Creativity is only effective when communicated accurately. But effective communication is a battle: methods of communication are constantly changing, and communicators are constantly keeping up. The latest skirmish is inherently tied to the latest form of technology, which brings new patterns of thinking and media influence.
Media shapes the culture, since it is constructed out of “shared characteristics,” and media allows for mass integration of these characteristics.
Media’s grip on culture has been increasing over the years, stepping up on the footholds provided by more and more high-tech inventions that provide more and more ways for our society to share experiences and expectations: first, the printed book, in the 16th century; next the telegraph, which removed the restriction to just local news; then photos; followed by the advent of broadcasting (Postman, 64-69). The newest technology on the culture-influencing block is the World Wide Web.
The internet is a way to shape culture, as it connects myriads of publics through the experiences of visiting different websites, but it has a differentiation from other technologies: it isn’t controlled and driven by a media. Instead, internet citizens (“netizens,” to those fond of cheesy portmanteaus) can run their own websites and respond to still others. Granted, the “invisible technologies” are still a problem –this term, from media theorist Neal Postman, refers to the ideologies espoused in and by a culture – but ideologies are unavoidable (Postman, 123).
The task when communicating on the internet, and elsewhere in the internet era, is to address one’s audience effectively, through their ideologies, in order to get one’s message across. This series of posts will first present the social and biological impact that the internet has had on its users, before recommending a list of specific methods that should be used when addressing internet users, on- and offline, in the medium of writing. In order to be productively creative, a firm grasp of communication on the internet is a must.
Postman, Neil. Technopoly. New York, NY: Random House, Inc, 1993. Print.