At the inaugural Media Ecology Association Convention at Fordham University in 2000, Neil Postman, gave the keynote address titled, “The Humanism of Media Ecology.” In his address, he provided thought provoking questions that connected the ever changing nature of media to it’s impacts on human values and society. As technology has changed over time, its influences has had a profound effect how we see and process the world around us, either encouraging the good side of human nature or influencing the bad side side. Some individuals claim to believe that it doesn’t matter if technology and media has this type of influence on society. Media is here to say and we must find a way to deal with it. Postman warns against this thinking and emphasizes the importance of addressing it’s influences on society.
This video re-emphasizes what is media ecology:
Information travels faster and faster as new media is introduced. I now have push notification from the New York Times that notify me of important the day’s top news. I have an app on my iphone that has the tag line, “Read Less, Know More.” I am flooded with information constantly. In Postman’s third question (14), he addresses the issue of meaningful information. As leaders, I think it is important to decipher what meaningful information is in order to develop a vision and lead a team. Mis-information can leave cause issues with productivity. As leaders are flooded with information it is important to learn what to listen that applies to what we are trying to accomplish.
For my work, I am constantly working with students on their development on personal values and thoughts. In Postman’s first question (13), he address how media contributes to our development and use of rational thought. Within my programs, we constantly use media to re-enforce the message we are trying to convey or introduce a new concept. We are finding that our students are responding quickly to new media as a teaching tool and a way of connection.
A challenging piece from the reading was the stance that Postman was arguing against throughout his address. Technology is all around us and influences how we interact with the world. It is easy to see the positive and negative affects on how media can encourage positive human behavior as well as negatively influence behavior. As we adapt to the new media around us, it is important to think of the impacts it will have on society. It’s challenging for me to think that media is something we have to deal with while not examining how it’s evolution is affecting our behavior.
1) How has the evolution of media influenced or shaped your personal values?
2) Why is it important as leaders to understand the impact of media on society that could impact the group of individuals we are trying to lead?