Convergence and the 21st Century
Posted Friday 23 March, 2012
What forms of technological convergence are currently ‘hot topics’ in the media and central debates within governmental policies? Using your own opinion (supported by evidence), identify the ‘most critical’ debate of convergence that is currently ongoing.
When considering the impact of convergence on today’s society, I am instantly drawn to the ethics issue. Convergence has allowed for such a huge sense of ‘immediacy’ where information can be gathered at a moment’s notice (Mudhai, 2011). And this has dramatically impacted on our society and how we conduct ourselves (Meyrowitz, 1985). But the speed with which society has embraced convergence, particularly mobile media, is fast outpacing our ability to cope with the ramifications of its use.
The Australian Government is aware of this and retroactively publishing social media policies (nla.org.au, 2010) in an attempt to put a lid on behaviour and conduct of their employees. But the Australian Government is certainly not the first government to be pushing for regulation or containment of the internet (Grubb, 2010). The mobile phenomenon has directly altered the society creates, shares, stores, utilises and divulges information (Kim, 2010). Whilst Bertot (2010) believes we can use this information exchange as a means for governments to become more transparent and open, the reality is that Governments do NOT like their dirty laundry exposed. This has resulted in some unusual behaviour by Governments such as the police monitoring neighbourhoods looking for unsecured wifi services (Calligeros, 2012).
It also means that as a society we are unsure how to proceed with brand new technologies like mobile wallets (Google, n.d.; Paypal, 2012). It is the ethics of social media that is at the heart of the conundrum surrounding new media (Regenberg,2010).
Bertot, JC, Jaeger, PT & Grimes, JM 2010, ‘Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies’, Government Information Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 264-71.
Calligeros, M 2012, Police to cruise streets for unsecured Wi-Fi, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 23 March, 2012, [http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/police-to-cruise-streets-for-unsecured-wifi-20120322-1vmof.html].
Google n.d., Google Wallet, google, viewed 23 March, 2012, [http://www.google.com/wallet/what-is-google-wallet.html].
Grubb, B 2010, Govt Agencies move on Social Media Policy, April 16, 2010, Weblog, [http://www.zdnet.com.au/govt-agencies-move-on-social-media-policy-339302505.htm].
Kim, S, Na, EK & Ryu, MH 2010, ‘Convergence between mobile and UCC media: The potential of mobile video UCC service’, Communications, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 26-35.
Meyrowitz, J 1985, No sense of place: The impact of electronic media on social behavior, Oxford University Press New York.
Micó, J, Masip, P & Barbosa, S 2011, ‘Models of business convergence in the information industry: A mapping of cases in Brazil and Spain’, Brazilian journalism research, vol. 5, no. 1.
Mudhai, OF 2011, ‘Immediacy and openness in a digital Africa: Networked-convergent journalisms in Kenya’, Journalism, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 674-91.
nla.gov.au 2010, Social Media Policy, National Library of Australia, viewed 22 March 2012, [http://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/social-media].
Paypal 2012, PayPal Unveils PayPal Here: The First Global Mobile Payment Solution for Small Businesses, MarketWatch, viewed 23 March, 2012, [http://www.marketwatch.com/story/paypal-unveils-paypal-here-the-first-global-mobile-payment-solution-for-small-businesses-2012-03-15].
Regenberg, AC 2010, ‘Tweeting science and ethics: social media as a tool for constructive public engagement’, The American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 30-1.