Impact of Digital Media on Marketing, Education, Culture and Communications

3684 words (15 pages) Essay in Media

08/02/20 Media Reference this

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1.  Discuss how Digital Media has transformed how organizations advertise and market their products and services. Include a historical (before and after the digital media) and global perspective (include discussion of the US and at least two additional countries). Include whether the change has been positive, negative, or both. Support your discussion with reliable sources.

Digital Media has changed the way organizations market their products and/or services. We have transitioned from word of mouth, door to door salesmen, newspaper/magazines, radio/television to digital media. Word of mouth communication and door to door salesmen are now Snapchat and Facebook. Newspapers and magazines that you once had to pay for, can now easily be found on-line for free. There’s a vast selection to choose from, the font can be adjusted for easier reading and the information is truly “hot off the press”. Radio and television have adjusted by engaging in “live streaming and the ability to listen to music via iPhone, etc. YouTube is a strong competitor to TV and radio, offering the ability to watch whatever, whenever. Change continues and those businesses and organizations who rely on consumers for their existence must quickly and constantly make the necessary transitions to keep pace and stay visible in the digital marketplace. Even the general public must take steps to keep up digitally as almost every aspect of our lives today involves the internet. It is more than just a platform for entertainment, it’s become the baseline for almost every aspect of our lives.

Digital media affects marketing in many ways. The audience is instantly global. This means you are always on call – 24/7, because digital media is always open. You must stay current, your data must be on point and you always have to be responsive. Customer service is huge and requires a strong commitment to deliver on promises. Basically, new careers are born out of the need for organizations to proactively position themselves by using new and innovative platforms offered by digital media. External marketing, public relations and digital firms are engaged to analyze data to differentiate customers in the marketplace.  Through the use of data analytics, you can laser out targeted groups for your product.  Is your focus on teens or senior citizens, males or females, babies, construction workers, models, healthcare industry, airlines, grocery stores, etc.? You can track and follow people. For example, when people grocery shop, they just happen to receive coupons based on their previous product purchases. Imagine that!!! Customer service is huge, and competitors are closer than ever. Everyone’s data including product information is available for all to see. Organizations analyze data to focus their marketing approach on target markets. Informed consumers will turn to the internet, using credible sources to conduct the necessary “due diligence” to make wise decisions.

Those organizations that target global markets must focus their products based on how countries accept and use the internet as well as the availability and popularity of media in that country. For example, Facebook is the most popular website globally, but it’s not as popular in as many countries at it used to be. LinkedIn and Instagram have gained popularity in Africa, Indonesia and Iran, possibly being used as a job search engine. China, the country with the strictest controls over digital media, does not allow their citizens access to Facebook or Instagram, but encourages use of their own versions called QZone, QQ and WeChat (Hutt, 2017). It is clear that all countries recognize the importance of digital media. Rich or poor, it does not matter – it’s the future. Organizations must find a way to market their products/information based on the type of digital media available and popular in specific countries. China is an interesting country as they make a point of sending students to other parts of the world from an education perspective, but still feel the need to hold tight controls over their people at home. The African countries tend to be poorer with weaker infrastructures and see the need for digital engagement for their people. It is empowering for them, offering unique opportunities, especially for digital humanitarian partnerships. It’s important that successful organizations keep a pulse on the marketplace, similar to “radar”, so that they are keenly aware of changes in the marketplace to be able to effectively adjust their marketing plans, to keep pace with the changes in the marketplace (O’Brien, 2017).

There are more positive effects than negatives. You hate to see newspapers disappear. Cyber security is a definite negative. Global opportunities for networking, careers, sharing of knowledge, creating partnerships and solving/addressing international problems are extremely important to the world. From an organizational perspective, there are plenty of opportunities for success or failure. You have to read the data properly and be proactive in your approach. Based on the tweaks or changes needed, it may take a while to turn the ship, so you really have to stay focused to be best prepared for the change that is always on the horizon.

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2.  How has Digital Media influenced (or changed) the field of education? Include a historical (before and after the digital media) and global perspective (include discussion of the US and at least two additional countries). Include whether the change has been positive, negative, or both.
Support your discussion with reliable data. Support your discussion with reliable sources.

Digital media has opened doors globally from an educational perspective for everyone. Prior to digital media, the level of education you achieved depended on where you lived and how much money you had. Initially, computers were a luxury and way too expensive for most people to afford. Now they are very affordable for those that want them and live in developed countries. Many students in third world countries are recipients of donated digital equipment as a result of humanitarian efforts. In general, the use of some type of digital media became routine in the 1990’s.

Education through the internet is expansive. You no longer have to go to school, go to the library or even leave your home to learn. Knowledge happens not only through the substantial amount of reading material available online, but through networking, blogs, discussions, online encyclopedias, online classrooms, blackboards, TED talks and a myriad of websites and networks focused on specific topics. Rarely do you even have to buy books. You must be aware of how to determine credible websites, but that’s all part of the learning process. Digital media is inclusive. The internet is available for all ages, in all languages, you can adjust font size and volume to make it easier to see and hear. It’s portable and available 24/7. You can travel to places you will never visit and meet people around the world, from home. You can join communities with those of similar interests. The opportunities to learn are endless and for the most part, unless you want a degree, it’s free.

From a “formal” education perspective, the school and the teacher continue to drive the quality of the education offered. The school provides the tools for the teachers to use and the teachers implement the tools into their personal methodology.  IT departments are a necessity. Educational companies have also had to keep pace with digital media and improve and enhance the products offered to maintain and enhance their market share. Whether the class is online, a hybrid or solely classroom based, each requires diverse types of training and acceptance of digital media on behalf of the teacher, for true success. I do believe that there is still something lost by never engaging face to face with some classmates. You have to be able to communicate effectively to achieve success and the education process should include some type of forced interaction. It’s a skillset that should not be overlooked.

Programs are currently underway in Kenya and Ghana to supply teachers and students with learning technology to improve the quality of education. These include cell phones, solar powered computers (needed due to lack of reliable infrastructure), satellite dishes, electronic blackboards and “rugged” laptops. All of these tools will improve the quality of education and therefore offer students a chance at escaping poverty. (Livingston, 2016) Singapore scores very high on international scholastic assessments and has been commended for their approach to education via technology. They built the infrastructure, rolled it out, trained teachers and continue to experiment with modern technology. Their overarching theme is collaborative use of technology rather than having students individually working on computers, etc. (Butrymowicz, 2014)

There are pros and cons to using digital media from an educational perspective, but just like anything else it’s how well you manage the usage and what you use it for. The flow of information is definitely a plus. If you waste time and are off task, instead focusing on homework then you have turned a positive into a negative. Digital media can increase interactions with other students “at a distance”, expanding skill sets and knowledge bases. If your online contacts are bullies, not positive influences or have ulterior motives, a positive again becomes a negative. It is all about good decision making and choices. Major take takeaway – lots of opportunity at your fingertips. Don’t miss the chance to enhance your future. Others won’t!!!! (Scott, 2015)

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7.  How has Digital Media influenced (or changed) the culture? Include a historical (before and after the digital media) and global perspective (include discussion of the US and at least two additional countries).  Include whether the change has been positive, negative, or both.  Support your discussion with reliable data.

Digital Media has had a dramatic impact on culture and there’s no going back. Computers first appeared in the 1940’s to just a few and became readily available in the 1980’s. Facebook is as recent as 2005. It’s fully entrenched, a game changer, globally impacting everyone’s lives, whether we realize it or not. Gone are the days when we personally knew our neighbors and people at work or church. Digital media has expanded the neighborhood. The people in your network or the businesses you deal with online, may or may not be who they really are. They are who they want you to believe they are.

Digital media gives people the opportunity to present themselves as they want to be seen whether it’s appropriate or not. It’s a self-empowering experience. Something that would be impossible to do pre-digital media. We have grown from face-to-face conversations, to cave paintings, to news print and radios to digital media. Probably the biggest impact of digital media is that it requires collaboration, sharing and positive communication. One can only imagine what the future holds. Digital media touches everything – especially the topics of the questions in the final exam! On the plus side, it places everyone on a level playing field. Famous people become less important. It doesn’t matter who you are – rich, poor, criminal, teacher, unemployed, etc. For the most part, those seeking employment, apply online. It makes it hard to differentiate yourself, but it gives you the opportunity to apply for many more jobs, without taking time off from work from your current job to apply in person. Your personal resume is your ticket. You have to make really good decisions and rigorously, without apology protect your identity. To me, families lose out. Elders become less important for dissemination of information and history, because you can get the generic version online. We are constantly drawn to our devices for information and technically surrounded by strangers. We are celebrities in a unique way. People have access into our worlds. There’s lots of fake news, so you have to be very careful to do your research and not be lead astray. As your circle becomes wider, it expands and merges with other cultures, the support mechanism become weaker and you really have to be sure that you understand “new” territory. What’s accepted in the States, may not be accepted in other parts of the world. Perhaps China’s rein on digital media is self-preservation, attempting to maintain and preserve their culture. (Robinson, n.d.)

A study on the main reason for internet usage indicated that for the US, UK and Japan it was product knowledge, to be used in decision making for purchases. In China, Australia and France it was to stay in touch with friends. South Korea was news. India was job search and Brazil was to learn how to do things. (Egros, 2011) It makes sense, but what must be considered is that as the global communities expand and cross and blur lines, the reasoning for usage will change and expand. We just have to be mindful that our communities are full of strangers and we always be “on guard”.

Digital media is a good thing. Any good thing comes with positives and negatives. We cannot hit the pause button on digital media anyway. We must be mindful of the pitfalls and stay in our comfort lanes, be kind to people, recognize and be respectful of cultural differences and take advantage of the significant learning and growth opportunity.

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8.  How has Digital Media influenced (or changed) interpersonal communication? Include a historical (before and after the digital media) and global perspective (include discussion of the US and at least two additional countries).  Include whether the change has been positive, negative, or both.
Support your discussion with reliable data.
 

Digital media has significantly increased interpersonal communication by creating numerous, new ways to communicate instantaneously.  We can send pictures, videos, live stream, create YouTube videos, etc. All of these platforms are open 24/7 and you can post at any time. Where you may not communicate with the normal person between 11PM and 9AM, you don’t have to worry about that with digital media, because they may be in a totally different time zone or because the recipient will definitely see it and respond when convenient. Our arms are longer now, they span worldwide and even into space when you consider communication with astronauts and use of digital media on airplanes. It’s always available and open, regardless of where you are. Gone are the “stage coach” days where you waited for weeks for mail delivery or monthly magazines. “Real time” data is available on almost any topic. You no longer have to travel to the library to get your information or enroll in college and move away to secure a college degree.

I believe that as much as digital media has given from an interpersonal communication perspective, it has also taken away. It distances people and serves as a distraction. Some people would rather email or text than pick up the phone and have an actual conversation. Texts, for example distract from 1 on 1 conversations or meetings. Web casts and online classes replace personal communication with teammates and class mates. I believe that these important personal interactions should never be replaced or the importance of them diminished. It’s just the way it is and the younger generation will never understand the importance of them. Even entertainment does not need to involve you leaving your home. You can play games, watch movies, read right from your couch. You can even work out on your stationary bike and race against someone in another country. So much for going to the gym, taking a walk outside or joining a fitness club.

Digital media alerts us immediately in many ways of the need to reach out for personal engagement. You see on Facebook that someone is ill or celebrating a special event. You can notify a considerable number of close friends with a posting or send a group text.  If you are not able to make an event, you can participate via Facetime. Studies suggest that college students feel that digital media positively impacts their self-esteem, probably because they feel people are less likely to make personal judgements from afar. On line behavior can lead to stalking, dealing with strangers and perhaps placing oneself in dangerous situations. Studies also indicate that digital media can also alter younger students’ mind-sets. (OIJI) Vol. 5 Iss. 2 (2017)

There is much to be said for the ability to speak with your healthcare professional online or communicate with people globally, either professionally or in general.  Digital media is an integral part of healthcare professionals’ educational training. (Wong, 2017) Additionally, “911” calls rely heavily on digital media to identify locations, provide short term advice until help arrives, etc.

China strictly limits/ bans access to digital media outside of their country, although they do have similar networking sites within China that allow for communication with each other. This limits Chinese’s global exposure which is not positive, but it appears as though the same issues with overuse of digital media exist there. (Bohl, 2015) Sweden, Netherlands, Austria and the US are estimated to be the top users of digital media, while Germany, Japan and Greece are the least likely to use it. Across the board the biggest users by age group are between the ages of 18-34.

Huffington Post is right when they say there’s nothing social about digital media. Many consider it an addiction. (“Why Social Media Isn’t Social,” 2013) Perhaps addiction is too strong a word, but we certainly need to use digital media wisely, after all we are opening ourselves to lots of people that we really don’t know, and we must not allow it to adversely impact our personal /professional relationships. (Griffiths, 2018)

 

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