Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Global & New Media

Above, it is true that there are unique technological capabilities to our historic era. Media communication has increased in accessibility and reach but it is also part of a larger transformation of globalization. Globalization is a process: the integration of economic, political, cultural and technological systems across the globe. Almost every historic era has an example of global expansion and aims but in our historical moment there is an emphasis on technological and economic unification by peaceful means.

Defining global media involves reaching the widest possible audience. The media formats above fulfill the following: multi-lingual, multi-platform, and global access (mainly foreign presence). Below the Coca Cola commercial uses almost no words in order to reach the widest audience but its use of faith based symbols is replaced with the corporate logo, suggesting people are now unified through products or more so capitalism.

Above Hallin & Mancini conclude their analysis of European media by suggesting a convergence of values and decrease of differences. The problem suggest the authors is that differentiation is important to media, not just in country of origin but in different value sets. The issue is complex because previously people used to get information from different sources and the source could suggest something about the reliability of the information, now with new media there is an abundance of information and less differentiation.

Below Jean Baudrillard felt the contemporary moment was a battle of the Global and the Universal. The global was a market driven, democratic capitalist agenda to unify the world through materialism that could be symbolized by something like Levis jeans, which are everywhere. The universal was the original value of existence, even beyond earth that unifies us all and is a mysterious and undefinable source of respect for one another. This second aspect is decreasing as the focus becomes more about life on earth and its improvements.

Baudrillard also suggested that with globalization, manufactured destiny was the opposite of culture as destiny, that we are born in a context that is forever who we are. Yet in our contemporary moment, globalization overrides differences between cultures and thus obscures individual purpose. Above left Germany at Epcot and right Germany. Kafka had a similar concern as he expressed that his grandfather told him, "I do not see how in one lifetime there is enough time to leave your village." Below 24 hours of contemporary global plane travel today. See it in motion here.

Above ancient telephones with recent history, the iPhone 3. New media is a growing category of media forms with: interactivity, interconnectivity between devices and global reach. Importantly this has changed information from going one direction to the receiver to being a shared dialogue among users.

Above the types of new media and their values. Below some of the European new media such as Skype from Estonia, Tuenti from Spain and Skyrock from France. Pikanews is a European based new media content aggregator that indicates how much new media activity happens in any topic.

New and especially social media appears to be having widespread consequences on daily behavior. Psychologists are now treating behavioral disorders related to new media, such as email checking anxiety. See the full story here and a academic lecture on the topic here. What psychologists believe is that there has always been a degree of privacy and discretion which no one could access. That private psyche is now becoming more transparent.

Above, Wim Wenders 1987 film Wings of Desire gave access to people's private thoughts, see full video. Now with Twitter we advertise them.

Above the strategic use of Twitter to advance corporate relations or network. Below the question of globalization and new media together is the increasing collective consciousness that is developing. However with only 20% online it is not a full picture.

Above many think of the aim of global new media as simply increasing our screens of entertainment while there is much greater potential for information and education. Estonia used new media forms politically for the previous election though some argues this favored votes by those with internet access, even though the country created public internet voting stations.

In looking back at the past century in France and Europe, the old ways of life, conflicts and machines developed more slowly than the US. The question is how France and Europe will continue to embrace developments and take part in the global digital community.

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