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Alternative and Activist New Media Essay

New Media

Introduction

            New media is the access to content by use of digital devices like phones and computers anytime and anywhere across the globe. Harries (56) believes the content of new media is being accessed in purely uncontrolled ways in real time. It is a space dominated by creativity and interaction inform of information sharing in a feedback motivated set up. The new media space is prone to manipulation and is usually networkable and highly interactive. The range of such media is large extending from internet, video programmes, CD-ROMs to multimedia just to mention a few. New media is paperless and does not include television programmes usually propagated on analogue signals, books, articles and other written media.

            Wikipedia is arguably the best example of the new media according to Harries (56). It displays a great volume of digital information inform of text, videos, pictures and various links leading to their sites of location. The information therein can be altered by editors and writers to benefit those clients who may not be familiar with the language used-English. The interaction is manifest in the way feedback is accessed in the site by users. Users are also exposed to a variety of information at just a click on one site. Facebook and Wikitude are also examples in this pursuit. Users of Facebook for instance have a higher level of interaction, exchanging instant information in a bidirectional feedback mechanism. Wikitude on the other hand has a capability to show images in three dimensions, recognise such images and give a clear photographic view to realise an amplified reality.

            The benefits of this trend can never be underestimated. Lievrouw (1980) says globalisation is the major impact of the new media. It has increased exchange of information amongst people all over the globe over the internet. People exchange information in form of texts, pictures, drawings, videos among other forms in such platforms that allow blogging and posting of such information on various websites. Social relationship has increased a great deal to the extent it now demeans the distance between people. Globalization is seen as a form of interaction that is not restricted by the borders of one nation but extends across the globe defying the distances over the large land and water masses of the world. What a relief over travelling that was prompted by the need for communication in the past times!

            Lievrouw, however, maintains that the benefits of globalisation are experienced at the expense of a tension free public space. The new media environment creates a lot of tension amongst different faculties a cross the world. The uncontrolled communication sometimes may become a leeway for the unruly people to use such platforms for their personal gains. The information dissemination disconnects from various authorities both political and cultural. Public relationships between people can be very indented as a result of the geographical trespass. Social restrictions that existed in the past are continuously being eliminated by virtual communities that are speedily mushrooming in the online platforms.

            He says the American Digital Consumer views the users of the social media as a people who are in constant exchange of pleasantries, ideas and goods online. It praises the role played by new media in the business world especially in advertisement. Although there may be arguments that the internet world does not affect the morals of a society, it is true that the moral decadence in play around the world today is all borne by this trend. Mention any sexual vice like pornographic movies and the propagator will be named internet. From the foregoing argument, it is true that the decadence in the societal morality has being caused by developments that are seen in the new media.

            Sparks (275) says that the media equation asserts that people treat computers like fellow human beings. This implies that new media is also very pivotal in fostering social change in our society. According to Sparks new media has been used to communicate interact and in mobilization of many social groups around the world. The first group to use the new social media to bring changes in organisation and communiqués in the year 1994 was the Zapatista army. Since then the new social media has been used in many ways around the world. The protests around the world are all based on the new media to propagate the information in one way here and there. In big organisations, protests are organised and communicated through the new media. The new media is used to educate members on the various requirements on their engagements. The democratic championship has also been made possible through this platform. The access to information is highly increased and hence an increased enlightening citizens. Various people take advantage of the new media to mobilise the support from grassroots levels an endeavour that was almost a dark cat in the dark over the past.

            Sparks (300) also argues that even so scepticism has been part of these developments. Sceptic scholars cite imbalance in the access of the new media around the world as a hindrance to attempts aimed at broadening the base of movements. Sometimes this may result in the oppression of the minority in the same movements. Some scholars still doubt how new media may be of value to social movements not only for the ones without access of it but also for them that use it. The movements can also use the new media wrongly as in the case for constant mass action by the university students around the world. If such actions have no grounded base on democracy then their propagation on such media is of no value to the society.

            National security is a priority to any government. The new media is very important role player in this field. All the information on security is stored in a data based and secured. The information can be accessed easily and at once using various data base tool by the authorities in times of need hence improving the reactions in times of security shocks. Surprisingly the recent trend of terrorism shows sophisticated use of the new media in the accomplishment of their merciless attacks on innocent citizens of various countries. New social media has become a very good platform for terrorist to organise their malicious acts. After a massacre you can hear those giving talks that are evident of claims for responsibility.

            Industries also use new social media to pass across information regarding various duties. Employees within different departments can share information and ideas culminating to quality improvement in the industry. Politicians also use social platforms nowadays to rally support. Their manifestos, pictures and achievements on behalf of people can always be posted to keep people abreast of their good deeds. In summary new media has a great impact on the present societal trends. It all depends on the individuals who use it and the reason for which the use it. It is very beneficial if used well across different fields to bring positive change.

References

Harries, Dan. The New Media Book. London: British Film Institute, 2002. Print.

Lievrouw, Leah A. Alternative and Activist New Media. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2011. Print.

Sparks, Glenn G. Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

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