The Digital age is truly in swing now more than it ever was. The Digital revolution is what happened many years ago, everyone threw away the writing instruments to embrace the new digital culture. Tv’s, computers and tablets dominate many households and without them life would be exceedingly different! Digital media has a huge impact on our lives and we think it’s normal, these days it’s normal to spend 8 hours facing a computer, it’s normal to Facebook chat a friend on the other side of the room. Digital media is so integrated into our lives and we are so immersed into it we’ve lost certain aspects of social interaction that are vital and important and we have become dependant on it.
As as designer I am very keen on digital media and what it has to offer but I am slowly coming to the conclusion that digital media is a double-edged sword, it’s something that I rely heavily on and without it I would most likely lose 50% of my functionality and I don’t like this dawning realisation. Taking a closer look into the way digital media and technology affects our lives I have also found it is for many people a tool used to hide behind, something that is striping away aspects of our personality. I rely on my computer to give me access to the WWC (world-wide consortium) so I can contact friends, email for jobs, job search, look up old friends, do my shopping, book appointments for dinner, book tickets for events and remember people’s birthday’s! I no longer need to go out of my front door to do things, is this a good thing?
“Our life is made up of events
that lead to our story”
People use mobile platforms nowadays to communicate with people constantly through bbm, Skype, Facebook, now I am not saying this is a bad thing as the way technology have advanced so we can stay in touch with friends who have moved country or video call people on the other side of the world is an amazing feat but what I have a problem with is when people use these devices to dump people, attack people, villianize people and ask people out. How did we get to a state where face to face interaction is less valued, where people prefer to end a relationship through a text. This is where I think digital media is affecting us to a level that is unacceptable, are you aware that digital media is stealing your moments in life that will define you, or could change you. If you dump someone by text you are in essence acting a coward, you are using your mobile as a shield so you don’t get the shit that will hit the fan. Imagine if you didn’t use a mobile phone to send a text to dump someone, it would be a whole different experience, maybe not a great experience but one you are letting the digital age steal from you. Our life is made up of events that lead to our story, our personalities are made up of events that happen to us. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger as they say, everything in life is character building, by losing this social interaction to digital media you are losing the chance to build upon your character.
Another thing that I have personally experienced is the friendship fall out through Facebook. To me the idea is absurd, why would you want to discuss issues that affect your friendship through Facebook not face to face? By doing this it devalues your friendship instantly, if someone cared enough wouldn’t they do this in person? Wouldn’t they have the gumption to come to your face to air their grievances? Friendship is about being able to tell your friends your thoughts in person. By using Facebook or email to berated a friend you have issues with you can end up saying things you wouldn’t normally say or even mean as hiding behind this media gives you a fake confidence in your self, things will come across not as intended as email doesn’t have a personality! It may have smily faces and winks but email doesn’t get across what you mean in jest, what you mean in all seriousness, it doesn’t have a voice, email is robotic. People can read an email and take something in a way that was never intended as in email it’s just words, that’s all, which the reader will interpret the way you say it themselves, is that really a good thing? This is where miss communication happens.
I am all for media but just ask yourselves, how much does it affect your life? How much is it keeping you away from having more banter with your friends or more time with your family as spending hours at a time on a computer can be very lonely! How much is too much?
I say to you, take back the power, start speaking to friends and family face to face when times are tough, speak to the bf face to face when you know you must have that argument you know you hate. STOP hiding and come out and let your story unfold, don’t just sit behind a computer and let your life take turns you didn’t intend because an email was taken wrongly or you sent an email that cannot be retrieved.
Reclaim your voice.
- Lecture explores effects of digital media on academia (moocblogcalendar.wordpress.com)