New media and its accomplice, technology has various forms operating in the new media era. New media as we have got to know is mainly about the two-way communication that it offers. There are various forms of this two-way communication and in this article, we will touch on the various forms of new media and its features as well including its benefits and limitations.
There are many forms of new media which includes the internet, streaming videos and audios, e-mail and website, online communities – social networks, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digital cameras, DVD/CD ROM, internet devices, mapping devices and digital animation. The internet is a network of computers that are interconnected and people are able to interact with loved ones who are very far through the internet. Africans are able to know the happenings in Asia through the internet. Streaming videos and audios are the various platforms that have made it possible for people to get access to varieties of videos and audios. Example of these platforms include podcast which allows people to upload audio contents and people are able to access these contents, YouTube, Tiktok are also video contents platforms that have different kinds of video contents there. Ranging from entertainment, sports, funny skits, education, tutorials and any kind of video one might be looking for on these platforms. E-mail and website is also another form of new media which have made it possible for larger organizations to get in touch with their heterogeneous customers and audiences. This is why organizations today have their own website and do not solely depend on the traditional media anymore, they are able to broadcast their products information to a large number of people through electronic mails.
There are also online communities thus social networks which is the basis of the prosumer. These social networks we normally refer to as the social media have made it possible for people to establish networks with people who they have not even met in reality. People are now citizen journalists through the incidences they capture and upload to the various social networking sites and the traditional media sometimes pick stories from these citizen journalists. There is also Virtual Reality (VR) which has made it possible for people to have experiences beyond what nature has provided. The fantasies and the scenes that are not existing in this world is the handiworks of virtual reality. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is even dominating now as AI has been bringing a lot of ideas into life. AI is able to impersonate top figures, and do what humans are not able to. Media scholars have predicted that in the near future, humans would have no handiworks since artificial intelligence might be taking over all tasks.
There are digital cameras that captures magnificent photos that are extraordinary. Technology have made it possible to add these cameras to some smartphones like IPhones and people are enjoying it. There are mapping devices which are able to direct people to wherever they want to go. Mapping devices like google maps and GPS applications are all used for map indications. Finally, with the forms of new media, there is also the digital animation which has made it possible for cartoons and other animated films to be showed on our screens and mobile devices.
New media has certain characteristics or features which makes it distinct from the traditional or old media. There are six basic features of new media; interactivity, hyper-textual, digital, virtual, networked and simulation. These are the features that exhibits the signs of the new media era.
The interactivity feature has made it possible for users to create contents on the internet whiles consuming the contents of others. Thus consumers have become prosumers. There is also the participatory culture where users are able to participate in online discussions through the two-way communication. With this, feedbacks are always taken unlike the era of traditional media where communication was one-way. The hyper-textual feature of new media has made it possible for normal texts to be linked to another information. Have you noticed the texts that are sometimes highlighted and when followed up, leads the user to another window or content? Those texts are hyperlinked and therefore are hyper-textual.
The digital feature has made it easier for information to be processed and transmitted with ease and at a faster rate. Digitalization has paved way for different media formats to be merged into a single content. Example is having texts, images and videos in a single content but previously, texts were for newspapers, images for magazines and videos for television. The virtual feature of new media has made it easier for people to present themselves online just like face-to-face interaction. There are platforms that provides video call functions like Skype, Zoom and some of the social networking sites. New media is also networked in the sense that; users are now able to interact globally with ease. An Asian is able to get in touch with an Arab despite the global distance and that is through the global village networking has created. The last feature of new media which is simulation provides an immersive experience which is beyond virtual. People are able to involve themselves in a virtual world where they see real creatures as if they are real. That is the simulated function of new media and technology.
There are lots of benefits of this new media as most of its features seem helpful and interesting. With the help of new media, everyone including the uneducated are able to access information on the internet, there have been more options for communication as well, the various media and content producers are able to get instant feedback from their audience and news is now immediate as compared to how news used to be outdated in the era of the traditional media.
Despite the benefits, there are some limitations ordisadvantages to these benefits. There is so much competition on the internet today since everyone wants to be seen and become famous in the global village, people’s privacy is not guaranteed anymore, there are lots of inappropriate information being carried across on the internet nowadays and many people have become so much addicted to the internet which poses a health risk especially mental risk.
Every invention has it pros and cons, we can make good use of new media and ignore the bad side.
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