Week 9 – Media Audiences


The core argument in Hadden’s reading is the increasing complexity associated with communications and technology including:

  • the ways in which we can influence the use of and place limitations on the use of technology;
  • the evolution of media and its connection to historical technologies; and
  • the changes in human routines to complement the changing technology.

Through this, the author has highlighted the benefits associated with the totality of communication practices and notes the relationships between these elements.

I believe the overriding point which can be extracted from this reading is that of the linkages of modern dynamics of technology and human behaviour with its history. Hadden notes that technological advancements are not solely associated with the creation of ‘new’ technologies, but rather simply the use of older technologies in new ways and increasing complexity (continuities between media). “The arrival of new ICTs leads us to use pre-existing objects in new ways and in general increases the complexity of communication practices” (Hadden 2005, p.12). For example: mobile phones have not displaced the land line, and text messaging has not displaced phone calls, rather these innovations have complemented the historic communication practices. This can also be seen in technologies such as the iPhone, where services such as the internet have not eliminated use of the internet on home computers, but rather provided an additional service through which to access to internet.

Through observing the totality of communication practices we can see the evolution of technology as not solely associated with the invention of new technologies but rather the development of more complex communication options through enhancing  existing technologies. These ultimately influence and complement the changing actions and habits of individual’s communication patterns, and the social acceptance of certain communication choices. For example: sending an email instead of posting a letter to announce a significant event or moment. This can be seen in the use of Facebook as an event organiser. Historically, inviting people to an event was done through personal initiations, sent to their address in hard copy. Nowadays, most events I attend have been organised through Facebook with no invitations posted to individuals.

Hadden notes that the limitations associated with her writing and suggests that she has not discussed social consequences associated with this changing balance. I believe that the evolution of this form of communication and changing human behaviour has had both positive and negative social consequences. Evolving communication material and the acceptance of these practices such as email and messaging has enabled a more instant and potentially efficient form of communication amongst its users, however in many instances I can see it fostering disconnection and a lack of intimacy/personalisation amongst individuals.  Social networking sites such as Facebook, while enabling more frequent contact, do not provide opportunity for physical contact. This limits intimacy and personal connection through things such as mass internet Facebook event invites as oppose to personalised invites which are posted or hand delivered.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: