A Few Words on Convergence…

7 Nov

Prior to reading Jenkins’ Convergence Culture, I knew that such a thing, the collaboration within multiple media industries, existed but I never put much thought into the prevalence it has on our everyday lives. My phone for example, acts as my cell phone, my computer, my pager, my iPod, my camera, and sometimes, even my TV. However, I never stopped to think of the negative responses that anyone could have towards “the cultural shift” that convergence has created. In fact, I not only think that it is necessary for us to keep excelling technologically but it fosters change that is made to help us not debilitate us. I could never imagine having to haul around 5 different devices when I could just have them all in one.

But to be fair, I do consider myself a digital native. I have grown alongside technology and it seems that it has matured with me throughout these years to accommodate my increasingly hectic life. However, I could also see why a digital immigrant could see a problem in this convergence. I think of my first visit to a Verizon store with my father. When he asked for the simplest phone, one that he could make calls and that is it, they practically laughed at him and told him that they no longer carried any “single-feature” phone. Until this day, my father struggles using his phone and almost sees it as a burden when he gets a text or picture message because he has to go through the hassle of figuring out which button does what.

I also believe that the negative responses that convergence has had from the media industry itself has less to do with the complexity of new media, but of the loss of influence that each industry has on its own. Nevertheless, I agree with the participants at the New Orleans Media Experience that “everyone will survive if everyone works together,” because I do believe that convergence is necessary – it’ll get us out of our comfort zones and enable us to tackle the rapid growth of technology and our cultures head on.


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