The lonered symbol on the keypad of a Nokia.
10 years ago it was used at the end of a pin code, now it is the start of a code—a trend.
After dinner the whole family hover around the television, each claimed their ‘spot’ on the couch waiting for the clock to flicker over to 7:00pm—Neighbours was on.
In today’s society, this culture—now present in the memories of the past—is no longer the norm, replaced by the constant buzzing of our phones and the nagging of round the clock jobs. After dinner, it is now a common sight for people to turn to their laptops to live stream their favourite sitcom or to retreat to their rooms to create youtube videos. The couch is no longer filled with the family presence but abandoned leaving only a single tumbleweed in some households. (OK, maybe not to that extent but you get the picture!)
Thus a sign of convergence.
This shift in society and culture of Australians in the 1980’s—the precence of a new message— had gone unnoticed as an influence of technology allowing audiences to become active— the medium. Therefore, it is not the content of the technology that is the message as previously thought, it is infact the active actions of society due to the change in medium.
It is now the dawn of an era where the typically labeled ‘consumer’ becomes the ‘prosumer’, actively producing their own media and exposing it to the world on new emerging media platforms that are easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection (hello wifi!).
We’ve all seen the posts pop up on facebook, youtube and wattapad where ordinary people just like you and I create something extraordinary. Hence providing an outlet for prosumers to participate in the growing culture that is the digital age.
The digital age has had as much impact on the world as did the industrial revolution where new machinery replaced the prosperity of jobs and now digital has replaced analog.
This shift from analog to digital marks a pivotal moment in history were content is able to flow across multiple platforms unlike its previously tethered position on specific channels-convergence. This accessibility provides the now prosumer an opportunity to relay their own perspective on the same information.
The audience then has a substantial impact on the content as they are no longer rendered as passive; subjected to absorbing information without an outlet to voice their opinion to the world or likeminded individuals. Now, the audience is active where sharing, commenting or posting is a common attribute to everyday life.
Controling information now, seems somewhat out of reach.
With audience’s now given the ability to create, edit and share content the government and major industries no longer have the power to censor content—thus the proposed act of using metadata as a means of surveillance.
Consequently, due to the wide range of technologies and communications, it has altered the way that the world is perceived in many eyes as it is no longer a one sided affair where one person is photoshopped onto a green screen telling the audience what the big guys want them to hear. We as a collective have an opinion, a voice for reason to argue our side of the story, investigate deeper or to create things that were previously unimaginable with the passive audience mentality. The medium is the message.
Here lies a new chapter.
The active audience.
Gunelius.S, 2010, The shift from CONsumers to PROsumers, 7 March, viewed 12 March 2015 <http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/07/03/the-shift-from-consumers-to-prosumers/>
Introduction: ‘Worship at the Altar of Convergence” A new paradigm for understanding Media Change,New York University Press, New York, pp. 1-24) http://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf
Movius. L, 2002, Cultural globalization and challenges to traditional communication theories, University of Sothern California, USA, pp. 7-16 <http://journals.culture-communication.unimelb.edu.au/platform/resources/includes/vol2_1/PlatformVol2Issue1_Movius.pdf>