Monday, January 26, 2009

"Future Shock" Response

I agree with the idea of "future shock." While many members of society have gotten used to change, I don't think we've adapted to as much as we like to think. Not only has technology changed, but the expectations of how we interact with that technology have changed. We've more from more passive to more active interaction, and the average consumer or end user is expected to know a lot more. This might account for the reason there is a “computer savvy” but not a “television savvy.” And consumers of technology have to be more sophisticated. There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming. Not everyone can be a savvy, sophisticated consumer, and maybe those expectations are too high.

I think many people experience “information overload.” It can be hard to process all the information we have access to and to sort out which information is credible. You could turn up thousands of results with an online search and still not find what you’re looking for. You could be bombarded with ads and propaganda so it’s hard to figure out what you can believe. And you could immerse yourself with constantly updated information 24/7 (online or with cable news). When you can receive information all the time, how much time should you spend doing that?

The news industry has necessarily adapted to changes in technology, but the big problem will be meeting consumer expectations when it comes to technology in the Information Age, especially on the internet. Should an entire newspaper be available free online? Should broadcasters post videos? Do readers/viewers expect to be able to post comments? Where do advertisers fit in? I think the news industry will have to go through a paradigm shift to make it work.

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