For all its pros and cons the true beauty and worth of media lie, in the unknown, in the continued change of what’s perceived as cutting edge, not merely for entertainment purposes but also in improving avenues for us to stay informed and bringing us all closer together. The true clichi?? however, is that with all this rapid rate of advancement and technical knowhow bringing us ‘closer together’ and eliminating certain processes and steps of communication, we are losing the personal touch of by gone eras.No longer are meetings the domain of the boardroom, important decisions are now beamed across satelitte televisions and ‘low and behold’ through email. We marvel at how clever we are, yet become increasingly distant from each other, and as we follow like sheep into the ‘technology age’ we become in essence less human and more like the machines that we continually update. It is apparent media has made life easier for us, more exciting but has it also made life lazier for us? No wonder society issues have now become a part of our cultural makeup.
A newspoll survey found that 73 percent of Australians believed technology had changed the way they conducted their relationships (O’neill, 2004). We break off relationships over text messages, we are divorcing partners at increasing rates (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003) and we are changing with media and technology, but is it all for our own good? In essence we are all becoming ‘millionaires’, rich in opportunity, in possession, but not in love, after all isn’t ‘money can’t but you happiness’ one of our famous cultural ideals? Think about it for a minute.Media advancements in cinema, in quality of picture and sound, online libraries and novelty gadgets all stimulate us. But are they necessary? Maybe tomorrow, but were they yesterday? We have to move forwards, man feels an urge to, whether something needs updating or not. However, we mustn’t leave our shortcomings behind in a trail of dust before we move forward.
In this day and age are we changing with developments like sheep whilst sacrificing our own personal skills, or are we demanding such technology, demanding change, demanding increasing stimulation, almost as if yesterday’s Christmas presents are yesterday’s news?Perhaps a change in direction and thought is required. Perhaps putting technology on the ‘back burner’ for a while and tackling our human issues first may make us appreciate such technological advancements and ensure we wont feel quite so daunted by change. Media, on the news, in our papers, online reflects the days top stories. Often they are filled with tales of anger, political uproar, perverse entertainment and then the weather predictions for tomorrow’s spectacles.
Are such issues a product of media themselves? Violent movies generating violent attacks?Reporters probing into countries far removed from ours? Radio often broadcasts traffic problems due to ‘a nasty accident that unfortunately is holding up traffic, hopefully it will be cleared soon’, with nonchalant respect for the possibility of human loss. Are we becoming less humane? Media links us together and tears us apart both physically and mentally. It provides answers and solutions yet poses so many questions. It forces us to think and challenge and provides us with the avenue and capabilities to do so and that is where the worth of media lies.After all, if it is deemed hard for two people to join in marriage how do we expect billions across the world to join in unity? Albert Schweitzer once said: “Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile” (The Quotations Page, 2004). Media provides us with stimulation, grief, knowledge, shock and opportunity whilst linking us all closer together whether we like it or not, the challenge now is not simply to cope with change but to change humanity so that our cultural problems are not the only issues filling our media bulletins on a nightly basis.