A Divisive Future

The future of media and journalism –particularly in the western nations – has two very plausible futures. Either the new forms of “social” media will replace the current corporations and adopt the same type of practices as the current media corporations, or the west will adopt “streaming” as the primary source of media and do away entirely with any semblance of professionalism.


Everything goes on cycles, this is a matter of fact that is consistent throughout the universe. This is particularly true for any phenomena that are subject to human nature. As every nation has risen and fallen based upon the hubris of man, companies are subject to the same factors. People like power, and one of the easiest ways to gain power in the modern world is through money. There is a strong possibility that YouTube and Facebook will become nothing more than simple media companies in the future that will adopt a standard rating system in the future and regulate content based on advertisements being shown to as many eyeballs as possible. This is something that can be extended to journalism as well. Situations such as the censorship on YouTube make it clear that this shift is already occurring.
What many people don’t realize is that these platforms are still very young in the grand scheme of media, therefore what may seem cool and revolutionary at first is statistically likely to succumb to the same persuasions as the “old media”. Time is the ultimate judge of all of this, therefore only time will tell.


Another separate, yet connected possibility is that the future of media will be nothing but “social” media. Journalism and media personalities will no longer be a “professional” area. It is likely with the rapid advancement of technology and the constant presence of smartphones and tablets throughout the globe that it will simply become too easy for people to broadcast themselves, therefore there will be no use in paying somebody a salary for the sake of doing as the job that anybody capable of entering a contract with a mobile company is capable of doing. Streaming may become the standard medium for news and entertainment.

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This becomes particularly salient when the current media situation in China is taken into account. Streaming has gotten so popular in China that many people believe that it is due to implode with declining views and decreasing overall interest. A massive population coupled together with any type of device that is capable of streaming a live video appears to naturally lead to an environment where streaming is the dominant media source. Although this is merely anecdotal evidence that is based on only one case study and is also a case proving that streaming may ultimately fail, this still aligns cleanly with standard understandings of human dynamics, therefore still stands up to criticism. (Party may be over for China’s booming live streaming industry, 2017, December 20).


With both of these situations considered, there is also an obvious third possibility. It is very plausible that the modern “new media” will combine with the streamers and create an entirely new and unique media environment in which streamers are the ones that will be relied upon to generate eyeballs to be focused on advertisements. It will likely become the new standard. In 10 years people will likely look upon YouTube with semi-professional editing as old relics that are “retro” and “old school”. The media personalities that people turn to will be people with no notable skills apart from an agreeable personality. Social media has already created an environment where personality and influencers are a commodity, so why would this not be taken to its logical extreme? The world will become more superficially real while ironically becoming more fake at the same time. While everything will become less polished and have a façade of being extremely genuine, this will likely become the new mask that everybody wears. Instead of wearing a suit and tie and reading from a projector, people will mask their intentions with stutters and mispronounced words.


While this is a likely future, this is still nothing more than a thought experiment based on the current environment. If it was 1850, people would likely marvel at the possibility of faster horses. The world experiences growth that only becomes more exponential, therefore there is no way to predict what the future may bring. The only thing that people can do is look at the current situation and hope for a future that is better than the present. The excitement always lies in the anticipation. When the future becomes the present, people may live in a media environment that could not have been predicted by the greatest prognostication

References:

Party may be over for China’s booming live streaming industry. (2017, December   20). Retrieved April 04, 2018, from          http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2124662/chinas-booming-      live-streaming-industry-may-have-reached-its-peak

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