Monday, April 23, 2012

An Era of Internet Commodification

A commodity has been commonly defined as "any unprocessed or partially processed good." Accordingly, before the advent of the Internet, the word "commodity" commonly described things such as grains, fruits, vegetables & precious metals. Enter, "the Internet." Art, music, journalistic sources and even friendships can now be attributed with the ideology(of commodity) that circumvents the goods mentioned above. In layman's terms, art, music, journalistic sources and friendships are now becoming "commodified" by the Internet. And what does this possibly mean?

Take journalistic sources for example. In the first two weeks of class, we discussed the potential downsides attributed with digital journalism. As this new form of storytelling overthrows traditional print journalism, articles are consistently being put-out at a rate that our once "sluggish," journalistic world has never seen before. Anyone can post anywhere at any time. With this sudden influx of stories & opinions, we have to be aware that the "professional on paper" aspect of journalism is exponentially decreasing, meaning, the credibility of sources has become a big issue. Another way of thinking about this idea is that many "unprocessed or partially processed" individuals are writing journalistic pieces, a privilege once held by the credentialed individuals ruling over professional journalism's prose-filled world.

Another example would be from "Why parents should educate their kids about tech," in which Scott Steinberg considers the meteoric rise of social networks and how they shape our children's experiences. He explains, "only six years ago, before Facebook opened to the general public in September 2006, the term "friend" typically described neighborhood pals and schoolmates." As for today, it can just as easily reference hundreds of peers, potential crushes or even random strangers. Our kids interact online with these people, some of whom we will never meet. Facebook, one of the bigger faces of the Internet today, has commodified human relationships.

In my personal opinion, the Internet opens up the doors to boundless opportunities. However, with the role that technology now plays in our everyday lives, there are certain ethical factors and potential dangers that we have to be aware of, while we proceed with caution.

2 comments:

  1. Your analysis of the logics of commodification at work in Internet culture is very engaging, but in your second paragraph more specific examples that extend our class discussion about digital journalism would probably make your argument even more interesting to debate online. In the third paragraph, where you move to the issue of educating a supposed "digital generation" about the risks of new forms of social behavior, you don't quite connect it to the earlier material. As with any narrative, think about how you can give your news coverage a beginning, middle, and end.

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