Alphabet to Internet: Mediated Communication in Our Lives

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Rada Press, 2008 - History - 560 pages
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Mediated communication has altered the human experience. It was not long ago that people lived in a narrower world. Many still do, but the benefits of mediated communication have a down side. They are exchanged for a simpler life. Something is surrendered, although few of us since Henry David Thoreau would truly prefer the simpler life. What is lost in the shift to new media has value, or else it would not have been established in the first place.Our dependence upon mediated communication has become almost as basic as breathing and eating. Our attachment is, in many ways, a reward for labor, and it is more central to human lives today than ever before. How a particular kind of mediated communication has made a difference in life is not always clear. We know for sure that new means of mediated communication add to our choices. They disperse greater quantities of information over more channels. Content broadens. Today it overflows industrial societies. Little remains that is not openly discussed. As for the number of our choices, questions have been raised about whether a great increase is good for society as a whole.Mediated communication has been entwined in human life for many centuries and is now entangled more than ever. The media matter to us every day, and the more educated we are, the more media matter. Mediated communication is not something we can easily take or leave alone. Leaving media alone is not really an option in a modern world. We will not allow ourselves to be deprived of mediated communication, and we will resist any attempt to reduce what we have. If nothing else, that is worthy of our attention.

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About the author (2008)

Irving Fang is professor emeritus of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota. A former journalist at ABC News and Reuters, as well as several newspapers, he has also taught and lectured in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Most of Dr. Fang's books, including more than a dozen for younger readers, have been about communication history or communication skills.

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