Media has come a long way since the time when the Lumiere brothers lit up screens with the first ever movie. Ever since that hallmark event, there have been many changes in the media industry. From radio to television and internet today, there has been innovation in every step of this journey that the media industry has taken over the course of the last few decades. The changing forms of media have always signaled a difference in the attitudes of people and their way of looking at things and life. This has been reflected in the changes in media habits that have governed these time frames. A better understanding of the changes in the habits of media in different eras can be highlighted by looking at these eras differently for they all have some characteristic differences and peculiarities.
The Age of Radio
A major wave in the media industry came with radio around 1894. This was the first time that information could be broadcasted to such a large number of people at the same time. The success of Radio lay in the fact that it was quick and easily transmittable. For an audience that knew no other form of mass communication, this was a God send. However for a long time radio was used in a very basic manner for the transmission of important messages and news. It is only a lot later that radio became a form of entertainment and became used for transmitting music and eventually advertisements. While radio died down as a form of entertainment with the coming of televisions in the early 1900’s. However today we see a revival of the radio with many new radio stations that offer new age entertainment and music, thus finding an audience with the youth.
The Age of Television
What can be considered the biggest boon to the media industry came with the television in the early 1900’s. To the many people who refer to it as the ‘idiot box’ a reality check will ensure that they agree that television is definitely a big force to reckon with. It is one of the greatest inventions of modern time which continues to innovate and charm users till this date. With television, media became a lot more personal. While radio allowed people to hear voices and connect with them, television facilitated the combination of auditory and visual stimuli at the same time. For the first time, people were able to see and hear about places and people that previously they could only imagine. What started as the news soon transformed into many forms of entertainment through movies, music and soaps- all of which are a part of regular life today. Media through the television has played a big part in reducing and blurring boundaries between countries as no more did people not know what was going on from place to place. With the help of giant satellites people could get anything beamed into their own living rooms, from wars in the middle east to cricket matches in England- all at the click of a button. This signaled the arrival of new age media which was in your face and direct. Today this form of media has changed and morphed into a different entity altogether with reality television which takes reality into a different dimesion altogether. The trend of reality television as we see it today reduces all boundries and removes all notions of privacy catering to the voyeur that exists in every individual. This is the changing form of media in its most raw form.
The Age of the Internet
While radio and television have been great change harbingers, nothing can fathom the power of media as evident through the coming of the internet. What started as a simple communication tool in the form of emails has today taken a larger than life form that is growing each day. The age of the internet is one which not only reduces but removes all barriers or boundaries that existed between individuals and countries. No more is there any difference between someone sitting in New York and New Delhi for they both probably have the same coffee for breakfast, the same salad for lunch and the same pasta for dinner. This has been achieved through the power of the media, of not only transmitting information but transferring cultures from one place to another. The internet has enabled us to not only study about different places and different cultures but it has enabled us to live them, in every sense of the term. This is the changing face of the media today which has nothing impersonal about it. Social Networking is the flavor of the season. With all the Facebook updates and Twitter tweets, one is left wondering what is private anymore. Nothing is hidden and everything and everyone is accessible at all possible times and situations. This is the face of media today- one of constant change and dynamism, filled with excitement and that is truly indefinable as it changes evolves every single day.
The beauty of Media lies in the fact that there is nothing about it that can be fixed and certain. Never can we reach a stage from where media cannot evolve or be enhanced. It is only thing a form of expression that continues to find new facets of expression with each coming age and that is the only thing constant about this ever changing industry- its ability to never stay constant.