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New Media on Society

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New Media on Society

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Introduction

The society is made up of different social, political, and economic structures that contribute to the well-being of individuals. These structures serve different goals towards the success and sustainability of the society. Media is one of the social structures that play an integral part in the society. It helps educates and informs the public on issues affecting the society. On the other hand, the society is constructed through different political regimes. These regimes include authoritarian and democratic. Each of these systems has different influence to the society with each having positive and negative impacts. Besides, these political systems also impact on other social systems such as the media. This paper will discuss the society and new media.

        The advent of technology in the 19th century has resulted to broad dynamism in the society. Technology has been integrated into different fields of social, political, and economic spheres. Integration of technology into mass media has resulted to an end in analogue media and propagating the incoming of the new media (Curran & Hesmondhalgh, 2019). New media is an umbrella-term that involves different mass media technologies. It involves technologies such as blogs, wiki, emails, websites, mobile devices, podcast, video games, and interactive televisions among others. These new elements of media have revolution different aspects of the society. They have generated social change in life style patterns, shaped culture, information collection and distribution, and participation in social avenues among others (Nicoleta, 2014). It shapes our interactions, experiences, and institutions.

        New media is a terminology used to refer to those digital channels of communication that involve the use of internet and technology whereby they allow to two-way communication. It is a transformed way through which the society receives and produces content. It makes it easier for individuals to interact and share opinions through a two-way dialogue. As opposed to old media, new media is highly interactive. In old media there was one-flow of communication while since the advent of technology and its incorporation to the old media it has result to high levels of interpersonal communications. Individuals can engage in group discussions and social networks can as well be built. Social media connects people both locally and globally. This widens the scope of reach and interactions among individuals within the society. Through the advent of technology, the society is greatly transforming from the traditional aspects of life to modern way.

        The shift from the old media to new modes of communication has greatly impacted on the society. These impacts are felt both positively and negatively depending on the society make use of new media outlets. Some percentage of the society use new outlets for the growth and well of the society while others use it to impact negatively on the society (Anduiza et al, 2012). Social media is one of the new media outlets that have impacted both positively and negatively to the society. For instance, social media has resulted to political activism, humanitarian rights movement, and freedom of expression among others. They have led to social, political and economic transformation. On the other hand, it has negatively impacted on society whereby they have caused the spread of violence.

                Digital technology is has powerful influence to political, social, and economic institutions within the society. It is greatly changing our political scene in terms of political campaigns, political activism, joining political party, and political participation (Khondker, 2011). In new media, individuals’ don’t experience gatekeeping barriers. Instead of powerful media outlets have exclusive control of what is communicated to the public and being the sole gatekeepers, new media has revolutionized these old media communication strategies (Curran & Hesmondhalgh, 2019). Individuals are exclusively in control of their opinions, expressions, and criticisms towards governmental institutions. These criticisms are important blocks to a functional democracy.

         Different scholars have brought on board various theories that argue the relationship between new media and the society. According to the social network theory, the society is made of nodes and ties whereby nodes are individual actors within the network while ties are relationships between actors (Merchant, 2012). Individuals can easily interact with one another and make circulation of information to be easy. According to the two-step flow of communication hypothesis which argued that mass media initially influenced opinion leaders who later influenced their social contacts, social networking works through this hypothesis. Individuals in this case nodes act as a link to other individuals who have close relationships (Amanda et al, 2017). New media technologies such as social media, blogs, and pod casts among others work through the social networking theory. Individuals act as links to others who are links to other publics. The ability to reach out to contacts within a network makes individuals to be influential. Through this theory, spread of information within the society is easy as compared to the old media.

        The incoming of new media has increased the arena of free speech. The public have fundamental rights to expression and speech as compared to edge of old media. Individuals have been granted cyber-democracy whereby they have been made producers and consumers of content simultaneously (Couldry, 2012). Due to expansion in freedom of expression, public civil life has broadened. Members of the public can engage different social, economic, and political elements freely. Individuals can post to political leaders social accounts. Members of the public have used this avenue to help in sustainable growth of the society.

        New media has provided a cheap avenue of people to interact with their leaders. In the old society, individuals would travel physically to attend political rallies and debates. People can sit at their comfort place and learn about their political party progress. Social media has positively contributed to the growth of political communication (Loader & Mercea, 2011). Through Facebook and Twitter accounts, citizens can give their criticism and feedback. These responses are in return used to build and strengthen the citizen-leaders relationships. Political leaders can actively carry out political campaigns effectively. In the current century, politicians are heavily relying on new media to carry out their campaigns (Anduiza et al, 2012). For instance, during the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, he used social media to run his campaigns. During the old media, two-way communication between political leaders and citizens was limited to a few individuals who had resources to attend rallies and debates. Blogs are other new media outlets that have been used heavily for political communication. Different political leaders have blogs that inform the public of their manifestos and achievements (Loader & Mercea, 2011). As compared to old media which provided citizens with little scope of interaction, new media has increased the scope of political participation. Members of the public can directly communicate their ideas opinions to political leaders without the use of a third party agent.

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