Saturday, March 9, 2019

Too Much Media?

When I thought about this topic, I thought it would be easy, and I could rant about how everything has changed because of our continually evolving electronic media. But then, I looked up the definition of media at Merriam Webster. Surprise! What a morass I discovered. Media in the meaning I meant it as is plural for medium or ‘a channel or system of communications, information or entertainment’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2004). Right now we have so many channels of media people are getting lost in them.

That was one of a number of meanings. Medium also refers to the size of something; medium lies between small and large, or in being in a middle position. Medium is also a way to effect or convey something such as money allows in trade. It can also be a surrounding or enveloping substance such as water or oil containing pigments to create paint; or a mode of artistic expression (paint, pencil, pastel, ink, photography, etc.). A medium is someone who has a channel between here and the world of spirits, which I suppose in another communication method if you believe such. And the medium in environment is where something flourishes, such as roots thrive in soil. 

The meanings for media also offer some interesting takes on the word. AND this is only one singular-plural combination of one word with multiple meanings in the English language! No wonder using words can lead to so much misunderstanding, and yet words are the basis of communication.

Communications media deals with the visual, audio, gestural, and written aspects of presenting messages. From ancient times we have oratory which is often linked to gestural inclusion including hand and face movements and vocal inflection in speeches, sermons, prayers, and plays (let alone just talking to someone); visual communication is whatever we see and so includes the design of architecture, painting, sculpture, written, carved, and sewn, and all are open to interpretation. Since the 19th century, we’ve added photography, radio, TV, movies, and videos. Within the last forty or so years we’ve added the computer media, the Internet, and other digital devices.
Is fashion a medium? I think so as it is a form of self-expression which is important in many media. I’ve probably missed some, too, plus many of these media have genres added into the media. 

Communication is important in employment. Many forms of media affect business. Media companies need employees and purveyors who want to spread their particular medium's usage. Most businesses use the medium of advertisement to spread their product's usage while increasingly using digital communication between management and workers.

With 7.5 billion people on Earth that gives a very wide array of interpretations for any communication. No wonder we have so many miscommunications. 

Can media become addictive for the general public? Yes, but maybe a necessary addiction. We know of a growing problem with many addicted to digital devices, but sometimes in more of the drug type of addiction. This is not new. People have been addicted to different types of media before, such as TV. Was Socrates addicted to oratory? He did a lot of it; most artists, musicians, and actors strive to succeed in their medium, too. Are they addicted or just driven to succeed?
Communication is necessary for everyone's mental and physical health. We all need to be connected to our world, and media helps us achieve this even to creating a global community.  

The most essential medium, though, is the vocal and gestural communication between family and friends in the present, real world. Yet when a person ignores what is happening in real time-space for what happens in the digital world, it can cause problems such as isolation which leads to depression. To ignore what it happening in real-time for the digital world makes the medium dangerous.

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