Media Mutations

In today’s world the internet and technology is changing the way humanity lives. As Lev Manovich

describes, society is interacting “with a gigantic, global, not well organized, constantly expanding and changing information cloud in a very different way” (Manvich, 2009, p.1), to anything society has previously known. During this shift to technology and internet use a way to track and visualize global digital cultures needs to be found, so they are not lost during the shift to life online.

With the lifestyle shift to becoming online, “there is no doubt that technology has brought about a change in content consumption and cultural experiences” (Yáñez, Okada and Palau, 2015, p. 97). Because of this change it is important to try and understand how and why such changes are occurring. Lev Manvich (2009) demonstrates how humanities scholars are now using technology to their advantage, just as different forms of science has done (Manvich, 2009, p.11). Organisations like Humanities High-Performance Computing or HHPC, “offers the humanist opportunities to sort through, mine, and better understand and visualize” (Manvich, 2009, p.11) data of “historical newspapers, books, election data, archaeological fragments, audio or video contents” (Manvich, 2009, p.11).). For this reason, the internet can provide a lot more information to researchers faster, without having to go out and make the effort to find it. Therefore provides culture information to someone who isn’t remotely near the cultural existence themselves.

Global digital cultures will continue to evolve as society adapts and uses technology and the internet as a part of everyday life. It is therefore important to try and find ways to measure how the internet is affecting cultures. There may not be a solution as to how to observe these changes, but through the use of measuring quantitative analysis taken from website statistics, and observing the changes that are happening for cultures worldwide due to technological advancements might be the key to seeing how cultures evolve (Manvich, 2009). But an important aspect to take into consideration is the exposure of different cultures individuals can get with a quick Google search (Manvich, 2009), and how the findings may encourage or discourage global internet users to continue searching.

A possible solution might be to keep quantitative data of from what countries individuals are from that visit websites, interactions on social media and blogs, once again tracking the user’s origin and a record of internet browsing and search histories, but this then becomes a privacy issue. Records of such things might grow a pattern within them, which is important to gain further understanding.

In conclusion, new ways of thinking and theory development need to be made when trying a way to track and visualise global digital cultures. And this will only grow more important as life using technology evolves.

References:

Manovich, L, 2009, ‘How to follow global digital cultures, or cultural analytics for beginners’, Deep Search: They Politics of Search beyond Google.

Yáñez, C, Okada, A, & Palau, R 2015, ‘New learning scenarios for the 21st century related to Education, Culture and Technology’, RUSC: Revista De Universidad Y Sociedad Del Conocimiento, 12, 2, pp. 87–102

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