That used to be my own personal bat symbol. Every day after school and every hour of the day during the summer, ICQ was my go-to place for communication.
While hanging out with friends played a great part in my childhood, I felt like a grown-up when I was finally allowed to message them from my mom’s computer. Hanging out in person was okay, but nothing was cooler than spouting out my ICQ number like it was a phone number I would never forget. (Until recently, I STILL remembered the entire number.)
Soon after the shine of ICQ had dulled a bit, I discovered Friendpages. From there, MySpace became my own personal playground. Every new profile design made me feel like a top-notch computer genius. Toss in my first RAZR phone complete with unlimted text… I think you see where this is going.
Communication is ever-changing. As technology develops, so does the expectation that the public will grow with it. For this reason, traditional platforms have dulled in their own essence. While each medium of media has its own palpable functions, the uses of each have dwindled.
- Newspapers are a nice platform for reviewing recent events. Like a year book, they allow us the opportunity to catalog a printed copy of the things we want to remember- or often the things we wish we could forget.
- Social media platforms allow us the chance to talk to millions of people without leaving the comfort of our own beds. But, since they are open to all people and there is no peer-review or research involved in a status update, they are often less-reliable in the event that we’re seeking a true story.
- Television broadcasts give us quick and effective stories that
we can easily take in without much effort. These platforms are also helpful with relaying breaking news and entertainment.
- The least talked about form of communication is the radio. It’s slowly become the underdog of news platforms. However, if there is a natural disaster threatening your life, many people rely on radio transmissions to stay informed or seek help.
While it’s up to the audience to decide which media they will use and for what reasons, it’s also important that we realize how the use of one platform doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for another.
Take the Ninety-Five Theses, for example. This doctrine brought the practices of the Catholic church into question and can be linked to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Obviously Martin Luther made a dramatic statement by nailing his declaration to the church doors.
How quickly would his thoughts have traveled if a platform like BuzzFeed was available to him? How many more people would have seen his doctrine if a group of teens had taken pictures of the work and added a catchy hashtag?
Those platforms wouldn’t change the impact of the original platform- nailing the work to the door- but would have given the issue much more publicity in a timely manner.
We often take for granted the vast advancements at our fingertips. If we take a moment to consider how far we have come since Martin Luther’s time, or just since the ICQ days, I think it’s easy to see how and why technology has developed into the platforms we enjoy today.