Blur: How did we get here?

JRM 215 Intro to Mass Communication

After reading the first three chapters of Blur, I started to see how important it is for us approach technology with a decent level of caution. It is prominent that media has evolved over the years, and that we are now more dependent on it when looking for information. Often, If I am having a conversation with someone and don’t know the answer to something, my first instinct is always to look at my phone. Whether that be Google, Wikipedia, or any other website that I don’t even know the name of– I automatically just assume the results are true. Before reading Blur, I had never given much thought to the credibility of what I was seeing online. But now I understand that what is portrayed isn’t always the big picture. It is our role as a consumer of media to filter what is true, and what isn’t.

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The first chapter that I read, titled “How To Know What To Believe Anymore” was important in highlighting that technology may not always be 100% accurate. This was an important concept to me, because this will undoubtedly change the role of media in the future. When something is new and shiny, nobody really takes the time to be skeptical. We are so fascinated by the media, that I feel as if we sometimes ignore the possibility that the very thing that we are so fascinated with is often edited and designed by a machine. In this citizen media culture, the responsibility now falls on us to determine what is true. I think that we should look at technology as an accessory, it helps to enhance our lives instead of define it.

The third chapter of the book also had information that really resonated with me. In this chapter titled “We Have Been Here Before”, it helps explain how we got to this point in history. The timeline of events includes everything from cave drawings, to the telegraph, and now modern digital technology. This aspect was interesting in regards to how the role of technology is going to evolve and change over time. It helps point out that media hasn’t necessarily evolved over night, but that it has been slowly growing decade after decade. I had never really thought of the growth of information as a gradual process, I kind of just assumed that it had happened over night.

When we look back on how far technology has come, I can completely understand how we often get distracted by all of the vast possibilities that the media brings. We often take for granted the unlimited information that is available to us , at any moment of the day. Now that the power of media lies within the individual, I believe that it is now our responsibility to monitor what may or may not be credible. It is important to encourage free speech, so that one person’s viewpoint doesn’t become the “norm”. We are often encouraged to be “ourselves” online, but yet are criticized for saying something that goes against the grain. Technology allows us to receive and connect in many amazing ways, but we must also remain informed and somewhat cautious consumers in this age of information overload.

 

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