Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Is New Media The Way to Go?


With the world at the end of our fingertips, our usual medium of obtaining external news have been revolutionized. The library is not the only place where readers can access information anymore and newspapers are not the only medium for us to be updated with the latest news. Technology brought along convenience and accessibility to mankind, as well as drastic changes to our routine. With the evolution of new media, the younger generation definitely prefers to indulge in new media for online learning and entertainment purposes.

But wait…What is new media?

According to Creeber and Martin (2009), new media is what we use to manage our rapid changing information and technology. The NOKIA 3310 phone could be seen as a communication tool for people in the past, but today in the changing world, new media only comprises of specific devices with a built-in system of applications. Hence, there is no fixed definition for defining the term ‘new media’. 

Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/mozahid211/new-media-in-broadcasting

The term new media is commonly associated with advanced technology whereby the ‘old’ media is slowly being transformed by using digital technique. For example, the printed newspaper has been transformed to online news and online publications by making use of the technologies with digital software such as Adobe Photoshop. Yet, have you ever thought of what is our relationship with new media? How does it affect our society?

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2000-2015: ICT revolution and remaining gaps. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/facts/default.aspx
        New media is designed for the general use of the public, but not everyone has access to it. In addition, the invention of this new technology has caused inequalities in a way that has caused digital marginalisation of disadvantaged groups in the world of media (Creeber & Martin, 2009). In other words, those who do not have access to any digital media will be separated from those who has access to the internet. In the mid-1990s, the term digital divide has been introduced to depict the gap between those who have access to computers and the Internet and those who do not. According to Creeber and Martin (2009), it is a kind of imbalanced phenomenon caused by technology literacy by the information-poor people around the world. “When disadvantaged groups log on, they often find that there is no content there…” (Servon, 2002, p. 9). 

Here arises another question. What if those who are able to access internet do not know how to utilise this facility? Are they also victims of this digital marginalisation? 

        In this sense, skills and motivations are elements that influence individuals’ participation and social exclusion which replicate them into the digital world (Helsper, 2011). This means that even though you have access to the internet, but if are not technologically literate, you will still remain marginalised in the digital world. This is because digital divide also reflected those who has the ability to access internet but without basic knowledge in understanding the complexity of the new media. The emergence of new media has greatly influenced our lives, no matter good or bad. Undeniably, it made our life easier in arranging information but there are few dimensions for the inequalities from technical means, autonomy of use, use patterns, social support and skills. With this, Uniquecorn has developed a simple questionnaire to find out how is new media playing its roles in our society. 

What did we find out??

From the responses of our online questionnaire, majority of the respondents belong to generation Y which is aged between 16 to 36 years old and most of them are students. Our main target respondents are students, which we assume to be the main users of new media. 

Furthermore, we found that 90% of the respondents have more than one internet-enabled mobile devices where they currently used for online activity. In other words, most of them are willing to spend time and money on their mobile devices so that they can engaged in the media world. However, all the respondents agreed with the negative impacts of new media.  

With this, most of our respondents commented that we are more likely to spend more time on new media and it has definitely benefited our life whereby we can simply keep in touch with friends and family who are in long distance and sharing our life stories though social media platform. For example, people nowadays can socialize by accessing social media sites such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is undeniable that we are able to communicate in borderless world. Although it has become part and parcel of our lives, there are some respondents commented that the freedom in new media allows people to simply update some improper information and it might not be trusted. Hence, there is a need for us to identify what is true and what is wrong by our rational thought. However, when you follow blindly as the content showing on the website, it might influence one’s own judgement and perspective to certain things. In other words, the engagement in digital world has made our life convenient but it might bring some bad impact to our life as well. 

On the other hand, people are also spending too much time on the internet. Have you ever felt bored of talking to your friends for more than 4 hours? I bet you will feel lifeless if you spend too much time for talking nonsense with your friends isn’t it? Ironically, people prefer to spend most of their time with their internet-enable mobile devices rather than the face-to-face interaction. From the questionnaire, we identified their consumption behaviour whereby all of our respondents will spend more than 1 hour per day while 50% of them will definitely spend more than 4 hours in the internet world. 

Here you might ask, what do they usually use their internet-enabled mobile device for? With this, we found that there is 85% of our respondents usually obtaining certain information, checking email and engage with their social networking by access to the internet whereas 80% of them will use their mobile device for listening to music and text messaging such as Whatsapp, Messanger and WeChat. This is how people make use of new media and internet in enhancing their social relationship with friends and family. Besides, the most popular social media website visited by the respondents is Facebook where there is 95% of them will actively visit Facebook while there is small number of respondents spend their time in Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+

Yes, the rapid development of new technology is awesome and it benefiting our society! (It is 100% agreed by all of our respondents too) Nevertheless, 70% of our respondents think that the advanced new media has created further social inequalities within our society where it will influence our employment opportunity if we are not familiar with the digital world. With technology literacy, there will be a widening of wage gap between those who are good in tech-savvy and those who are not especially for those who are staying in rural area where the geography factor might not allow the them to access internet. Hence, the wage gap between the rich and the poor will increase. It is unsurprising that the rich will become richer while the poor will become poorer or maintain its poor just because of the technology literacy. 

It is good to have an improvement for our life but, it might be unfair for those who are not able to access the internet. With this, what are the suggestion that we normal people can personally contribute towards social equality? It’s glad that our respondents willing to recommend their ideas for our topic today. From the recommendations collected, most of them think that there is a need to provide equal opportunity for everyone in accessing to the internet so that the digital divide can be reduced. However, with the limited ability, we can only try to help those who are lack of basic knowledge about the new media and teach them the way to access the new media platforms. Only through improvement in technology knowledge, social equality can only be exposed through the platform of media efficiently. In addition, English is the common use language in the new media nowadays. Hence, it would be better if we can improve our English standard in daily life where it may help us in dealing with new media sources. In short, new media is good. But if you do not know how to utilise it, you might not be benefited from it. Yet, if you did not make use of the new media correctly, you might also become the victim of it. 

Hence, learn properly and think wisely.


Creeber, G., & Martin, R. (2009). Digital Cultures. New York, NY: Open University Press.
Helsper, E. (2011). Digital disconnect: Issues of social exclusion, vulnerability and digital (dis)engagement. European Workshop: Perspectives of Web 2.0 for Citizenship Education in Europe. Networking European Citizenship Education (NECE).
Servon, L. (2002). Redefining the Digital Divide: Technology, Community and Public Policy. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.


  1. new media is important in promoting equality. Nowadays it is just one click away for people to voice out their opinions, dissatisfaction etc. They started to put pressures over policy making for the nation, which is actually quite good as people know what's their own needs better.

    1. True, the important thing is how policy maker concern about the social issues.

  2. Consumption patterns in our society has definitely changed as compared to the past.