Global communication development: when is the end ?

It has been a long time since it took three months to send a dinner invitation to the first commercial electric telegraph which reduced that amount to weeks and now, the Internet era, when the whole world knows about your dinner date in seconds. All those inventions turned the world from incoherent parts into a whole body.

Because it is a body, it needs to grow. So the question is, when will the body reach maturity, or when is the end for technology development ?

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899.

We hear the same sentence every year about technology saturation. But every year witnesses new breakthroughs shaking that thought. Never before have anyone thought of augmented reality, and now we can travel across the world sitting at home with a VR headset. More barriers will be broken in near future with such technologies like real-time language translation devices or direct thought transmission.

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The same question will be asked and the same answer will remain. But hey, save money, because it is just the beginning.

 

 

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Reality TV: extraordinarily ordinary.

In the short video clip we just watched in BCM288 tutorial, the presenter of TED show, Andy Dehnart, cited Mr Roger’s quote which stated that reality TV is where everyone can feel special. This helps explain his mentioning of the fact that reality TV is thought to be one of the lowest forms of culture but it is beneficial and able to change the world.

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According to Moran 2009, a ‘reality show’ is a television programme in which ordinary people are continuously filmed, designed to be entertaining rather than informative. Hypothetically, there is no script in reality shows and every event happens naturally. Therefore, this kind of TV show attracts audiences with unexpected events where participants simply act based on their personal feelings and ideas rather than following guidance from the producer.

First of all, reality TV still matters although it is claimed to be a low form of culture. Stated by Deery 2015, reality shows are not expensive to be made because it requires no writers or actors which are one of the most costly production elements. Because there is no script, reality shows are easier to be produced simply by letting event happens naturally, capturing then editing them (Swain 2014). Two reasons above are on the producers’ perspective only, but one more thing that producer shares with audiences about reality TV is that producer does not require much of the audiences, or in other words, a diverse audiences can enjoy reality TV.

Moran 2009 stated that reality show is a kind of ‘peak realism’ with focuses on extraordinary events of ordinary people. In this way, audiences can easily relate to the characters because those characters are ordinary people just like them so they can find similarities in between. Moreover, the unusual circumstances that the characters experience interest the audiences which makes them to watch more and even want to be a part of. Therefore, viewers have the feeling that they can be in the position of the character and undergo the same situations. Eventually, they might find themselves (or their characteristics) presented in the show performing extraordinary actions, being noticed by the crowd and so, being special.

Another advantage of reality TV is that it notices people with good characteristics required to participate. They have to have trust, which is essential because they will play, live and perform tasks with total strangers. They must have skills, not only to accomplish missions but also to be appealing in front of the camera (Wikihow 2016) which promotes their image in order to stay with the show. Whether or not reality shows are scripted, they create the aspiration of viewers to participate and therefore, push them to acquire the required attributes. In this way, reality TV turns ordinary people into extraordinarily ordinary ones.

References:

Deery, A 2015, Reality TV, Polity Key Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, Wiley, Cambridge.

Moran, A 2009. TV formats worldwide: localizing global programs.

WikiHow 2016, ‘8 steps to get on reality TV show’, <http://www.wikihow.com/Get-on-a-Reality-TV-Show&gt;.

Swain, C 2014, Why Reality TV Still Exists (and Why it Matters to your Student Ministry), LifeWayStudents, viewed October 25th 2016, <http://www.lifeway.com/studentministry/2014/10/07/why-reality-tv-still-exists-and-why-it-matters-to-your-student-ministry/&gt;.

Being in media world: get lost in control.

“I am one of the kids that growing up online”.

“I know nothing about life without a smartphone”.

“If i die young, bury me in satin… okay fine, as long as there is Wifi”.

Those quotes above are not for me personally, but I find part of me in those. And I bet that lots of my peers, the people of my generation will find themselves there. This post is about my experience being in a media space, but somehow I can generalize that space is actually my life which is largely covered with media.

With so much support from media, I can control my life so easily. Want to read news ? Go to Facebook. Need urgent food ? Make a call to order. Hang out for a date ? Sit down right there, let’s video call. So easy and convenient. I used to tell my girlfriend, who is currently nearly 5000 miles away from me when I left for Australia that: “Hey love, from now on, we will be in a ‘triangle love’: you, me, the smartphone”. I am being in a media space everyday, because it is my life and I feel like I have total control of it thanks to media.

However, the bad thing is it seems to be the only choice I have. Without media, I get lost. I will struggle figuring out how to do things without Google. My interaction with my relationships will be limited without Facebook. And I would get crazy without my smartphone for no more than 24 hours.

I used to need media to make my life easier, and now I need them to continue my life.

 

 

Media text: reading text, reading world

The world we are living in is a really complex world. Therefore, everything we interact with contains lots of complexities. Those differences are shaped by many elements from demographic to culture. That’s why in different situations and issues, people’s views vary in many distinctive ways. This diversity is an important part of communication of which the main purpose is to convey meaning and reach common understanding. Communicators, in particular advertisers and marketers, have exploited this variation to create creative visual products that are able to convey different meanings. Let us take a look as an example.

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Above is a picture in Nike’s promotion campaign supporting England football team in the 2006 World Cup.

First of all, we can see this is a really impressive picture with an eye-catching expression. Featuring in the image is English striker Wayne Rooney, half-naked with his common goal celebration. On his body is a red cross which looks like paint or blood. Nike’s logo and slogan ‘Just do it’ is located on the bottom right corner. It can be seen that Rooney’s expression is really incentive.

This picture can be explained in a way that it supports England football team as the red cross and the white background (both the real white background and Rooney’s skin) represent England national flag. Rooney is the core factor of the team as he is a raising star and a great scorer so his influence is significant. His goal celebration also means victory which is the aim of England team in the World Cup.

Another explanation could derive from Nike’s slogan ‘Just do it’. The red colour of the cross can be related to strength and enthusiasm which are the attributes that Nike wants its athletes and customers to have. Moreover, the material of the cross looks like blood, which represents the efforts and dedication of people to thing they do. ‘Just do it’ – no matter it can be difficult or paintful. Wayne Rooney at that time is a young, talented athlete who can be a great model for the optimistic, fearless spirit that Nike wants to convey.

The example above is just one of a millions creative products that convey different meanings. The variation means that effective communicators have to aware of the similarities as well as the differences of the environments they want to engage with. How people read media texts is how they read the world. They are different because our world is just awesome.

Reference:

Alan 2015, #TBT June 2006 | Nike put the St George’s Cross on Wayne Rooney, Footy-Boots, viewed 19th March 2016,

<https://www.footy-boots.com/rooney-nike-shocking-marketing-image/>&gt;