New Beginnings from Old Endings

In this society we always seem to be headed in the direction of the next new thing. People seem to be always heading toward the future, but really what would the future be if there wasn’t a past? Technology and the evolution from old media to new media is an indication that without the past there would be no future for technology and without a future for technology there would be no future for society. Technology and society exist together and make our particular society possible. To develop something new there needs to be a base or something to develop from something to change, and improve upon. What would our lives be like without our relationship to technology?

Lev Manovich in “What is new media” the first chapter in his book The Language of New Media emphasizes the relationship between our society and technology. “The ability to disseminate the same texts, images and sounds to millions of citizens thus assuring that they will have the same ideological beliefs was as essential as the ability to keep track of their birth records, employment records, medical records, and police records . . . Mass media and data processing are the complimentary technologies of a modern mass society; they appear together and develop side by side, making this society possible” (46). Manovich informs us that the development of modern media and the development of computers began around the same time and for a long time both were parallel and developed toward the same direction without crossing paths however eventually these two trajectories merged and created what we now know as new media.


The Relationship between Technology and Society

What is the difference between old and new media? “Old media involved a human creator who manually assembled textual, visual, and/or audio elements into a particular composition or sequence. New Media, in contrast, is characterized by variability. Instead of identical copies a new media object typically gives rise to many different versions” (56). The concept of variability is what connects media technologies with social changes. “The principle of variability also exemplifies how, historically, the changes in media technologies are correlated with changes the social change” (60).

Our lives have been significantly changed with the development of technology. Think about all the things that we have access to just from our phones and our computers. We have an unlimited amount of information all at our fingertips. The news, weather and the latest fashion trends all available instantly. This is all made available from the evolution of technology. Everything has a past which essentially creates the endless possibilities for the future.

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