Friday, September 15, 2017

The NEW "New Media"

Recently, I was watching a stream of one of those savvy young (i.e. "twenty-something") YouTubers (they're the ones who see what's happening right now). This kid was chatting naturally, and at a certain point casually referred to a story about some event that happened five years ago, and they said, "you know, that was back in the days of Facebook."

"...that was back in the days of FACEBOOK"! 😮 Just let that sink in for a moment. Now if you're well over fifty years old you've probably lost track of this whole business, unless you're an IT professional or a nerd who studies the philosophical dimensions of communications media.

If you're the "Facebook Generation," however, you're grappling with the trauma of being awfully close to (if not already past) the age of thirty. SCORCH! 🔥 It's hard enough worrying about being "old" (which, let me assure you, you are not). Now they're saying "back in the day" about Facebook? So Facebook is now "Old Media"? Crazy, huh. 

Ah, get used to it kids!😜 

But, seriously, there's more to this phenomenon than just your age. This is the ongoing communications revolution that began long before you were born.

The great pioneer communications philosopher (and the original nerd) Marshall McLuhan always knew that audiovisual multimedia interactivity was the ultimate trajectory of "New Media" —one of many terms he coined back in the early 1960s, when people were beginning to discover that television was connecting the world in new ways. McLuhan perceived that there was something inherently "involving" about the TV experience, indeed that the medium generated an experiential environment different from audio or print communication. He saw television technology evolving in such a way that the general population would ultimately become not merely consumers but also producers of audiovisual media expression. 

When I was growing up, we never imagined the possibility of everybody having their own personal TV broadcast channel! But the internet, the development of mobile devices, and platforms like YouTube have made this a reality within the past ten years.

Meanwhile, Facebook is rushing to catch up, as I'm sure you've noticed from the audiovisual platform they keep trying to develop.

Where will it all go from here? As we used to say "back in the days" of old fashioned television: STAY TUNED!