Digital History Essay

1038 words - 5 pages

Digital History focuses on the period from 1880 -1920 as leading the rise of mass communication, with the introduction of the mass market newspapers. Advertising became popular in the late 1800s, as photography, radio, and movies became part of the mainstream media. Marconi introduced wireless communications in 1895, which lead to commercial radio broadcasting in 1920 and television broadcasts in 1939. However, with the rise of mass media, other issues developed as well, because the tracking and monitoring of people became that much easier. Bentham famously believed that publicity was the key to truth. His ideal was a panoptic universe, where all in the world would believe themselves to be constantly observed, listened to, and monitored (…). Bentham felt that claims to privacy were no more real or substantial than claims to natural rights, which he despised as pernicious fictions. Publicity was the key to truth and human happiness. Nowadays, we are becoming more familiar with the darker side of the panopticon. Another great example of technologies and mass emdia development are seen in the fictional surveillance state of George Orwell’s 1984, or Huxley’s Great New World. Now actually brought to life, it gave us issues such as the surveillance states in Eastern Europe in the second half of the last century. Many people believe that the relentless advance of science and technology in mass media in the recent decades has endangered privacy and brought us to the very brink of this Orwellian nightmare. Technological “progress” may be, at the same time and perhaps more fundamentally, retrogressive from the standpoint of civilization (…). There are five ways in which the development of the mass media can help us to see the downside of technological change: The effects mass media technologies on society, the issues of digital databases in mass media and the future of privacy in mass media. Specifically, I shall argue how it is possible to obtain data through mass media without the consumer’s knowledge and what consequences this has for society.
Communication, and in particular the new forms of communication, depend today, more than ever, on the development of technology. The key concept is that social communication no longer depends exclusively on socio-political factors, such as freedom of speech, or even on economic factors linked to the market itself. The mass media have become a more and more modern communication business, which no longer stands for communication alone. The internet brought along a major development in tracking social activity. However, the internet is not the only one. Social tracking has seen a major up rise ever since the technological developments in any field. We nog longer use cash, but credit cards and pin passes. We are monitored by cameras everywhere. When we call we all do this through an agency, collecting every transmission thereof. Looking at The effects mass media technologies have on society, we see the impact is...

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