A single function device of any kind is virtually obsolete; you would be hard pressed to find one. On June 11, 1997, Philippe Kahn wirelessly transmitted a cell phone picture of his daughter, Sophie and shared it instantly with more than 2,000 family members, friends and associates around the world
(Wikipedia, 2013). This action marked
the birth of visual communication. Mobile devices are no longer used
exclusively for talking; they now allow us to not just talk but talk with FaceTime,
an option in which you see your caller and they see you. You can browse the
Internet, watch movies and television series, stream music, take photos and
video, upload content directly to social media platforms, play games, calendar
appointments, and navigate unknown territories with exact precision. All of
these functions and more are capable because of convergence.
In 1983, Ithiel de Sola Pool, PhD wrote Technologies of Freedom this was the undoubtedly the first book to lay the foundation of convergence as a force for change
(Jenkins, 2006). Convergence is more than a shift in technology;
it alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets,
genres, and audiences (Jenkins, 2006). Convergence also alters the logic by
which media industries operate and their process.
The New Orleans Media Experience set the tone for the coming decades and
the message was plain. 1. Convergence is coming and you better be ready.
2. Convergence is harder than it sounds. 3. Everyone will survive if everyone
works together. That was unfortunately one thing nobody knew how to do.
These predictions could not have been more decisive as partnerships reign supreme in the success of converging entities.
In our current media landscape, technology and media outlets cannot function successfully without multiple partnerships from various entities. When you attempt to login into various websites or accounts you are prompted with the questions, “would you like to log-in, sync this content, contacts, etc. using your Facebook account?” or “would you like the content you are viewing visible on your Facebook wall?” you see Amazon partnering with PayPal; there are very few ways to escape the convergence of technology and information.
What does all this shared information and technology mean for our futures? In some ways it has enhanced our lives and in other ways it has complicated things. The convergence of technology and media has created powerful, well informed consumers that are eager to participate in this society.
(2013, 29 April). Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old
and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.