hamsters in a wheel

 

wow! look at this! pokepoke

Photo sourced from Flickr, by Siemens

With the Internet comes the promise of the exciting Everything, Everywhere, Now. Ads for smart phones and internet providers capitalize on this all empowering idea of mobility and connectivity, providing endless possibilities and productivity. Yet this constant connectivity becomes burdening when it means that you are never free from the responsibility of being connected to everyone. There is pressure for e-mails to be responded to, no matter week day or weekend. Location is not a problem, with software like Skype allowing videochats for free. There is always something that you haven’t watched, an article you haven’t read, the latest meme you are not clued into. Things are constantly moving, and the newness of trending internet topics assures that older ones are buried in a constant renewal of information.

Lovink argues that the speed of events and that rate at which their occurence is replaced means that there is a real danger of these online phenemenons to disappear before there is a real chance for critical discourse to acknowledge or reflect upon it. The most common type of commentary that tends to surface and respond to internet phenemenon quickly are blogs and websites, which are also partial to this archiving of information. With this wealth and speed of information to be gauged and absorbed, news outlets find it difficult to confront such staggering amounts of data. The 24/7 nature of the Internet means that news always has to be current, it cannot be just from today or the day before. Whilst this allows perks such as stories being updated as they occur, it means that journalists are often held to the clock. This means that stories are being churned out day after day, and it could be argued that the quality of journalism has decreased since the overwhelming push of new media. The Federal Communications Commission has dubbed this effect the ‘hamsterization’ of journalism.

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