Media ecologies. So, when I first saw this term, I don’t know if it was because I had done some biology in year 12 or what, but I immediately thought of ecosystems and got a little bit confused on how this could relate to media. Sounds silly I know, but it turns out that I really wasn’t as far off as I had thought I was.
You see the term ‘media ecologies‘ shares its roots with the belief that technology, whether intended to or not, puts profound influences on a society, while the technology remains in control over virtual walks of life, quite simply it is a study of how media and communication affect perception and understanding.’
When I read this definition I was a bit freaked out, thinking, technology controlling us, really? But I guess whether I like it or not, it is true, I mean I don’t even wear a watch (older technology) anymore, I just check the time on my phone. Similarly, if I can’t find someone, I call them instead of walking around to see if I can bump into them. If we focus on this aspect though, we
are ignoring the ‘media’ side, about how it creates a system, that in reality breaks down traditional hierarchy. For instance,
through the work of Paul Levinson in ‘The First Digital Medium’ there is talks about how in the past, ancient Pharaoh’s and Christian Priest’s would limit the knowledge shared to people so that they could ensure that they had continued control over them. In modern society however, technology in a way helps us to share this knowledge, and in a way creates a society that is
better informed. Thus power is given back to the people instead of remaining with authorities. Consider the Wikileaks example, now I am not about to sit here and debate whether it was right or wrong, however this example demonstrates that through
technology, Julian Assange was able to create a ‘major shift in the way we are ruled and the information we are entitled to expect about how decisions about our future are made”.
– Paul Levinson, ‘The First Digital Medium’ (In Course Reader)
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