As the semester comes to a close, I have re-read my blog posts from the semester at length, and tried to evaluate a common theme. I am still trying to wrap my brain around everything I have learned in Professor John Robinson’s JOMC 240 class, which has been an introduction into mass media that I will carry with me for the remainder of my time here at Carolina and into my career. I can’t imagine a better introduction than the one I have received in this class. I re-read my own blog posts to try and draw on what I’ve personally taken home from my class time, and what I’ve picked up on since opening my eyes to the details of mass communication in our lives.
I think it is most important to note that as we move forward into the future of mass communication and technology, we as individuals are gaining more and more power to make our mark. Technology, in specific, is giving the individual this power to communicate ideas and news, and most importantly technology gives people the power to go viral. As connectivity on a global scale continues to increase, smaller people are leaving bigger marks on the world. This blog, for example, may be mine.
The power of the individual on small scale is something that has been constantly reiterated in class. The effect on society as more people gain access to this power is also an important concern that we have discussed and that has stuck with me. Giving power to the people will affect society in ways we have never imagined. This includes an array of effects including trolls, the distribution of false information, and preventing people from “living in the moment.” Trolls and the distribution of false media is an obvious effect of giving power to the people. The individual has no promise or loyalty to readers, they simply have the same access to the internet and distribution that real journalisms and reporters do as well, so as we move forward, it is important to build trustworthy internet reputations. Just as important as it is to provide trustworthy information, it is important to make sure we receive trusted news. We need to understand that the people have this power, and that more of our news is flowing horizontally rather than vertically down from Big Media.
The effect we may not see until it is too late is that as we receive the power to be in constant communication with the rest of the world, we may distance ourselves from the world we have in front of us. I want to end my last blog for the semester (not my last blog ever, of course) addressing this potential consequence of the redistribution of power because it something that I am most concerned about moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of the future, and I believe that the internet’s development in giving more power to more people will have a largely positive effect on society. I just want to leave with any one who may read this, that the physical world is of the upmost importance. And despite any societal norm deeming the digital world the end-all and be-all of communication and self worth, sometimes taking a break from it all is good for our minds, our self-confidence, and our health.