Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Internet "Killed" TV - Is it Killing Us?

Seriously, Internet Killed TV. Take a look at the YouTube channel that has 1621 vlogs (video blogs) with combined views of over 400 million. Gone are the days of indiscriminate cable consumption and spoon-fed content, where we sat transfixed, and complacent, in front of television sets empty-eyed, empty-minded, and ultimately, empty-handed.

Recently the audience has been promoted. There’s been an update in our status (pun very much intended) and an upgrade in our account settings; from standard user to Administrator. Some of us may not actively contribute to content, but we certainly arrange it to our liking using RSS feeds. We search for content, instead of the older, cannier way it (and its creators) had of finding us.
We are now the authors, directors and producers of our content. The current information age proves intangible in scope, giving us a multitude of choices and generating endless possibilities therein. We “follow” what and whom we like, “subscribe” and “prescribe” to the information flow of people and organizations that we identify with on intellectual, emotional, financial or spiritual levels, et al.
Most would say the age is golden, that we are unequivocally in control of our social media destiny. But are we? Think of the privacy (as in the distinct lack thereof) culture multimedia has introduced.
Consider our dependency on social media and their electronic hosts: mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Are we divorcing ourselves from "live" experiences using said devices? We invest so much of our time speaking through mediums and outlets that we may come to forget how to communicate without technology's impersonal complement.
Look no further than yourself for a case study. Identify what your first emotion is when you realize you don't have your phone or communicating device on you (or believe it to be lost). Does it look like this?
 You don't want to revisit the memory for too long as I'm sure the idea gives you an interesting amount of anxiety. I Forgot My Phone tells a cautionary tale. It poses interesting questions: Are we empowered or enslaved? Is the "killing" death or rebirth?
Word Count: 353

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