Based on this week’s readings and by observing the media landscape around us, it is evident that changes in technology are very significant. In chapter five of his book, Standage discusses the development of early telegraphy. He explains that, just as time travel is thought of today, telegraphy was often regarded as an impossibility in the 19th century. It only took an ignorant, rich man by the name of Cyrus Field to do it. The Atlantic cable failed miserably before finally succeeding and it eventually became a wildly popular technology, allowing people to connect all over the country. What’s interesting about the development of this new technology is that, as Standage points out, there is, in fact, a limit to the “telegraph’s power to amaze” (91). Standage discusses that while many people were amazed by the network expansion of the telegraph, the “rapid delivery of messages was being undermined” (91) and the “telegraph was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success” (91).
Although Jamieson’s article centers around a time and technologies that came long after the invention of the telegraph, his discussion on the importance and impact new technologies can have, mirrors that of Standage. Jamieson explains how new technologies like radio and television similarly connected people all over the country. In regards to politics, these new technologies allowed citizens to hear from politicians without having to leave their home. Similarly, the politicians did not have to travel all over the country in order to be heard. While these new technologies have great benefit to citizens, there must have been some loss in the midst of all that gain. Just as the telegraph was endangering itself by becoming a “victim of its own success” (91), how might newer technologies, like radio, television, or something else be doing something similar?