The Internet and New Media Essay

Submitted By ellinet
Words: 1123
Pages: 5

“Where’s my phone?!?!” I say this frantically every moment my iPhone is out of my sight. What’s worse? Moments like these are extremely rare. I feel as if I cannot go anywhere or do anything without my cellular device attached to my hand, and many of my peers feel this way as well. When did our generation become so obsessed with maintaining this social media appetite? The hunger for the newness, no matter the device (or price in most cases), is so prevalent that right before our eyes the world is changing…and we won’t be looking around to see these changes. We will be looking down. New media has almost completely taken over the social world. This refers to the concept of anyone being able to, at any given time, access any form of media content with freedom via any device or tool. The internet has been a main source for this media access. Since the mid-90’s, the Internet has been affecting pop culture in such a way that has never been seen in history. The convenience, the ease, the feeling of “knowing all” swept over the world and has not shown any mercy. Even when the World Wide Web first gained its popularity, some people were already so obsessed with it that it became an issue. In 1996, the New York Times featured a news story about a 17-year-old Texas boy who had been suffering from withdrawals due to his internet activity ceasing cold-turkey. Apparently, his symptoms resembled those of a person withdrawing from hard drugs or even cigarettes; “[h]is body shuddered with convulsions [and] he hurdled tables and chairs around the hospital.” This behavior seemed erratic, especially for the time period in which it occurred. However today, many Americans have developed an addiction to media. This new media causes many of today’s problems, which are relatively “new” problems. If our technologies were not so advanced, would we have to worry about texting and driving? Cyber bullying? New forms of addiction? These questions are rather important; not only to this generation, but also to the next due to the rate at which technology is advancing. Mediums that existed since the beginning of media itself are still around today. Hardcopy newspapers, magazines, and books are purchased across the globe. However it may seem as if these mediums will soon be replaced entirely by the new forms of the very same thing. The idea of paper-less periodicals and entertainment news blogs (et cetera) has now become a very clear reality, especially since the need for “being green” emerged. This suggests that these new mediums provide less of an ecological footprint. But is this major change really just a sign of the times? From the fast-food drive thru, to online shopping, to buying newly released albums with the click of a button; this nation has got to have it now. Right this very second. No waiting until tomorrow, no calling next week. Right now. With a ton of instant mediums at our fingertips, it is difficult to imagine having to ever go without them. Growing up in the 1990’s, I witnessed our progress from the huge, bulky, ugly cellular phones. My mother had several of these phones over the years, and each one got smaller and smaller. Now, she is blown away by what my sleek, small, innovative iPhone can do. Recently, my mother and I went on a shopping trip. On our way to the mall, she sadly says, “I really wish I still had The Commodores album. I have no idea what happened to my copy.” Being the generous daughter that I am, I promptly navigated to my Pandora Internet Radio application on my iPhone, tapped the “Create a Station” icon, typed in “The Commodores”, and soon my mother’s mood shifted from sullen to joyous. “How did you do that?” she said, snapping her fingers to their song “Easy”. And I responded to her question with the title of that song. It was easy. Now, my mother, who before swore that she would never give in to the “smartphone” craze, is strongly considering making the switch to an