Beginning as an elitist technological innovation whose sole function was to transmit data, today the Internet and digital media play a central role in a global transformation process that affects all sectors of society, economy, politics, and the single individual (Castells 2005). Both the enormous growth of Internet users during the last decade and the increasing diversity of the respective usage possibilities reflect today's societal importance of the Internet and digital communication. The integration of the Internet into everyday life leads to a redefinition of lifestyles within an entirely mediatized society (Krotz 2012). In this paper, we will analyse by way of example some of the fields where technological innovation meets social transformation. The area of work may serve as a first example. The working environment is being transformed fundamentally along with the use of digital media: Not only communication has accelerated and proliferated, but also a blurring of the boundaries between leisure time and worktime can be observed (Roth-Ebner 2016). Second, childhood is increasingly being affected by the ubiquitous exposure to media, e.g. smartphones and tablets, which has consequences for peer communication, the organisation of family life and the way learning is performed (Livingstone 2013). As a third example, media content production has transformed in a way that users are participating much more in production processes. Traditional media are losing their function as gatekeepers (Bruns 2008), meanwhile bloggers and YouTubers attract diverse audiences. Therefore, we have to rethink common models of the public (Van Dijk 2013).
Technologies in Knowledge Sharing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Senior Scientist, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria
Dr. Christian Oggolder is Senior Scientist at the Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. His research focuses on media history, societal challenges and the role of media, and digital culture.
Caroline Elisabeth Roth-Ebner
Born in 1974. Media and Communication Scientist. Doctoral Thesis on the subject of Crossmedia and Identities (2007). Current study: Work in the Dynamics of Media, Time and Space. Research and teaching interests: Digital media, media at work, youth/childhood and new media, social impacts of media/ICT, media and gender, qualitative methods. Studied Media and Communication Sciences from 2000 to 2007 (Master and Doctorate). Worked in the journalism/media branche from 1999 to 2003 (moderator, executive producer, journalist). Worked as a clerc from 1994 to 1999.