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One of the goals of this class is to push students to start thinking critically and analytically about the broad implications of the Digital Media Revolution for society (politically, economically, culturally, etc.). This final essay assignment is designed to make you think more deeply about one of the broad thematic issues/topics covered in class, formulate an argument based on those readings and a selection of articles that you find on your own, and to write out those arguments in the form of an essay.
*Please note: This assignment should not be treated as a ?book report.? I?m not interested in a simple summary of the material you?ve read. What I am looking for is a synthesis of the material that incorporates the readings from class, current reporting on the topic, as well your own analysis of the connections and implications for how digital media are changing the way we live in the 21st century.
First, choose one of the following broad themes/topics (and accompanying authors)
that are listed in the syllabus:

ext, do a thorough reading of the material. You should have a firm grasp of the core arguments of the author(s), the positions they take, and why.
Then, begin looking for related articles from Mediashift,, or your own daily consumption of news and reporting that deals with digital media. These articles must be from legitimate sources and substantive in nature (look for at least one page of text; a 50 word blog posts does not count). Pick at least five articles that you will incorporate into your final essay.
Finally, spend some time thinking, brainstorming, making notes, thought bubbles, hieroglyphics (whatever your creative process!) on the connections (as well as contradictions) between the articles you’ve gathered and the original source material from the author(s). Once you?ve done this, formulate a strong thesis statement (core argument) about the how the articles and reporting you?ve gathered connects with, contradicts, or otherwise fits in with the source readings as well as the larger implications for society. The remainder of your paper should support your argument in a way that is clear, logical, and structured. Brief summaries of the source material and articles being presented will of course be part of your paper; however, I am more interested in your own critical thought process and analysis as you deliberate the implications of what you?ve read and the argument you?re making.


The Promises and Pitfalls of Digital Media and the Internet


Digital media has revolutionized the world. The world as we know it today was very different five decades ago. With digital media comes fast transmission of information. With transfer of information comes knowledge. It is generally understood that knowledge is power hence with vast knowledge; people have been able to transform their simple lives to more complex forms. Apart from digital media, the internet has as well transformed lives of many. With internet, the world has simply been turned to a global village. These two factors have brought effects in the social, political, economical, and cultural in people’s lives (Evans, 2009). If today the internet was done with, many people would go bankrupt, others would lose their lives. This is so because internet and digital media has become not only part of life, but life itself. Many companies such as Google, Amazon, and Yahoo are in this line of service provision and they offer job opportunities to many. With internet and digital media, so much has been achieved, but in the same time, there have been some pitfalls. Even with this mix results, better than pitfalls have resulted from the emergence and development of digital media and the internet.

Morozov discusses a situation that occurred in Iran where thousands of youths poured to the street to protest what they felt claiming the election held was full of fraud. The thousands of young Iranians had smart phones with them and others had more advanced gadgets such as Bluetooth headsets in their ears (Morozov, 2012). Having smart phones and other gadgets is not the issue, but what they use them for. Iran is an Arabic country where protestations against the government are very dreadful. However, with internet and digital media, youths have been able to borrow ideas from other liberal minded youths worldwide. People all over the world have become aware of their rights and are ready to defend them with their lives. Such beliefs are what the youths in Iran had borrowed from other parts of the world. They decided they would fight for what they believed was right. With the smart phones, internet connection is available and very fast. Therefore, they could connect online and psych each other up. Through social sites, the youths could influence each other and hence the common stand.

The scenario from the youths in Iran is one of the kept promises by the digital media and the internet. With internet, people are promised improved governance and freedom. Information is transmitted at a fast rate and people became aware of what previously did not know. The digital media in particular has aided in the anchorage of news. Today, when something happens, many broadcasting stations are able to report it immediately afterwards or even live as it occurs (San Jose Mercury News, 2014). With this rate of information transmission, any oppression is noted and shown to the public, which has the power over anyone else.

Wu describes the speed at which technology is advancing. Here, he gives an example using Steve Jobs. When launching the iPod, Jobs launched three products in one. These include: iPod with touch controls, breakthrough internet communication device and revolutionary mobile phone (Wu, 2012). Technology is moving at this speed. With fast internet, people can communicate easily and clearly. With the launching of these products, employment was created. From the sales person in New York, to the retailer somewhere in Africa, all benefit from three products. The cost of communication also reduces as people can use internet to connect which is easier.

Internet has fulfilled the promise of better life. This is through making communication affordable. However, as gadgets are modified to improve lives, a new problem is created. The environment has been negatively affected by the modification of gadgets to improve the internet as well as the digital media. When a new technology is launched, people rush and buy the new product. The new product in many cases is an improvement of the previous product. Therefore, with the new gadget, the old one becomes outdated. It, therefore, has to be dumped. Dumping of these electronics pollutes the environment. The materials do not decay hence at times they are burned. When burnt, they produce smoke, which contains CO2 hence causing air pollution and contributing to global warming (Behar et al., 2008).

Digital media together with the internet has helped bring equality in the society. A few decades ago, only the high and mighty had the capacity to influence many people. They hence took this as an opportunity to exploit others. Today, things are a bit different. With social media and digital media, anyone can influence thousands or even millions of people. In twitter, people who are not even famous can attract more than five million followers. It only requires one to be creative and be appealing to the audience. By posting a good video on YouTube, one can attract more than a million viewers. This way, even the less known have been given power to influence people (Galor & Weil, 2000). Through this, equality has been achieved in some areas though much more has to be done.

According to Barseghian (2011), digital media has helped create a global citizenship. This has been made possible by the effects of globalization. Globalization is the exchange of knowledge, ideas, culture, and technology among people of the world. Today, what happens in China is known in America almost immediately. Knowledge developed in America is easily and fast shared with people from other parts of the world. Digital media has effectively changed the fashion world. Today, most youths are influenced by the America’s youths. This is in terms of how they talk, walk, and dress. This is supported by the common trends of clothing (Galor & Weil, 2000). This has been made possible by digital media. People take videos and pictures and post them on internet or they get their way in TV stations in fashions shows. From here, many other people follow the trend and eventually, the culture of people is interfered with. Some cultures did not allow wearing of short dresses. However, this is outdated as many youths from this culture have defied such rules and have adopted new styles of doing things. With digital media, people in Europe know what is happening in Asia almost immediately. If it is an act that denies people their rights, many people from different countries protest in solidarity with the affected people. This has helped in creating a global citizenship.

The education sector has not been spared. Today, students can install software into their computers or phones that can aid them in studying. For a long time, video games have been a menace to the education sector. Students have been using the media for entertainment alone forgetting to work on schoolwork. This resulted in a drop in performance in school and a solution had to be found. The solution is to use the same media for school purposes. School programs have been installed and stored as software where students use them for studies. Internet on the other hand has both positive and negative effects. The internet has a lot of information. Students spend most of their free time on the internet. However, in most cases, they do not use the internet for useful purposes. The internet has made pornographic materials more accessible while other vices such as peer pressure are also high. These factors have negatively affected the education sector. Nevertheless, there has been more good attributed to the internet than harm is. With internet, digital books are available. This, therefore, means that students or any other person can access the books at the comfort of their rooms at home.

Social media is the one factor that has been able to touch on all areas of life. It has influenced the society both, socially and economically. Today, most companies run their marketing programs through social media. Most companies have accounts on twitter and pages in facebook. On this two, they post their ads and potential customers are attracted and may end up buying. The social media has also opened up an opportunity for the company and clients to interact. Here, critics commend the companies for a good work while also give negative criticism when they feel that the company has not done enough. Money transfer through the digital media has also made life easier.

Politically, the social media has had great influence. A few decades ago, politicians would only meet their supporters through rallies. However, today, leaders use the social media to address their supporters. Governments also have adopted the use of social media in informing of various issues in government. Countries have also come to stand-offs because of high levels of cybercrime. Cybercrime is a serious offence and different countries have experts who day and night try to hack into other countries security systems. This has had political implications as countries approach each other in suspicion.

Socially, digital media has successfully turned around people’s lives. People used to date differently. Today, there are dating sites where people market themselves and from here, couples are formed. A number of years ago, people used to write each other letters and post them via post offices. With phones, it has become easy. Text messages and sites such as WhatsApp have also influenced how people relate. With digital media, people who are in different continents can today communicate using media such as Skype (Barseghian, 2011). People today are in touch with their friends and relatives almost every hour. Using the social sites, privacy has been reduced. Today, people post very intimate opinions and facts about their lives and those of others. Some people have found themselves hard pressed for posting some things, which to others were abusive or racially discriminative.


Digital media has revolutionized the world we are living in. clear messages can now be sent no matter the form they in. videos are taken and uploaded to the net and in a few minutes, more than a hundred thousand people have viewed it. The internet has also had great influence on people lives. The pitfalls have not been left aside as well. Digital media and internet have had a fair share of negative impacts to the society. However, the kept promises surpass the pitfalls. As a result, the two are continually being improved so that they can continue transforming the lives of people.

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