Changes in Culture

The culture change that Smartphones out-shipped feature phones for the first time ever worldwide, says IDC describes is the general transition from using feature phones to using smartphones.  This means that more and more people are using their cell phones to access the Internet and use associated services.  For many of this people, this replaces their computers, but it also widens access to these services to people who may not previously used them.  A specific place where this growth is especially apparent is China, where two companies have recently appeared on the list for top mobile phone companies.

Twitter Revolution: How the Arab Spring Was Helped By Social Media describes a cultural change that fosters rebellion against authority using the organization and exposure that social media, specifically Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, provides.  The present example of this is the Arab Spring.

Disruptions: Even the Tech Elites Leave Gadgets Behind describes the cultural change that is currently taking place towards replacing human interaction with interaction with technology, and the counterrevolution by the trendsetters that is moving backwards from this to a more analog system that is based off of human interaction.

Finally, Johanna Blakely’s TED Talk titled Lessons from fashion’s free culture describes the coming cultural change from protecting uniqueness and originality to sharing ideas to allow for a widening of audience exposure in such media as movies, books and music, as has happened in fashion.

Four vocab words in these articles are:

  1. Functionality: the quality or state of being functionalespecially : the set of functions or capabilities associated with computer software or hardware or an electronic device
  2. Connect: to establish a communications connection
  3. Revolution: a sudden, radical, or complete change
  4. Hyperconnectivity: Increased connectedness of human beings through social media, etc.

The sole transition of an atoms economy to a bits economy here is the description of the transition from the sales of movies, books and music to a digital platform. However, there has been a distinct transition, which is described in these articles, from the usage of physical modes of communication, particularly face-to-face contact, to digital modes of communication.  This is the core reason for the growing prominence of smartphones, and the use of social media to arrange things that were previously arranged without technology, such as revolutions.  However, there are certainly people who are making attempts to move backwards on this, and decrease digital interaction so as to increase human interaction.

In the future, I believe that, despite the elite resistance against it, communication between people will steadily become more and more digital.  Thus, it will similarly become less and less based on physical space.  This means that, while it is being used today to organize revolutions, the revolutions of the future will be digital, based in digital space.  Furthermore, I believe that eventually, the majority of the world will have access to smartphones, and every person will have a much more worldly view of the world based on the experiences of others whose opinions aren’t currently shared online.  Furthermore, while I believe that media will become more open-source, as it already is through new innovations, such as certain textbooks, I don’t think that this will affect the economy in which this media is based in.  The market that this caters to will remain, as it represents a part of our culture that is isolated (celebrity culture).  However, more and more writing will be accessible for free, services such as YouTube will grow in their popularity as a medium of distribution of full content, and music will steadily become more based in past work (as the growth of dubstep remixing has already begun to demonstrate).  Technology today is causing a cultural change that will both positively and negatively impact communication between people.


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