Brrrrrrriiiiiiing…. Brrrrrrriiiiiiiing. Hello?
“Your mum has had a baby. It’s a boy”. This was the message from the neighbour down the road, telling us that there was another sibling (I have eight) joining the clan. We didn’t have our own telephone, so important phone calls were made to our neighbour Mary, who would then venture down the road to let us know any important news.
Heck, I sound like I am from the turn of the 18th Century!! I was born in the 70’s, from an age of spin dial telephones and 3 channel options on your ‘tellie’, ABC news on the radio and The Weekly Times newspaper. I come from the analogue age that existed before digital media, before the World Wide Web was invented ( https://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/ ), before mobile phone devices, iPod ‘n pads and all the other technologies that followed.
I come from an old media culture, a spectator culture where stories were controlled by corporate media, through television, newspaper and radio. Where participation meant penning a letter to the editor if you wanted to make comment. From an era where you ‘speak when you’re spoken to’ (one of my mum’s favourite sayings – probably in an unsuccessful attempt for quiet in our crazy bustling household).
“The ever-increasing usage of mobile devices has seen the world of communication and information transition from a ‘spectator’ to a ‘participator’ new media culture.”
“Convergence Culture is changing relationships and experiences with new media.” Henry Jenkins (Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergence_culture)
Replay my mum having her eighth baby in today’s digital world of participator media culture: There’s a selfie with bub taken within minutes of giving birth posted to Instagram and linked to Facebook, siblings and relatives all tagged, nurses mentioned and celebrated, weight, length, acknowledgments and thanks, etc. Within seconds the first ‘like’ and after a few hours, hundreds of welcome comments, likes and shares. The story has been shared far and wide and has allowed for audience participation. No more phoning neighbour Mary to let the family know or waiting for the classifieds baby announcement ads in the local paper!
“To create and convey our own stories or engage and enhance others’ stories and share it with the world, instantly and across an array of available platforms has become our new storytelling way of life.”
Not only do our friends and family want to hear our stories, organisations, news corporations, journalists, PR and marketing agencies want us to come together, to share our interpretation and experiences. No longer are we expected to ‘speak when you’re spoken to’, rather we are encouraged to be heard, to collaborate, to share knowledge, news and opinions, to participate, to share, to engage and interact…to tell our story for the world to hear.
The world of media sure is different now!
I would love to hear how you’ve seen media culture shift in your lifetime – is digital media something you’ve grown up with, or have you had to transition from the old media world? Tell me your story in the comments below.