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How New Media Technologies Affect You

Write an essay describing how new media technologies affect you, your family and friends everyday lives. The media world is constantly changing as a result of new developments in technology. Therefore the media industry is dependant upon highly sophisticated technology, which can be used to influence and inform groups of people all around the world. It has been suggested that we live in a world that is ‘media saturated’ as it dominates our lives. This in effect is true as media is a central part of our lives, it can be used to deliver us news as well as a source of entertainment, and this is why media can be so influential. The internet is one of the most fast-developing new media technologies, enabling users to contact people all over the world to shop, chat, play games, download music and information, send e-mails and keep up with current affairs.

The Internet was developed in America in the 1960s and was introduced in the 1990s in Britain. Originally this technology was introduced as a way of bringing people all over the world closer together, enabling them to communicate with one another simultaneously, giving its name the ‘medium of the future ‘. It is constantly being developed to suit peoples’ needs, for example, broadband internet offers faster connection and makes downloading easy, effortless and not so time-consuming as it used to be. Many radio stations have recognised that people may wish to listen whilst ‘surfing’ the Net, so have incorporated a ‘live airplay’ programme on their websites so that it is possible to listen to the radio via a computer rather than the conventional radio device. Many websites also offer a service where downloading music is free, this means that many people can save large amounts of money on buying CDs and can obtain the latest music singles and albums from the comfort of their own home.

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Home shopping is also increasing due to Internet services allowing consumers to purchase a range of goods via the Internet using their credit/debit cards as a method of payment. The advantage of this is that the busy shopping atmosphere is avoided and time is saved, this is also the case in online banking systems where cardholders can view bank statements, credit details and communicate with their bank via email. The only problem with these systems is that credit card details are given out over the Internet and may be obtained by other companies or Internet users, meaning the risk of credit card fraud is higher. However, a select few internet-based companies have introduced a card which can be used like a ‘top-up’ card bought for mobile telephones, in the sense that a card is issued to the internet shopper so that they are able to go a top-up point and pay for a certain amount of money to be put on their card, which can then be used to purchase goods from the internet.

Not only is this a safer option, but it is also more convenient for younger customers who are not yet eligible for a credit card. Due to improved media technologies, it is now possible to access the Internet through digital television sets and mobile WAP compatible telephones. This means information, entertainment and news can be displayed without the use of a computer. Revision websites make learning a more interactive experience for students, as well as being a useful alternative to other methods of learning such as flashcards. Students can also test themselves and the website can mark their answers, giving them a score to see how effective the revision has been. Other websites such as ‘lastminute.com’ allow holidays, rental cars and other goods to be bought at the ‘last minute’ at a reduced rate. This means considerable savings can be made and purchasing goods or booking holidays is made simple and easy.

Another convenience of the Internet is that ‘Chat Rooms’ allow people to talk to various people all over the world and if desired become involved in group discussions. This can mean young people can meet and talk to people of their own age group and interests and exchange thoughts and ideas. Obviously, as you cannot see the person you are communicating with, you cannot be sure that they are telling the truth about their age, gender etc which also means this may cause an increase of illegal groups operating in chat rooms, such as paedophiles who abuse the internet. This may affect many families in different ways for example, if a parent feels that their child may not be safe to talk to people on the Internet they may limit the child’s use or filter the system so that they cannot access the chat rooms.

If a teenager arranges to meet up with a person that they believe to be of the same age group as themselves, to discover that they are not the person they described themselves to be on the internet, they may face serious problems such as stalking. This can lead to anxiety problems and distrust for some people as well as being a major worry for all parents. Instant messaging services (MSN etc) allow users to be informed when friends or other named people on their contact list are online and lets them automatically begin a conversation without needing to log onto a chat room. Voice conversations can also be made using these facilities. Email enables Internet users to send a succession of ‘letters’ around the world to various people within seconds, as they are delivered instantly. Not only does this save time and money as the service is free, but it means messages can be sent and received instantly rather than waiting days, or even weeks for a letter to be delivered by post.

Many people find this an excellent way of keeping in contact with relatives and friends, particularly those who live a long-distance away. The only social problem that has been recognised by researchers is that emailing has begun to discourage people from writing letters, therefore making us more computer literate but less inclined to keep up good standards of writing skills. The increase of digital television sets in homes has enabled people to access the internet, shop, send emails and view a wide variety of satellite channels in the comfort of their own home. It is thought that by 2010, digital broadcasting will be nationwide. It seems inevitable that this means audiences will have to subscribe to certain satellite or cable channels to pay for this investment and also pay extra to view certain major sporting events. Not only will this prove costly for many, but it will also cause an increase in television viewing, therefore discouraging other hobbies such as sport, reading and creative activities.

The BBC (British Broadcasting Cooperation) was founded in 1926, and now contains channels such as ‘News 24’ on digital television, which means news updates can be viewed twenty-four hours a day. Television plays an important part in our daily lives, surveys show that of our average time spent consuming media each day, television comes highest-scoring fifty-four per cent compared to a total of forty-six per cent of all other common media put together. This suggests that television could possibly be the most influential of new media technologies. Television is often used as a representation of minority groups; the ethnic minority and gay community groups have faced increasing stereotypical television recently. This may or may not help equal opportunities depending on whether the group is being minoritised. For example, ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ features Asian actors who direct the humour at their own culture, but if the actors had been white this may have been classified as racist.

This image projected of the Asian culture may also encourage audiences to stereotype people of this ethnic background, due to the characterisation on television. Mobile phones are possibly the most ever-changing new media technology. These devices are undoubtedly an essential means of communication in many people’s lives. They allow us to transfer and receive messages, anywhere, anytime. Text messaging enables messages to be sent discreetly and delivered instantly; they are cheaper than making phone calls and in most cases more convenient. Text messages are often sent to convey thoughts, feelings and emotions to another person. Other uses of a mobile telephone now include Internet access with WAP compatible handsets, video/photo messaging, downloading music, digital faxing, voice messaging and more.

This has a major impact on society and the way we choose to communicate with other people. Not only do mobile phones broaden worldwide communication but they also allow us to interact with others wherever they may be. However, some people may argue that this affects people’s everyday lives by discouraging verbal communication by sending text messages, also arguably causing laziness in writing by using abbreviations and ‘text message language’. Mobile telephones can also be a major distraction in classroom environments by disturbing teachers/lecturers and fellow pupils when they ring during the lesson. It has also been suggested that there is an increased risk of brain cancer, which may discourage people from talking on their mobile phone for extended periods of time.

Video conferencing is another modern media technology that has advanced in recent years. Companies and teams of workers, or even groups of friends, can hold meetings anytime, anyplace, even if they are not in the same country, by using digital video technology to transfer the video from their system to another using webcams or television screens to see the other participants. Not only is this a major improvement in offices, but it also allows friends and families to see each other when they are not together. This means facial expressions and reactions can be seen. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) has many impacts on our everyday lives. Some people may find surveillance cameras slightly intimidating in certain situations whereas the majority of people accept their presence as a part of daily life and a safety precaution acting as a deterrent against crime.

Programmes such as ‘Police, Camera, Action’ and ‘Crime watch’ use footage from these CCTV films. This is a good example of how the media can be used to influence social attitudes by presenting viewers with issues and demonstrating them so that they may only be interpreted in one given way. For example, ‘Big Brother’ seems to have captivated the interest of so many viewers because this type of reality programme has always had strongly negative connotations in our society, as watching someone intimately for an extended period of time is considered to be abusing that person’s fundamental human right of privacy. Programmes like these may influence our views on human nature and cause us to react in a different way when we are being surveyed.

In conclusion, this evidence shows that domestic media hardware, such as televisions and radio are relied on as part of our everyday needs. Although the media is often blamed for many problems in today’s society, for example, violent films may encourage crime and tabloids such as ‘The Sun’ may encourage sexist attitudes, it is an essential means of communicating and receiving news and information about the rest of the world. The convergence of new media technologies means that most hardware is now multi-functional, for example, televisions can be used to shop, ‘surf’ the Net, email, bank, watch DVDs and much more. This means that we are given opportunities to access vast amounts of information and entertainment-based media, supplying us with the knowledge and ideas we need to fulfil our everyday tasks.

Advertisements have now taken over and dominated most aspects of new media, influencing consumers to buy the latest products etc. This can lead to social and economic problems as the less fortunate become isolated for not having the latest desirable goods and can lead to an increase in crime, theft and resentment. Increased stereotyping within the media (for example ‘Black music’ radio stations, Gay/lesbian chat rooms) results in minority group characteristics being exaggerated and can encourage prejudiced opinions. Stereotyping is often based on the activities of one or two individuals whose activities have provided a source of a newspaper headline or other media project, for example, ‘youth drug culture’ can be seen as an example of stereotyping teenagers as a result of a select few individuals abusing drugs.

Common ideologies may also be a result of the way new media technologies are used to portray people of different ages, gender, social background, ethnic background etc in both positive and negative ways so that the group can be stereotyped and depicted as a certain ‘type’ of person. As you can see, new media technologies influence different aspects of our everyday lives in many different ways but their key purposes are to inform, explain and describe current affairs and to entertain. This encourages interpersonal communication as well as group and mass communication amongst people of all social and ethnic groups.

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How New Media Technologies Affect You. (2021, Apr 14). Retrieved May 9, 2021, from https://essayscollector.com/essays/how-new-media-technologies-affect-you/