From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In communication, media (singular medium) are the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information or data. It is often referred to as synonymous with mass media or news media, but may refer to a single medium used to communicate any data for any purpose.
The Persian Empire (centred around present-day Iran) played an important role in the field of communication. They devised what might be described as the first real mail or postal system, which is said to have been developed by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great (c. 550 BC) after his conquest of Media. The role of the system as an intelligence gathering apparatus is well documented, and the service was (later) called angariae, a term that in time turned to indicate a tax system. The Old Testament (Esther, VIII) makes mention of this system: Ahasuerus, king of Medes, used couriers for communicating his decisions.
The word communication is derived from the Latin root communicare. This was due to the Roman Empire also devising what might be described as a mail or postal system, in order to centralize control of the empire from Rome. This allowed for personal letters and for Rome to gather knowledge about events in its many widespread provinces. More advanced postal systems later appeared in the Islamic Caliphate and the Mongol Empire during the Middle Ages.
The adoption of a dominant communication medium is important enough that historians have folded civilization into "ages" according to the medium most widely used. A book titled "Five Epochs of Civilization" by William McGaughey (Thistlerose, 2000) divides history into the following stages: Ideographic writing produced the first civilization; alphabetic writing, the second; printing, the third; electronic recording and broadcasting, the fourth; and computer communication, the fifth. The media affects what people think about themselves and how they perceive people as well. What we think about self image and what others should look like comes from the media.
While it could be argued that these "Epochs" are just a historian's construction, digital and computer communication shows concrete evidence of changing the way humans organize. The latest trend in communication, termed smartmobbing, involves ad-hoc organization through mobile devices, allowing for effective many-to-many communication and social networking.
In the last century, a revolution in telecommunications has greatly altered communication by providing new media for long distance communication. The first transatlantic two-way radio broadcast occurred in 1906 and led to common communication via analogue and digital media:
- Analog telecommunications include traditional telephony, radio, and TV broadcasts.
- Digital telecommunications allow for computer-mediated communication, telegraphy, and computer networks.
Modern communication media now allow for intense long-distance exchanges between larger numbers of people (many-to-many communication via e-mail, Internet forums, and teleportation). On the other hand, many traditional broadcast media and mass media favor one-to-many communication (television, cinema, radio, newspaper, magazines, and also teleportation).
Media technology has made communicating increasingly easier as time has passed throughout history. Today, children are encouraged to use media tools in school and are expected to have a general understanding of the various technologies available. The internet is arguably one of the most effective tools in media for communication. Tools such as e-mail, MSN, Facebook etc., have brought people closer together and created new online communities. However, some may argue that certain types of media can hinder face-to-face communication and therefore can result in complications like identity fraud.
In a large consumer-driven society, electronic media (such as television) and print media (such as newspapers) are important for distributing advertisement media. More technologically advanced societies have access to goods and services through newer media than less technologically advanced societies.
Media, through media and communications psychology, has helped to connect diverse people from far and near geographical location. It has also helped in the aspect of on- line/ internet business and other activities that has an on-line version. All media intended to affect human behavior is initiatied through communication and the intended behavior is coucned in psychology. Therefore, understanding media and communications psychology is fundamental in understanding the social and individual effects of media. The expanding field of media and communications psychology combines these established disciplines in a new way.
Timing change based on innovation and efficiency may not have a direct correlation with technology. The information revolution is based on modern advancements. During the 19th century, the information "boom" exploded with advancement of postal systems, increase in newspaper accessibility, as well as schools "modernizing". These advancements were made due to the increase of people becoming literate and educated.Template:Citation needed The methodology of communication although has changed and dispersed in numerous directions based on the source of its sociocultural impact. The sociopsychomedia effect coined by media and learning psychologist Bernard Luskin applies the sociocultural implications of media to society and human behavior.