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Fifteen years ago even the citizens of the most developed countries could not imagine that someday they would be able to contact all of their friends instantly, talk to a person whose location is thousands miles away or send large videos via the Internet. Now all this is possible, and it is amazing how quickly we all got used to it and how we all take this for granted. We spend less time communicating with people in reality. Moreover, we often base our judgment not on our personal experience or on the experience of our friends, but on the clichés we have learned from the mass media and the digital universe we exist in.
The Internet has greatly changed the way people discuss some public issues. Nowadays, many politicians have a chance to exchange ideas through media accounts and blogs (Rasmussen n.pag.). Moreover, the Internet is seen as means of understanding the public opinion. If the politician is invited to have a word in one of the program releases, he would be likely to know the public opinion and ready to give confident answers on the most tricky and undesirable questions. In this case, the Internet can help him get prepared to speak and be ready to provide rapid replies. There is a tendency to introduce online-questionnaires and online-services within TV programs worldwide. Watching weekly TV shows and browsing the Internet for public opinion, we can investigate how the general audience or spectators react to the discussion. Using various sites and huge displays, the statistical data can be collected and revealed during the program as well as the politician can be offered to answer several online questions (Dahlgren n.pag.).
Different theories can be applied to investigate the influence of Internet on TV program and public debate in Hong Kong. First of all, the limited-effects theory states that people usually prefer to watch what they beieve in and understand. Providing the appealing information within online articles, the politicians will be prone to speak about similar things to attract attention of the spectators. The class-dominant theory argues that due to the private ownership of the Internet resources, the owners themselves have the opportunity to manipulate data and distort information (Sweet n.pag.). If ordinary people believe in lies, they will not be surprised to listen to the same things in TV program. Due to the fact that online political information can be often invented, the politicians have to use TV programs to present their confident speeches to protect their identities and ideas.
The multitude of messages that we got used to receive from various movies, television, radio, the Internet and advertisements, have the direct impact on our personalities and points of view. Cultural literacy is noticed to be derived with the appearance of the first newspapers and magazines, conveying some important messages to the public. Since that time, with the flow of years, mass media and cultural literacy were represented by the relatively new form, the online communication by means of Internet. The modern mass media shapes our culture in numerous ways.
The numerous technological breakthroughs are noticed to have the essential influence on our culture. Due to the fact that our society totally depends upon information and communication, the role of mass media is decisive. According to the culturalist theory, most of people try to create their own meanings out of the images and messages they receive (Hirsch n.pag.). The so-called ‘mediated culture’ is seen to be widespread, reflecting and creating culture as a whole. Moreover, scientists state that all the people tend to interpret the visual and textual material from mass media, resting on personal knowledge and experience.
The modern mass media has greatly changed the lifestyles of people. If some decades ago they were initially devoid of electronic and computerized impact, now practically every person in the developed world uses Internet for online shopping or for surfing the necessary web sites. Taking into account the increased number of information sources, we can be both informed and confused by the volumes of information. For example, the false images of politicians and their mendacious campaigns can be distorted within the Internet articles, conveying lies for the general audience. Thus, for somebody mass media is a job. Many journalists and TV presenters use mass media to earn money. In some cases, mass media affects culture in terms of abuse. New generations are expected to be more prone to video games, listening to music and watching TV (Hobbs & Jensen n.pag.). On the other hand, many advertisers try to persuade people into buying their products with the help of creating only good impressions. Using photos of celebrities to emphasize the specific brand is the effective marketing step that can increase the number of potential customers.
If we want to keep the correct direction in life regarding every particular aspect, we should be aware of our decisions, values and beliefs. It is extremely important to sort out adequate information and to avoid misinterpretation. We need to understand that mass media is the integral part of business management. That is why it is advisable to apply our knowledge and experience in order to be able to handle with our everyday problems. Dealing with any type of information in mass media, we have to use it as the support for our ideas, but not as the evidence, motivation and key for our lives. All this indicates that mass media has the essential influence on culture, affecting every individual by completely different means of communication and with rather different purposes.