Technological Convergence

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Convergence is defined as the interlinking of computing and other information technologies, media content, and communication networks that have arisen as a result of the evolution and popularization of the internet as well as the activities, products and services that have emerged in the digital media space. Convergence is loosely defined as the occurrence of two or more things coming together to eventually meet and or in which old and new intersects or builds upon. Although for the consumer convergence simply means “convenience”. Technological convergence is the trend of technologies that bring together a myriad of media. Convergence of media occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of them all know as the black box. (Jenkins, 2006). While historically, technology handled one medium or accomplished one or two tasks, through technological convergence, devices are now able to present and interact with a wide array of media. For example, the cellular phone, once used for calling now not only places calls ,it is capable of sending and receiving data such as text messaging, playing music, surfing the internet as well as GPS and video recording capabilities. Astonishingly so, it was necessary to have at a minimum of four separate devices in order to perform these functions as few as tens years ago. However, it appears that most people have a multi- functioning device used for primarily for one or two purposes. We are surrounded by a multi-level convergent media world where all modes of communication and information are continually reforming to adapt to the enduring demands of technologies, “changing the way we create, consume, learn and interact with each other”. (Jenkins, 2006). Does convergence have a downside? It is suggested that while one device can multi-task, “big” is not always better particularly in their initial forms; converged devices are believed to be less functional and reliable than their component parts. Take the DVD player for example; A DVD compact disc may perform better on a DVD player designed solely for that purpose opposed to a game console. As the amount of functions in a single device escalates, the ability of that device to serve its original function decreases. (Jenkins, 2006). Even though there are advantages and disadvantages to converging technologies this paradigm shift is continuing to move in that direction. Paradigm shifts in telecommunications has evolved at alarming rates in the last twenty years. To understand a paradigm shift one must first understand what it is. A paradigm shift( related to technology) is a relatively abrupt change that brings about a relatively radically new worldview with new rules, such that opportunities are accessible and success can be achieved only at the extent that individuals and organizations adapt their thinking to the new worldview and adapt their behavior to follow its rules.(Krupansky,2009). A paradigm shift affects our direction, reference, concept, goal, values, perspective, attitude and our reality, it creates a sudden change in our perception, point of view and overall how we view things. Let’s look back at the paradigm shift as it has evolved. It appears that every decade marks a significant transformation toward the induction of a new technology. With the invention of the transistor in 1947, it has since paved the way for the shifts that are as follows: In the 1970’s the personal computer was introduced yet not widely available to the public. However the computer was available to the public in the 1980’s, they were costly and primarily limited to corporate use. It was estimated that less than 10% of the nation’s population had ever gone online, yet the 1980’s were still considered apart of the digital age. With access to the World Wide Web introduced in the 1990’s with an estimated 130 websites, this appeared to have fueled personal computer popularity and enticed the publics growing...
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