a phenomenon involving the interconnection of information and communications technologies, computer networks, and media content (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017)
Think about it. Who knew way back then that anything like a sleek, tiny box of wires and chips could do more than a library, radio, television, and computer altogether?
Combining the functions of various tools into one medium is one of the latest strategies of technological and media enterprises. After all, the goal is to make life easier for the user.
Our gadgets are a few of the evidences of media convergence. In a single phone, for example, you can communicate with others online or offline, play games, and do research. You can listen to music, watch shows, take down notes, and draw. Now, even creating and editing documents of all sorts of file types—which was once a computer’s work—is now literally at the palm of your hands (or one of them). Nearly the same goes for another like device, the tablet. Because of that, companies marketing laptops also ensure their product keeps up just as quickly.
The multi-functionality of gadgets is an example of the growing media convergence.
The internet is another testimony to this new fusion. What used to be a place for experimenting programmers is now the so-called “information superhighway”, holding countless information coming in various media forms, from pictures, videos, text, or a combination of those and more. On social media alone, one could not just be updated with the happenings within our social circle, but also keep track of news, promote advocacies, sell products, and countless others.
Read more about media convergence: https://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence
The springing of media convergence is a double-edged sword for businesses. Though it means efficient work with less labor cost, it is a struggle for enterprises who are using or serving traditional means or equipment. They risk being pushed out of business by competitors if they fail to adapt with today’s rapidly pacing chain of innovations. It is also a reason for uncertainty for many employees, since the crossing over of technology also means they could be replaced in the workforce by computers.
This phenomenon also presents pros and cons for us consumers. Though it is easier now that we could squeeze nearly our entire life in a single gadget or read about the world’s events from a single site, we grow to be overly reliant on the particular devices and media sources that hold multiple aces, and losing access to them could easily tip off our balance as we go about our fast-paced lives.
Media convergence is a much like a weapon; it can be of significant help if used right, or it could mess you up with just a tad of ignorance or carelessness. Either way, it is up to ourselves which choices to opt for in order to truly utilize the benefits of our advances as humanity.
Thanks for reading! Do you think media convergence is more of a good or a bad thing? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂