Monday, September 15, 2008

The Culture Seed

I remember when I was younger coming home from my grade three classroom and opening up a zip-loc bag with a soggy paper towel and a small amount of dirt compiled in the centre. I would explain to my mother that earlier that day we had planted a seed in the concoction and we were to watch it grow and observe the changes that would occur. That little seed grew and grew until I had a small, green plant living in the dirt and wet paper towel. At a young age I was in awe when observing the acts that a little seed, some dirt, and some water could produce. Now though, we hardly think anything of it.
Little do we know that my little seed that grew into my little green plant is just like the ecology of the media. When something starts it’s hard to stop it. From something so small and so insignificant can blossom a new way of life incorporated in a culture.
Not surprisingly at all, the Internet is having a great impact on our culture. When the Internet started there were simply two main computers at one university that students and teachers had to run across campus to access. Now, I can sit on my laptop and with a few buttons I can enter the world of cyberspace. There is Google, Yahoo, You Tube, Myspace, and I mustn’t forget Facebook, that are all a part of the World Wide Web. Facebook, for example, is a place that looks like I am in my own little world with my picture, my groups, my Bumper Stickers, and my Wall-posts. Yet, anyone can access my page. They can see what I did last week through pictures and can read my statuses to see what I am up to today. Who wants to actually call up a friend and talk when they can just message them on their wall? The communication strategies of our culture have changed drastically because of the Internet. Almost everything can be done electronically. I can buy my schoolbooks, CDs, posters, computers, cameras and even groceries online. The Internet is like a world separate from our own.
However, I am not the first person to discover this. From Marshall McLuhan came the Global Village where everything and everyone is connected via technology. Neil Postman said, “…A medium is a technology within which a culture grows; that is to say, it gives form to a culture’s politics, social organization, and habitual ways of thinking (Postman "Media-Ecology").” The Ecology of the Media was developed with a click of a button, the ten numbers pressed on a telephone’s number pad, and with a change of a channel where I can sit on my couch and watch a hockey game while it is happening somewhere else in the world.
So who planted the media seed in our soggy paper towels covered in dirt? We did.

Postman, Neil. "The Humanism of Media Ecology." Media-Ecology. 16-17 June
2000. 8 Sep 2008 .


amanda. said...

i wish i could have seen how
excited you were that day when
you brought home your soggy
paper towel and pile of dirt with a beautiful green plant growing out of it!

i love your metaphor.
your brilliant!

Lance Strate said...

Leviana, you have all the makings of a fine media ecologist!