As I sit here writing my last blog, I am here to discuss about my perspective on the Internet’s future and hopes for the new media landscape my generation has immersed themselves predominantly ran by the Internet. Like Joe Trippi argues in his book , The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Age, I believe my generation has become empowered by this particular medium by enabling users to cooperate with one another, engage in online activities to promote offline activism, and provide us with extensive information that was typically filtered or hidden from us by popular, traditional media outlets i.e. television and newspapers. In fact, the former Dean Campaign consultant states that Television as a medium rendered us as viewers as “dumb disengaged and disconnected.” Although this is a VERY bold statement, I believe this is partially true for unlike the Internet, television did not let us engage with correspondents or have a choice in what content we cared to see or view. It was all set by editors and journalists own agenda setting. During the Big 3 Television networks domination era, television limited viewers to the content they showed disabling viewers from receiving additional information. However, this is no longer the case. Today, we are the ones responsible for content published on the Internet and what we seek to read and view. Although television has expanded, it is provided viewers nowhere near as much control as the Internet has.
In addition, the Internet has enabled people of various socio economic statuses to entertain, voice their opinions and debate ideas that only the wealthy once could with very minimal censorship. Thus, enhancing democratic performance of the public. Although there have been arguments by scholars undermining such contents’ credibility, most users are able to ascertain fact from fiction as well as opinions. There is no guarantee that all media can provide us with accurate information all the time. In the Internet’s defense, we can also point out that what the media provides us today is not always credible and unbiased as perceived to be. Instead, there may be motives behind specific stories made public to provoke action than inform the public of what is really going on. Much of the content published by individuals separate from the media are also providing their views on certain issues and it is up to the reader to judge if such content resonates with them or not.
Trippi asserts that this current generation of activists is being defined by what they accomplish using the Internet. And if you take a look at the past few years since Internet use has grown from 15% in 1995 to near 80% in 2008, its quite a lot. From social movements in the Middle East operated via Facebook and Twitter to garnering enough support for presidential candidates to win as seen with Obama in 2008, it is clear that this phenomenon has provoked revolutionary change in our society and the way it operates. My hopes are that the Internet continues to remain as this egalitarian vehicle to socialize, educate and provoke positive change to empower mankind. My question to the class is what type of fate do you think the Internet is leaning towards? Do you agree that this forum promotes democratic actions and is as beneficial as people like myself like to believe?