Are we too caught up in new technology to function socially?

In my Media Issues class, the author of one of our books writes that he doesn’t believe that new communication technologies can solve social problems. I disagree strongly with this mindset.

The book may be a little outdated, but the author, McChesney, seems dead set on his values of old media. Some could argue and I am going to try that social networking itself makes it easier to solve social problems. In today’s world Internet access isn’t becoming more and more available and that number is growing. It seems that everyone is connected to everyone.

On the local level, thousands joined a Facebook group for a missing Elon alumni, Kyle Fleischmann. The group organized search parties, donations and was used to develop new leads and talk about the case. Unfortunately, he is still missing, but the group has helped answered some questions and established a central location for people to get information about the latest status of the case.

I think that the younger generation would prefer to rely on these new technologies to get their information and communicate with each other. How many people would prefer to send an e-mail or a Facebook message than pick up a phone and make a call? A lot. I know I do in most cases.

I think that traditional news sources like TV and newspapers will still exist to solve social issues, but they are changing form. I think they are much more useful to the public online. The user can watch video, read, learn and talk back all in one place. I think it is important to have it all in one place.

The sooner we realize how much more valuable a news Web site is than the traditional product, the better off we will be. McChesney seems behind on his thinking and is one that almost stands in the way of the Web takeover of social networking and online news. I think the sooner he and others embrace it as a positive, the better off we will be because it isn’t going anywhere, that’s for sure.

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1 comment so far

  1. melee4 on

    I wrote about the same thing and agree with the idea that the Internet can facilitate social change. People are consciously acting through various networks and sites to work towards certain goals, discuss or suggest ideas and even offer their perspectives. I think McChesney needs to realize that even though traditional media is still a form to use for social change, that is all changing and moving to online forms…hence why the Internet can impact social concerns just as much.


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