New Media and the Quality of Life

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We are currently in the middle of a revolution. This revolution, sometimes called the digital revolution, is the revolutionary transformation brought about in the information and communication structure of society by the advent of the digital computer, with most of the major transformations having taken place in the past thirty years. Digital computing technology has generated the mainframe and personal computer, the multimedia computer, and computer networks. It has also transformed the telephone system and the monetary system, it is transforming all kinds of conventional products ranging from washing machines to automobiles, and it is on its way to change television as well. More than ever, contemporary society is an Information Society, in which the importance of information and communication is much greater than in past societies, and of which technologies that facilitate information and communication processes are a central societal feature.

In this paper, I want to evaluate the implications of contemporary information and communication media for the quality of life, including both the new media from the digital revolution and the older media that still remain in use. My evaluation of contemporary media will proceed in three parts. In the section to follow, the benefits of contemporary media will be discussed, with special emphasis given to their immediate functional benefits. The section thereafter is devoted to a discussion of four potential threats posed by contemporary media. In a final major section, I look at the future of digital media and the possibilities available to us in shaping that future. A short concluding section ends the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages15
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • IR-77231
  • METIS-148625
  • METIS-150078


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