For our generation, convergence has become normality in the technological sphere which could position us as either the cleverest generation or the laziest. Convenience is everything these days. It seems that greater the functionality of a device, the more fondly it is perceived. An example of this is the mobile phone. This device – coming from humble beginnings – now goes far beyond the ability to make a phone call. The reality is, these devices are now considered a central information hub for consumers.
I read a surprisingly relevant Tweet by Megan Fox (2012) this week which stated:
We live in a society where losing our phone is more dramatic than loosing our virginity
With the increasing convergence and convenience of technology, comes the increasing importance of these items, which go far beyond your average telephone call. Personally, my phone is my central mobile web surfing device, my music player, my internet banking device, my photo gallery, my USB stick, my camera, my calendar, my GPS system, my address book, my social media hub, and I occasionally use it for a phone call.
However technological devices are not only undergoing convergence, they are also facilitating it. This circulation of media content—across different media systems, competing media economies, and national borders—depends heavily on consumers’ active participation. Henry Jenkins (2006) makes an interesting point in stating that each of us constructs our own personal mythology from bits and fragments of information extracted from the media ﬂow and transformed into resources through which we make sense of our everyday lives. When reading this, the first concept that came to mind was the Encoding/Decoding Model of Communication. Producers of content acting as the ‘sender’, encode a message with meaning, however the decoding of these meanings is highly influenced by the noise and the personal field of experience of the receiver. Having said this, the emergence of convergence has caused the distinctions between the sender and receiver in this model to become blurred with the surfacing of ‘produsers’ – the convergence of the ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’.
So having noted how convergence has heightened technological experience, increased importance of devices and shortened words; which side of the clever/lazy argument are you on?
Deuze, M. (2007) Convergence culture in the creative industries, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 10/2, 243-263.
Jenkins, H. (2004) The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7/1, 33-43.
Jenkins, H. (2006). ‘Worship at the altar of convergence: A new paradigm for understanding media change’. In H. Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press. [URL:http://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf].
Megan Fox 2012, Twitter, accessed 31/08/2012, https://twitter.com/ReaIMeganFox.