Communication Design Question 1.1

November 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

The digitalisation of the book ushered a new era for a medium, that is engrained in our history. A remarkable change that has only just begun, but already worries many people. However, this shift is not the first one in the history of human culture and technology that has put forth concern and discussion. Humankind is developing constantly and so is our information technology. From spoken language to written language to books to radio, television and now the Internet and its gadgets, just to mention a view major steps we took.
Every medium has shaped us in a way and transformed our behaviour patterns and this change is still happening as we all persistently consume different kinds of information technology in our everyday life. This smooth adaption is barely perceptible for us, but that doesn’t mean it’s not profound.
In the past few years Neuroscientists have proven that our brains plasticity enables it to reprogram itself again and again, which means the brain is ‘in a constant state of flux’ (J.Z.Young), even for adults. In other words:: “Our brains are constantly changing in response to our experiences and our behaviour, reworking their circuitry with ‘each sensory input, motor act, association, reward signal, action plan, or [shift of] awareness.”, (Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Nicholas Carr). Only part of the way we are perceiving and thinking is determined by our genes. We are rewiring our brains with the way we live and through the tools we use (Nietzsche).

But are we aware of the significant effects our media consumption has on our brains and furthermore, how that influences and changes ourselves and our (social) behaviour? Without a question, there are many psychologists, philosophers, scientists and engineers out there investigating this matter, but how about the users, the consumers who are seemingly picking up every new technological progression without considering its impact?
I would like to investigate and analyze people’s perception of their own media consumption and its influence on their lives. The significance of self-responsibility and the power of information technology lies at the heart of my project.
‘How can contemporary society benefit from a heightened awareness of the processes and results of media consumption?’ will be one of the core questions to be explored.


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