Conor’s Digital Essay 1

Media exists as a means of expansion of the human mind and it’s capabilities. It’s why we have found evidence on evidence of ancient writings and inscriptions on stone and sequentially, papyrus. Even then, mankind not only sought to catalogue life and to hold its information, but we we continually searching for efficient means. This is the reason the human race is even discussing Augmented Reality  in everyday life instead of continuing to right in simple terms on stone walls. (Athwal, A.)

As a testament to our dedication to media, the discussion currently is not centered around the question of whether or not Augmented Reality is possible, but as to how it can be implemented and how soon. Concerns go around as to privacy and how it will affect one’s right to such privacy. Humans are very concerned about the state of their media and over history humans have made the tremendous leaps in technology necessary to be able to even consider media ours. Almost the entire reason anyone today can even say a piece of information is “theirs” and is stored for them only is because more often than not, media today is widely distributed, a phenomenon that owes itself an awful lot to Gutenberg’s printing press.


For the first time, people became accustomed to the ability to spread media at a rapid and accurate rate, something that until recently could only have been theorized about. this was the beginning of mankind’s familiarity with media from various sources that are not mouth to mouth. Up until this point, most people were illiterate, the reason for this being that print was not nearly the most efficient method of spreading information. (Deibert, R. J.)

At this point, communication because to take of at extreme speeds. Spurred by expanding civilizations, telegraph becomes the preferred method of communicating over great distances due to its convenience, conciseness and accuracy. Henry David Thoreau expressed concern over the fact that in spending so much effort and time in constructing these means of communication that we would have nothing important to relay to each other through them.

In the article by Lioa and Humphreys, they speak about Spatial practices. Specifically they say that, “Spatial practice is how people consciously and unconsciously alter, adapt, and appropriate objects and space for their own ends” (Liao, T., & Humphreys, L.). Although they are technically addressing the way a person behaves and interacts with local space, this theory still very much applies to the idea of media and communication over great distances. Traditionally, before telegraph technology progressed sufficiently, a great distance meant that there was nearly zero communication between two parties. However, within very little time, humans adapt pretty easily to using these means of communication. (Liao, T., & Humphreys, L.)

With the telegraph gaining traction and Alexander Graham Bell having invented the telephone, for the first time, the global communication network was being formed. When Bell and his partners went on to fund American Telephone and Telegraph Company it allowed general consumers to subscribe to the service and make use of its tools and advantages. (Goggin, G.) Allowing people to use this technology personally is ultimately why it has been so successful. The ability to say whatever they’d like and send it or say it to whomever they’d like with little to no regulation was an ideal practice and the key to how well it turned out.

Up until, this technology was not truly mobile as, though it allowed users to be spread to all different parts of the world while using it, it still did not allow for really any flexibility in movement when in use. It was not until 1910 with the first mobile telephone that the idea of traveling freely while communicating was really considered. Though it took nearly a hundred years for the technology to completely come into its own and be widely excepted in life, it was a beginning of this movement towards truly mobile media. (Farman, J.) although interesting, the mobile car phone that Swedish Engineer, Lars Magnus Ericsson had made was interesting, thought provoking and a beginning of very successful  mobile technology, it was not practical. At this point there are ten million telephone users in the world, so clearly the technology is garnering interest. (Goggin, G.)

In 1945, CB radio sets became available for personal consumer purchase and following this, all forms of radio began to gain traction, hitting home the ideals of one taking information with them wherever they may go. It was in the seventies that citizen’s Band radio became a widely used form of communication being put in many cars and trucks of the time. (Goggin, G.)

In the 21st century, all of these staggering technological advances culminated in the use of mobile phones and iPods, devices that allowed every person to carry media with them. These are just evidence that as media have progressed, humans have looked to immerse themselves more and more into devices, beginning with the ability to carry them with the at all times. It only makes sense that mankind would wish to integrate this technology into their lives even more to the point that augmented reality becomes a standard.

Athwal, A. (2004). Harold Innis and comparative politics: A critical assessment.Canadian Journal of Political Science, 37(02), 259-280.

Deibert, R. J. (1995). Hypermedia (Doctoral dissertation, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA).

Farman, J. (2012). Historicizing Mobile Media. The Mobile Media Reader, 9-22.

Goggin, G. (2012). Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. Routledge.

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society, 1461444814527734.

Printing press. (2015, February 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:13, February 1, 2015


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