Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Four media technologies that can be found in almost every modern household

Communicating in the modern day world is a great deal easier than it was even 50 years ago. There are several new technologies that have reshaped communication, such as cellular phones, fax machines, e-mail, and television. These devices and others like it are referred to as media technology.

When most people try to imagine what it was like before cell phones, they cannot even remember such an inconvenient time ever existing in their history. No longer hindered by proximity, callers can have conversations anywhere they would like, and often do despite how it might annoy others who might be forced into overhearing private calls. Cell phones are intended for personal and business use; therefore the audience for them is not target-specific. "In fact, in many countries, cellular telephones are more popular than traditional land-line telephones," (Roebuck, 2001, p. 256). The difference between a land-line and a cell phone is that a cell phone can be taken anywhere, whereas a land-line is stuck at home.
Fax machines convey information over phone lines as well, just in a less ephemeral way than cellular phones. Memos and other necessary documents can be quickly transmitted to whoever requests them. Fax machines may appear to be a dying breed of media technology in the new world of e-mail and scanners, but they do serve a purpose. Offices that cannot afford internet or need a hard-copy form of a document can rely on a fax machine, especially because the sender also receives a confirmation that their message was sent successfully, (Roebuck, 2001, p. 257). The audience intended for fax machines would be primarily businesses, but they can certainly appeal to people who wish to maintain a small office in their own home.

E-mail is the quickest way to send an informal memo or message. A message can be sent to someone thousands of miles away with the mere click of mouse. Seconds later, the receiver is opening their virtual mail and reading the message. The only problem with email is that unreliable internet connections can garble a message or even stop it from being sent. Another downside to email is that, unlike a fax machine, there are no confirmations for the sender to feel confident of their message's arrival. The internet has opened up plenty of new media technologies to utilize, but e-mail is by far the most universal.
Television has created a unifying effect as well, because if there is a disaster, the public will know about it within hours or even minutes with a live 'news-breaking broadcast'. News stations keep their viewers informed not only on disasters and weather predictions, but other stories such as ways to solve credit issues. Television shows and movies provide entertainment for the masses, with the quality shows and movies providing insight into culture and possibly even humanity. Each individual news station, show, and movie is geared towards a specific target audience. For example, the HBO show "Sex and the City" most likely has a target audience of 18-49 year old females who enjoy sardonic comedy and have a keen fashion sense.
Media technology changes with each generation. In ten years, the new media technologies will probably amaze and further the convenience of mobile communication.
Roebuck, B., D. (2001).Improving Business Communication Skills[3rd Ed.]. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

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