Cultural changes

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‘’Times have changed’’, said my mother, when my 7 years old nephew asked her to buy him a mobile phone. And this is true, in the last years the world and people’s behavior have changed drastically. What is the reason of these changes? Cultural theories want to answer to this, and more interesting questions.

Since we are 3, we watch curiously and attentively the television. Then, we start to learn the names of our favorite cartoon characters. I remember my nephew singing Dora the Explorer’s song since he was 4, and recognizing Spongebob perfectly. However, we shouldn’t be surprised because by the age of six, children are already watching TV 3 hours every day, and by the age of eight they spend 4 hours in front of the screen. What is the result in their lives after all this time in front of the, what people in Spain call, ‘’stupid box’’? Average teenagers spend more time using media, than being with real people, in the real world. This not only includes television, this is Internet, movies, video games, etc. I believe that there are consequences even in the family relationships. I remember Turkle’s Talk (Post 1 in this blog), and how she said that the members of the family, or members in a group of friends, ‘’are together, but not being together’’. And I think this is a real problem in this technological era.

On the other hand, this provokes problems related to face-to-face communication, because people just get used to talk using technology and is not able to develop other communication skills. I have seen that personally. For example, some days ago I have been talking with a person, that I know, long time by Whatsapp and it was a good conversation, but when I saw her two days after and I tried to have a face-to-face friendly conversation, it was quite different, a cold conversation. This is exactly what the cultural studies try to identify, how the media is used to create forms of culture that structure the everyday life. They want to know, for example, what will happen if the media is incorporated to the routines of normal people, there will be disruptions or the media will improve the people’s life styles? In my opinion, it depends how we use the media. It can be disruptive if it is destroying our face-to-face communication skills or it is destroying our family relations. But, in the other hand, if we use wisely the media, it will provide us with useful information and entertainment.

My conclusion is that, in this technological era we are continuously exposed to the media, and this is not a problem if we are able to filter the media messages that we don’t need, at all. But the problem is that since we are kids, we are bombed with uncountable useless information. Therefore, this exposure is changing our world and our behavior, is changing our culture and our habits. Also, is the reason of why my nephew wants a mobile phone after watching an advertisement.

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