smart people look for new opportunities or create them.

I’m increasingly convinced that someday in the distant future, paper books, CDs, and DVDs will become antiques, displayed in museums and purchased in vintage stores, with articles in Wikipedia written about the history of them. These articles will be read, listened to, or watched on devices that support online content, think tablets and the Apple watch. Don’t believe me? Maybe it won’t happen in my life time, but history is on my side.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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49 thoughts on “Mass Media in the Internet Age

  1. I admire this who keep up with blogs and other media, Timi. I like shows that have fun, mystery, nature or history in them. I also listen to many forms of music but don’t cling to old, familiar tunes. When you have grown children and grandies, one must keep up. That being said, I don’t Facebook but Linked In carries an ongoing stream of my blogs from wordpress. 🙂 Books mean a lot to me, I like reading to my grandies and holding a book (or newspaper) is such a satisfying feeling. Great source of conflict, communication and dialogue going on here.
    **As long as people don’t generalize or denigrate those who choose their personal favorite ways of relaxing, entertainment or reaching people, I am fine with the suppositions in your essay, Timi. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about holding a book… I grew up with books too.
      The way in which we take in information is changing. Our personal favourites may disappear in future.

      Like

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, especially the part where you wrote about the video producer, I feel his/her pain- I embrace online media but it has affected my business: my specialities are writing, styling, PR and digitial media and now every blog I go to, girls as young as 20 have under their names: Blogger/Writer/Stylist/PR expert etc and back in the day to back these titles up you needed a portfolio of work. And that portfolio of work was often by the work you had done for Print media, shows etc.
    In this area I am often conflicted: on one hand, I’m happy that online media have given several talented people a voice, that has been greatly inspired by me, but then I am resentful of the fact that online media has created too many voices, so much so that with all the shouting it can be hard to hear those who actually have something to say. ( :

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In other words the Internet has given birth to amateur ‘experts’! 🙂 I can imagine how you feel.

      We have to figure out new business models, which take into consideration today’s realities. In a way too much noise can make people tune out and look for the discerning voice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have various social media accounts. Social media has pros and cons mainly due to those who use it. On Facebook I’ve seen wonderful videos of happy moments. But I’ve also seen harsh comments on Facebook and Twitter that were meant to humiliate and divide. And sad to say, I’ve known cheating spouses who were caught out on Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Blogging adds to my happiness.
    Facebook did not ~> I found it to be a huge time suck which offered low return on my investment.
    So, I deleted my Facebook account.
    Problem solved.

    Some people like ham . . . and others do not.
    Some people need to feel connected via as many social media platforms as they can.
    Others do not.

    Vive la difference!
    We can only choose for ourselves what has value for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Timi,

    I enjoyed reading the points that you raised here.

    While I understand why social media can be a bit too much for some people, what with the bile that one is forced to bath in by those who abuse its privileges, I quite like both the access to a bottomless pit of information and an outlet for my typed-out voice.

    Funny how human beings are conditioned to first resist, then accept and become addicted.

    I imagine there would have been some resistance when penicillin was first discovered by people who preferred to use herbal concoctions that were no more than placebos to thriving bacteria, until it dawned on them that being alive was nicer than not. 😀

    In this internet age flowing with the milk and honey of knowledge, ignorance is a choice.

    Have a nice week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ignorance is indeed a choice. I like what you say: resistance then acceptance then addiction, lol!

      The Internet & social media are just information highways and mediums to connect, with the possibility of bilateral communication. Like TV, you can choose to be a couch potato or not. Like books, you can choose to bury your nose in one and shun contact with others or not.

      But these mediums have provided very efficient means of communication over short and long distances.

      Before I write another blog post, Nedu, thanks for your insightful comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Not only is the story on your side, but this is the only way to reason if you want to be part of creating the future. This is called “Horizon scanning.” While it isn’t necessarily an empirical science, horizon scanning observes trends and scouts the future so that we can predict within a reasonable margin of accuracy what the trends that will become future culture are. Undoubtedly, printed media, CD’s, DVD’s and their ilk are headed towards becoming obsolete, and the “interwebs” will be the communication vessel of the future…at least until that becomes obsolete too! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight. Although I rambled in this post to be as inclusive as possible, my target audience are really those who have something to say. I find it incredible every time I hear social media being denounced from certain quarters. But then, once upon a time, television was considered ‘evil’.

      Like

  7. Bit of a coincidence but I’m currently ready Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and in there he states that some people are convinced that social media and generally the digital online world has made it easier for couples to cheat. The online world certainly facilitates things in that respect, but if you’re gonna cheat, you’re gonna cheat regardless.

    There’s always a weird divide among the masses when it comes to social media. Those who have found a use for it and those who have tried but cast it aside because it doesn’t do what they want it to do.

    Personally, I use it how I want to and have made a slew of connections that have helped me in my career and socially. It’s made it easier for people to voice their opinions. Whether you choose to listen to others is totally up to you, and that’s what makes social media great at times. It’s still your choice whether you listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jaina, you’ve summed up the pros and cons nicely. Social media is a “tool” that can magnify what’s already inside people. Stats show that social media is involved in one in five divorces.

      Increasingly, it will be difficult not to be on at least one platform. Many people already are, but think they’re not because they equate the term social media with Facebook or Twitter.

      And yes, here’s social media facilitating a conversation between us, two people from different parts of the world. I like it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes – social media is more than just the typical Facebook and Twitter. Anything where you collaborate/post publicly online can be seen as social media. Heck, even blogging can be see as it too.

        And yes, without social media we wouldn’t be able to connect. I kind of like how many connections I’ve been able to make due in part to interaction on online platforms.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. your last paragraph will not happen. at least not in Africa, unless you wipe our memory clean and replenish them else printed books will still and always have its place in Africa despite the space and time in civilization.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Freeman thanks for weighing in. Time will tell. I grew up in Nigeria with something called a gramophone in our living room. It was used for playing music. I’ve always wanted to ask my parents what they did with it (something that big), when smaller portable radios and sound systems became the norm.

      Sometime back, I watched my dad squinting into his phone. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was reading Vanguard Newspapers.

      I’m not saying reading will go away. I’m saying the way we read and the medium we use will change eventually.

      Like

  9. I’m very traditional when it comes to book reading (in print), but considering the possibility of your prediction, I’ve been teaching myself to tolerate ebooks… and succeeding so far.

    Love the analogy about a gun in the hands of officer and a teenager. Like you’ve rightly said, anything as ‘big’ as the media today can be a wielded as a tool for great good and one of great evil. It all depends on who’s doing the handling.

    Still I identify with your friend who refuses to be a part of it in a way. After all it will seem like the majority of users (or maybe the loudest) are those who use the media in the most morally unethical and indecent manner. But what can we do about it? The basic decencies were after all unevenly distributed at birth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uju, I still prefer the feel of paper! Yes, it depend on who’s doing the handling. When it comes to social media, I hate to throw away the baby with the bath water.

      Lol@ the basic decencies were after all unevenly distributed at birth. 🙂
      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult to imagine a world where paper books are housed in museums with tour guides explaining how people used to read them! Maybe not in your life time or mine. Meanwhile my CDs are gathering dust somewhere. All my music is on my phone, tablet, or laptop.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Digital migrants reacted with reluctance to the mass media in the internet age.

    Social media came with frenzied promises and most of us hopped in without due consideration – We all felt so lonely in this mammoth world – thus, we connected to all available networks.

    Suddenly, current realities question every actions we’ve ever taken…our need for security and privacy primes us social media suspicions and buyouts.

    As a professional user of social media for work, I get scared each time I step aside and see the yawning gulf that seems need satisfied with the loads of personal information deposits but keeps asking for more. Why is there a need to sync our lives’ data with electronic devices for deposit on public domains that we may discover we don’t have rights to withdraw?

    I think immortality has become so cheap to achieve but privacy, on the other hand, has never been so difficult to keep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Privacy is an issue for sure. Like you said, you upload a social media app on your phone and first thing it wants to do is sync your contacts! More social networking, I guess 😉

      Social media cannot satisfy the hole in our souls. We were built for relationships and connections, which social media can enhance. But we’re built for so much more.

      Thanks Charles!

      Like

  11. Reality is that the Internet changes everything it touches, Timi. Ask people in the movie or book business. Whether we like it or not, it is here and it is here to stay. We can be like the Luddites of the 18th and 19th Centuries who fought the Industrial Revolution, but look where that got them. Playing ostrich doesn’t work anymore than throwing monkey wrenches in machinery. My son-in-law just went to work for Google. He will be responsible for setting up fiberoptic connections in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, an effort that will give most folks there an opportunity to enjoy Internet connections at speeds up to 100 times as fast as the Internet connections most of us have. The change seems almost impossible to comprehend… like everything else about the Internet. Not only is great change happening now, it is happening at faster and faster speeds. Yes, this can bring great disruptions, but it also brings great opportunities, as you noted. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know, A friend who works for Nissan noted that this blog post is spot on. She said they are going to gradually fade out the CD slots from their new cars. All have Bluetooth and Bluetooth streaming with online compatibility.

      I wish I could have 100x-faster internet in the place where I’m currently at!

      Like

      1. Me too, Timi. Living in the boonies the way we do, we have to rely on satellite. It is less than optimal, to say the least! Not that I am about to give up my home in the woods, however. 🙂 Things will get better… for all of us. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  12. With every chapter there is a letting, and a new beginning. I like your perspective Timi.
    Better to be open and go with the flow in awareness, that stay close minded and holding on to what is in our comfort zone.
    💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Val. Your comment reminds me of something I read:
      Safety, security, and survival are not meaningful goals for our lives. If we’re going to get anywhere, we’re going to have to risk venturing into the unknown. Life is about adventure not maintenance. – John Maxwell.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I can’t keep up with all the social media platforms available out there. Too much connectivity can be distracting. Some of them come and go. Remember Hi5? It was the rave back then. Until Facebook. Doesn’t look like Facebook is disappearing soon anyway.

    I really like YouTube. The knowledge that one can glean from this platform is profound. I’m a visual learner and I’ve used it to understand complex accounting and statistics problems. It’s also great for DIY projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @social media platforms, neither can I! Who can realistically? Unless that’s your full time job! 🙂

      Vlogs are gaining in popularity. It’s great that you’ve found a platform that’s useful. Many companies upload how-to videos on YouTube videos, which are helpful.

      I especially appreciate your comment because you point out a downside and upside of social media. Yeah, Mark Zuckenberg isn’t letting Facebook die any time soon 🙂

      Like

  14. I feel similarly about people (writers) who declare with pride they don’t watch TV or pay attention to popular culture. No one is obligated to do any of those things, of course, but if you are a writer, you really ought to keep up with what’s going on. I wouldn’t be poorer at my job if I refused to tune in to the world of digital picture, sound, and thought. If you do not know what is going on “out there,” it was show up in your content and the voice you use.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yet writers can become too influenced by media and lose their voice in the constant bombardment of voices and just plain time wasting. I think people who don’t watch tv still live in the world and can get plenty of ideas without being attached to a cellphone or social media. Maybe in some cases actually speaking to people you meet and allowing your senses to take the world in without the framing and filtering being done by someone else online is a good thing–especially if there’s an EMP strike and we all lose the internet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And here you are Adrienne on social media enjoying (I hope), bilateral engagement 🙂

        Balance, finding that middle ground is key. I hope the people who don’t watch TV, read newspapers or listen to the radio… or have another means of knowing what is going on in the world- a storm warning, for example.

        Like

        1. They probably have enough friends to warn them who are on social media. I don’t watch tv but know everything about the Kardashians ( are they just an American thing?). I like social media but I don’t consider it a necessity. I guess its because I’ve only been a part of it for a few years. I find it often keeps me from writing (I mean when I’m catching up with the Kardashians–lol).

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Very true! We can’t become couch potatoes and allow all the noise to distract us. I mean that people who shut out the world but expect to write material that resonates in that world are in for a challenge. Tastes change, trends emerge, audiences get bored. Especially for freelancers and salaried content creators, it’s pretty important to avoid sounding dated.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Eric, I agree. We cannot afford to not know our audience or understand the medium we use to share information. For example I publish content online and I’ve learnt that the attention span of people online is about 7 seconds. This knowledge informs the way I structure my posts.

      There’s plenty to gain from talking in ALL the world around us.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve never heard the assertion that FB causes divorce. Ok, kinda insane.

    A lot of books have not been digitized and never will be. I’m giving an opinion now…professionally as a librarian with some familiarity with e-publishing industry and cost of scanning as well as copyright.

    My choice not to be on FB nor Twitter for personal reasons, is purely practical:
    *Most of my friends and family don’t use twitter nor FB. I suspect my nieces and nephews do use FB but they have no interest with their aunts and uncle at this time in life. Out of a network of 40 family members and very close, long standing friends, I am only the person that is blogging.

    *Just want a peace of mind instead more bits of information clutter from FB and Twitter from strangers.

    You have to realize as a librarian, I spend time with certain services, screening out crappy info. from strategically useful business info. for clients.

    So I like to go home and have a personal life that’s not bombarded with a ton of information.
    It’s very easy for me to unplug since I don’t yet have a cellphone. I just surf Net, blog and do email. It’s good enough for my personal needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, you blog, you’re on social media- you’ve found your audience in the market place. 🙂

      It’s hard to imagine paper disappearing. It must have been difficult to see that cassettes (remember the cassette player?) would one day become obsolete. Some parchments & scrolls remain in their original form, relics from another era. Is this what will happen to paper? Time will tell.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective especially as a librarian. You provided insight.

      Like

      1. Paper is more usable (provided it doesn’t have acid content which cause faster degradation), compared to cassette tape. Best are books made from cotton…seriously 14th books might be made from this.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I enjoy and prefer the feel of paper- turning pages instead of sliding on a screen. Paper isn’t going out … just yet, but if we want to remain relevant, we’ve got to be looking at where content is headed.

      Like

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