As you are reading this, you are being a consumer, producer and most likely an unknowing participant in enabling convergence on a global scale. Freaky right? Well that’s media convergence for you.
Convergence “describes technological, industrial, cultural and social changes” (Jenkins, 2006, p.3). Quite frankly, convergence is everywhere you turn.
Consider Apple has just introduced the Apple Watch, a device worn around the wrist that combines a number of platforms into the one compact framework. What was once simply a clock face has now embodied the notion of convergence and “interactive new media” (Jenkins, 2006, p.5) as Apple conveniently combine social interaction with telecommunication and personal fitness. This “blurring of the line between media” (Jenkins, 2006, p.10) has had a profuse impact on the media landscape, changing the way we interact with such entities.
The effect of convergence can be further acknowledged by noting the push for students in primary, secondary and tertiary education to utilise technology such as tablets and iPads which allow for ease of access to all forms of media content. By combining applications for literacy, numeracy and social interaction alongside Internet access in one device, media conglomerates are availing convergence to modern day consumers, producers and global audiences.
Media convergence is shaping the world of communication in an immense way, and as a result the fast-paced society we live in is becoming more socially connected, active and aware of the mainstream media.
Jenkins, H. (2006). “Worship at the altar of convergence”: A new paradigm for understanding media change. In H. Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide (pp 1-24). New York: New York University Press. http://www.nyupress.org/webchapters/0814742815intro.pdf