Friday, December 3, 2010

The Perfect Storm - Part 8

The Fourth Media Age is heavily influenced by the philosophy of postmodernism. Where modernism had answers in science, postmodernism says there are no answers or absolutes. And no one belief system can explain the origins or meaning of life. Your truth or your understanding is only relevant to you and may not work for others. This philosophy has been thoroughly embraced by every form of media in the past few years. Where the Third Media Age may have had a clearly antiChristian bias, this age is more than willing to accept Christian philosophy. The problem is that Christianity is being blended into every other world philosophy or world religion.

Since postmodernism teaches there are no absolute truths, you are left in a position to pick and choose. In other words, create your own philosophy or theology that works for you. Could we be in the process of creating a new gospel, a new form of Christianity? Could that be the ultimate outcome of the Fourth Media Age?

It’s impossible not to talk about the impact that the DVD player has had in this age. The DVD player is the world’s most successful electronic device to date. It has revolutionized the way we watch movies. Its development caused a massive explosion in home video. Some studios decided to bypass theatrical distribution and go straight to video. This has lead to an increase in production of hundreds of films yearly that otherwise would not have been produced. Today, the average person will view at least 40 movies per year. That number is substantially higher for those under the age of 25. Movies have become a part of the fabric of life.

Another major development of this age is social networking. We have a need to connect. But the very thing we seek, we may lose. This new technology may be having the opposite affect. It’s allowing us the opportunity to stay behind the keyboard and create the kind of message that we want to communicate to others. We can be whoever we want to be without ever having to face an individual. In this new world, we are in total control. It allows us to have social contact without really communicating.

It is just like Marshall McLuhan said in his book, Understanding Media, the Extensions of Man. McLuhan believed the medium was the message. He stated that television would have consequences and would change behavior patterns in ways we would not understand for years. In the same way, social media and the technologies of the internet will also have consequences that we do not understand today.

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