Wednesday, July 20, 2005

iMedia... What the heck is that?

I just read a great article about iMedia. (article from the August 2005 issue of Readers Digest) Before reading this article, I had never heard of the iMedia movement. I think that sometimes people just like coming up with new names for things out of sheer boredom or pride.

So what is iMedia? It is a way of life. It has also been dubbed the me me media, meaning that I get what I want when I want it. It typically involves iPods, DVR's and Blog's.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:
Most of us have complained about the media sometime in our lives. The scenario involves us innocently watching something we love, only to be rudely interrupted by commercials which try to convince us that we are lacking in some way but can be better if we just buy their products. When our program ends, we often continue to sit there looking for something else to entertain us for a little while longer. The problem is that we have limited choice (more choice if you have cable service, ever more with satellite service). With the iMedia movement, the consumer has nearly all the control. We feed ourselves only those things that we want, and nothing more.
This means that we can get rid of those pesky commercials and programs that annoy us the most. We no longer have to be subject to the Media Man who makes our choices for us.

The Bad:
All of this me me me stuff has an effect on us. This American culture has been moving this direction for quite some time now. We can already see the effects of it on family life and social life in general. I think that we need more human interaction and contact, not less. This iMedia seems to be a divisive movement rather than a unifying one in that people are more and more focused on what they can GET from everything and everyone. Relationships become more and more functional and transaction-like; consumerism gone rampant.

The Ugly:
I was walking around the city last week and noticed that almost everyone who was alone was wearing those identifying little white ear buds. It screams of iPod and Do Not Disturb. It seems as if a lot of people, especially younger people, are spending a good portion of their day plugged into portable music devices. I might be the only one who thinks this, but I think it looks strange to see all these people walking around with wires hanging from their ears. Perhaps people will start wearing them just as a fashion trend.

Like most things in this world, this new trend is not black and white good or bad; it is a mixed bag. Hopefully we can take the good and leave the bad behind as the movement continues to change and morph over time.