Talking ‘Bout a (Media) Revolution

“People who are in a revolution never know they are part of one until it is over”. So said Antony Mayfield, Head of Content and Media at iCrossing UK, in his lecture, Journalism in the Age of Networks. I never really considered this before, but now I know, how could I not have realised it?

As I think back over my time spent in this media revolution we are supposedly part of, the pace of change can be mapped by certain objects I obtained over the years.

I remember getting my first typewriter from Santa, my hours spent happily typing away and the frustration I felt when I made a mistake and I couldn’t just press the delete button.

hermes

Some years later my dad arrived with the biggest PC you have ever seen. It took two people to carry it up the stairs and four or five to install it. The only thing we played on it was Pacman and Lemmings. I thought it was the best invention ever, even though it was really only a bunch of shapes moving around the screen.

lemmings

After that I got a Gameboy, which I definitely thought was the best invention ever. My books were discarded to the bottom of my wardrobe, my parents didn’t mind and it never occurred to them I might develop RSI in later life (an increasing worry of mine due to my constant texting).

During this time my sisters replaced their walkmans with portable CD players, my dad got a brand new DVD player.

I never had a Super Nintendo Entertainment System or a Sega Mega Drive, but my friends did, and yeah, I thought they were the best invention ever. Then came Playstations, mobile phones, PSPs, IPods, SkyPlus etc etc. When I lived in Japan, even the toilets were computerised.

jajan_toilet

So are we in a media revolution?

Wikipedia says a revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions. I think it is safe to say we have witnessed this, ever since the dawn of the digital age. The question is, what will this revolution look like in five, ten or twenty years?

In an age where we can now skip through ads, read our news online, make ourselves worldwide video stars, talk to people we have never met thousands of miles away, edit the world’s biggest encyclopaedia, challenge journalists and even become journalists ourselves, all at the click of a button – what will they think of next?

I imagine children will read eBooks in bed, everything will be voice activated, nothing will be manual, cars will drive themselves, food will cook itself, everything will become smaller, only people will become bigger. Weapons will become more powerful, governments less so. Intelligence and national security will be stepped up, yet the average person will be watched twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

bigbrotherlogo460

Mao Zedong once said: “A revolution is not a dinner party, nor an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly, and modestly. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

In an age where Google dominates the web, with an 80 percent market share of search engines and daily tracking a trillion web pages, you could safely say they are the dominant class of the World Wide Web. With technology advancing as fast as it is, will we see a power bigger than Google emerge and overthrow it? I think we will, it is merely a question of how and when.

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One Comment on “Talking ‘Bout a (Media) Revolution”

  1. strangerinbluesuedeshoes Says:

    Rachel, I have gradually been deleting non-MagDip blogs from my Netvibes as it becomes clear they are not worth keeping up with, but yours is brilliantly inspiring – and therefore guaranteed a valuable spot on the relevant tab.


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