Media-convergence is rather a difficult term to grasp, as like the term ‘convergence’ implies, there are many dimensions, which must be compounded in order to understand its definition. Such is why, just as the term is complex and multifaceted, the effect media-convergence has had on me is two-tiered; Positive and Negative.
Personally I have come to understand the dimensions of convergence as Technological, Industrial, Social and Textual. 1) Technological – involves the evolution of devices, recreated to harbour multiple features of computing, communications and content, 2) Industrial – refers to the cooperation of established media institutions in the digital media space, and the increase in digitally based content provider’s such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, 3) Social- concerns the growth of social-media platforms (e.g. Facebook) and the user-generated content that is made accessible because of their affordances, and 4) Textual – involving a process termed the ‘transmedia model’ in which same content can flow across multiple media platforms.
Perhaps audiences’ recent transition from consumers to prosumers (producers and consumers) is also a form of media-convergence. To me, this would be due to an audience-member’s ability to utilise the affordances of both monological and dialogic mediums.
Now, in many ways I have encountered each of these dimensions but, as my experience falls more within the technological and the textual sectors, I am going to use these dimensions as the focus of my discussion of convergence’s effects.
In terms of Technological convergence, if it were the name of a Facebook page, I would give it a big virtual ‘thumbs up’. By collaborating functions, previously exclusive to certain devices, within one, this type of convergence not only provides time and cost efficiency but considerable convenience in my ability to multitask. This collaboration of devices is also what allows for textual-convergence as content can be disseminated on each of the platforms converged within the one device, for example people can watch both a news broadcast or read a newspaper article on a laptop. This adds to my convenience factor.
As a member of our now tech-savy generation, I rely heavily on my phone. My phone is a means of communication, accessing information – whether it is for educational or entertainment purposes, taking photos, accessing/depositing in my bank account, and continuously storing personal data, which in retrospect is almost like, a personal diary of my life.
Ironically in identifying with my mass reliance on my phone, I recognise the issues of dependency, addictiveness, and the proliferation of anti-social behaviour media convergence has provoked within my constant need for connection and doing things from my own home.
In fact I could not imagine not having a phone, so much so, that it could be considered ‘an extension’ of myself. I simply couldn’t imagine doing the things my phone permits me to do any other way, for example by investigating library books for information or even using a separate camera. It’s foreign to me. This is especially concerning as I know a technological device shouldn’t identify with me. Therefore in order to maximise the benefits of converged-mediums, it is safe to say that it is imperative a balance must be struck.
How do you relate with Media-Convergence?
P.S You may also like to check out this video portraying how we consume media and in return, from my perspective, it consumes us.
You may also be interested in this book concerning the complicated relationship between youth and technology and the insight such a relationship provides into changing technology’s effects on everyday lives.
Feature Image Source:
“Week Two: How Does Convergence Impact Journalism?”. definitely, maybe. N.p., 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2016. https://taliarinaldo.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/week-two-how-does-convergence-impact-journalism/