My biggest allure to watching Star Trek was the futuristic gadgets. Communication buttons, virtual training rooms, and food materializing out of nowhere!
Now days we have cell phones, blue tooth, and video platforms that put the Star Trek gadgets to shame…although I really would like my food to materialize out of nowhere since I hate cooking. These things no longer seem impossible and over the years have changed how the world and generations interact and live.
Media has long played a role in the interaction of people. I am reminded of an anthropology course I had taken during my undergrad studies that addressed media and globalization. With the introduction of media such as the telegraph there has always been a drastic shift in how people interact and change cultural habits. Consider before the invention of a telegraph, it was understood and acceptable that a letter would take weeks or months to be received. Then consider the amount of time it would take to get a response. Now we consider a letter snail mail compared to the ability to instant message.
The role of emerging media has played a huge role in my life over the past three years. Living in Germany not only provides a physical separation to those in the states but also the obstacle of conflicting schedules. A six or more hour time difference makes it very hard to connect with loved ones. Email, video calling, Facebook messages, and Pinterst have all kept my friends and family connected to me and vice versa.
The key fact is that time and distances have taken on a new meaning in the world of communications. What separates “new” and “old” media is the way we use them to interact with each other and the world. Our expectations of time and space have changed. The ability to integrate devices and media into our lives because of the fulfillment of speed or convenience has made the ability for both individuals and brand to build intricate relationships with each other. The way we live has been changed. Not to mention that privacy has taken on a new meaning (that’s another post all together).
To show just how important some of the new media has changed the way we live, Cisco conducted a study focused on students and young professionals. The study revealed that many respondents rate the Internet and staying connected as having as much importance as other basic needs. “1/3 say the Internet is as important as food, water, and air; half say it’s close to that important” (Connected World Order). This is strong evidence showing that younger generations have no intention of taking a step back from being connected.