‘The extension of any one sense displaces the other senses and alters the way we think, the way we see the world and ourselves, when these changes are made, men change.’ – Marshal McLuhan
In the latter half of the 20th century, the world began to change. As technology advanced, almost every form of traditional media was converted to an online experience. According to McLuhan, these sorts of changes, would change humanity. This change of course being: the digital revolution, the progression that sparked the information age which expanded the world of media as we know it. With these great advances in technology, the power of the media could be said to have been handed over to the masses as more and more members of the public embarked online to contribute their say to an online public sphere seemingly accessible to all – however how in control of our media are we? After partaking in the digital detox and realising how much media is passively taken in, I have been led to question who is in control? And is our constant immersion in a media filled world aiding humanity or constraining it?
With over three quarters of the world’s spending on advertising ending up in the pockets of 20 companies (McChesney, Robert 2001) it is easy to come to the conclusion that perhaps that same 20 companies are the ones who are in control, they are arguably the companies who decide what programmes we see, what music we hear and in general what media we are exposed to because of course, most of these large companies are ‘global oligopolies’ dominating the field. As well as these, McChesney narrows down these companies, stating that the global media market is dominated mainly by seven multinational conglomerates, such as Disney, News Corporation and Sony. This does not necessarily have to be a bad thing, in democracy, compared to the population only a small proportion control the laws, rights and regulations and this arguably works well. However McChesney frequently intertwines his observations of the media conglomerates with the ideas of Neoliberalism stating that ‘the centrepiece of neoliberal policies is invariably a call for commercial media […] to be deregulated […] to serve corporate interests’ suggesting that politics and media are working together in an arguably corrupt manner, using the general public to serve the best interests of corporations: consumerism.
As the digital revolution continues, it seems virtually impossible to go online for example, without seeing an advertisement. Whilst writing my media immersion journal, I noticed that a significant amount of the media I was exposed too during that period, were in fact advertisements. Mainly on websites such as YouTube and Facebook. In my Facebook news feed, I noticed several posts that had been ‘promoted’ meaning companies had paid for them to end up on the computer screens of the masses. As well as this, as soon as I tried to watch a video on YouTube that had a significant number of views, adverts would play...