A common theme found throughout all of the articles this week was the idea that as we find a way to navigate through all the new and emerging technologies revolutionizing “digital media”, we must find a way to adapt and create new guidelines on how we can use these technologies in both an ethical and effective way. We also must consider the possible effects being “plugged in” can have on our physiological well being.
In Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation, it discusses how profound of an effect social media and its excessive use can negatively effect someone’s mental health. They describe the new generation of iGens as “being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.” Contrary to the possible negative effects, researchers have also found increased use of online usage also this new generation tends to be more independent.
As we continue to navigate through this digital age, the importance of maintaining a free and net neutral web will be pivotal to maintain the innovative environment we are accustomed to. Tim Burners-Lee said it perfectly when he compared the current battle of net neutrality to climate change, “one of the problems with climate change is getting people to realize it was anthropogenic–created by people. It’s the same problem with social networks–they are manmade. If they are not serving humanity, they can and should be changed.” Protecting the Internet from “gatekeepers” will help in preserving an even playing field for all business, people and content to freely share information with thousands of people.
Remember the huge debate whether this picture from Trump’s Inauguration? Real or fake. Another huge problem facing digital media is the ability to decipher between real and fake news that is being shared on social media in a deceptive way. It is no secret how pivotal of a role social media played in the past election, so how do we make sure deceptive information is regulated by social media platforms? It will be up to the social media companies to determine a way to minimize and contain these kinds of deceptive journalism methods. Unfortunately, the companies can actually be part of the problem. In 60 minute Profiles The Genius Who Won Trump’s Campaign, Parscale revealed that Facebook employees sent staff to help in developing a successful Facebook campaign. This kind of unethical behavior is unaccceptable and needs to be regulated.
As we work to develop and construct a more regulated digital presence, we must also keep in mind the always changing technology innovations that are changing the way journalism is created. The advancement of VR, AR, and drones into the field of journalism is completely changing the way journalist are able to inform and tell a story to their consumers. The idea of sensor journalism is completely jaw dropping to me, the ability to detect different senses to strengthen your work is such an amazing capability. With these new ways of doing things comes new issues, such as privacy concerns, invasiveness, etc. But like everything, there comes a learning curve.
The future of digital media is bright and always evolving! You never know what is around the corner, which makes it exciting and rewarding. I think one of my biggest take-aways from this class is to never become too comfortable with the status quo, always be ahead of the curve!