New media is a catch-all term used for various kinds of electronic communications that are conceivable due to innovation in computer technology. In contrast to “old” media, which includes newspapers, magazines, books, television and other such non-interactive media, new media is comprised of websites, online video/audio streams, email, online social platforms, online communities, online forums, blogs, Internet telephony, Web advertisements, online education and much more.
The rise of new media has increased communication between people all over the world and the Internet. It has allowed people to express themselves through blogs, websites, videos, pictures, and other user-generated media.
New media are forms of media that are computational and rely on computers for redistribution. Some examples of new media are computer animations, computer games, human-computer interfaces, interactive computer installations, websites, and virtual worlds. New media are often contrasted to "old media", such as television, radio, and print media, although scholars in communication and media studies have criticized inflexible distinctions based on oldness and novelty. New media does not include analog broadcast television programmes, feature films, magazines, or books – unless they contain technologies that enable digital generative or interactive processes.
As people spanning generations, as well as history, will attest, in every era some things would be dying out. Manners, styles of art and politics, assumptions about the aim of life or the nature of man and of the universe change as inevitably as fashions in dress. If specific faiths and forms are considered good by a generation that grew up to value them, that generation will experience at their passing a legitimate feeling of loss. After all, the very notion of change implies the notion of loss. These periodic changes are brought about by a variety of factors, of which the media is one. For long, the traditional media has contributed significantly to the transformation in cultural norms, traditions, and values in a society. These days, in the age of globalisation, the new media has lent its considerable support to that same outcome. We will concentrate on the new media's impact on the state of culture and values in Bangladeshi society.
The Internet, websites, CD-ROMs, DVDs, computer multimedia, and video games, and other electronic devices and outlets are the major manifestations of the new media. These days, most forms of culture are disseminated through the new media. This phenomenon has been facilitated substantially by the new media having been able to fundamentally sever the link between physical location and social place, thereby making physical place far less important for social relationships. The new media has become the cybernetic control device, ostensibly egalitarian with the apparent democratisation of the creation, distribution, and consumption of media content, but really with the buttons of the control device lying firmly under the fingers of the media lords of the manor of the global village. Importantly, that control takes in the social media, too.
It is difficult to imagine that the origins of social media are heavily intertwined with the purpose of matchmaking, specifically matrimonial sites. Small wonder then that the YouTube we know and love today had a completely different agenda when it was first conceived. The founders built it as an online dating website where a bio-data would be uploaded in the form of short videos inspired by 'Hot or Not', further reinforcing the fact that the first-generation social networking mind-set was specifically based on romantic partnership. Thankfully, those days are behind us. Social media now has different purposes and different outlets which we are free to subscribe to. People obviously do not look for romance on LinkedIn. Shadi.com came at a time when considering outlets like Facebook and Twitter in the same tier of intellectual necessity as education was unimaginable.
With the influx of digitalised ways of expressing, people are creating new dimensions to the definition of socialising. Even when we meet a friend in person, we want to share something online that struck our interest. A person's interest in things acts somewhat like a thumbnail of their personality. So, instead of sharing encoded sentences with feelings that we can speak out loud, we find links to some shockingly relevant content, such as 9gag and UniLad. And the scary part of this is that these posts tend to float on our homepage, saving people the trouble of having to look for them.
Online socializing is extremely accessible. We all know that comment sections are essentially opinion blogs for many users, and the memes are a vital part of that too. It's just how we socialize and communicate in 2018. It could very well be that our current vocabulary just isn't enough to convey what we wish to express online. The social media has come under a lot of criticism, but it has its merits, like allowing people to form friendships, and individuals to advertise themselves, besides making the Internet democratic. The point is that the new media has changed the behaviour pattern of at least a section of Bangladeshis.
The new media signifies, at its very core, the immediate access to information on any digital gadget anywhere and at any time. It also indicates interactive communication, participation, and virtual community formation around media content. It needs to be emphasized that the traditional media has also found a home in the new media. The latest manifestation (as of this writing) has been the venerable Newsweek magazine discarding its printed form and going purely towards digitalization. Other print publications, including several in Bangladesh, have chosen to simultaneously publish in both the traditional and new media channels. This change in tradition, indeed, of culture (that of opening up broadsheets each morning at breakfast to get news and views), was necessitated because of the demand of these times. And the relentless advance of technology goes on, with the upshot that the new media, for which it is the prime lifeline, will transform continuously. On the other hand, the interaction between cultural changes, new technologies, and the users force the alteration and redefinition of the new media.
The new media is nothing but the advanced stage of modern technologies. In order to cope up with the advancement of technology in the world, we cannot but accept the new media. But with this, anarchy cannot be made. Rules and regulations must be formulated for its proper and lawful use. We believe one day, human resource development is possible through new media. We must be very careful about its future.
The writer is Former DDG of Bangladesh Ansar & VDP.