Theories of Networking
The sophistication of today’s culture demands the advancement of technology. Currently, the way, in which we live and communicate with one another, mostly depends on the technology around us and vice versa. The social conditions of the current generation put us in an environment that treats technology as a necessary component of the social process. With time the need for newer and better technologies becomes a necessity. It leads to the rejection of the analogue system, because many people prefer to use the digital one. The decision to opt for a digital technology as opposed to the analogue one can mostly base on the effectiveness of the latter system, as compared to the former one. Some people argue that the only reason why people have decided to stop using the analogue version of things is the fact that with time changes become inevitable. New technologies appear and they typically focuse on trying to be better and more effective than the previous versions. Thus, this paper asserts that the new media has extended the opportunity for participation, rather than reproduced the limits of old media in a new form.
Analogue and Digital Technology
Analogue means that one is just measuring particular things using pointers and dials. It is a work or a piece of information that does not involve the processing of numbers electronically. Something is employed in place to represent particular information. A perfect example is a film camera, whereby one can capture an image for the purpose of printing a representation of the photographed scene. In simple terms, the picture that someone gets is an analogy of the scene, which the person wanted to record. Digital technology, on the other hand, does not store images, sounds, and words as representations of things but first converts the gathered information into numbers (digits) and stores or displays the number instead. Modern instruments measure things digitally instead of using dials and pointers. The examples of analogue system are clocks, rulers, thermometers, maps, etc.
At the present age, the common technology works by using more digital systems than analogue ones, which have made people change their perspective on some things. For example, cell phones receive and transmit calls using digital technology. They convert the sounds of individuals into numbers and then send these numbers to the designated places in the form of radio waves. In this way, digital technology becomes very advantageous as compared to the analogue system. It becomes easier to store information, because now it takes less space. The digital information becomes more secure due to the encryption of the information before its transmission. Additionally, with the help of digital information, it is becoming easier to edit. Through the application of computer graphics, one can change the information or an image.
The Difference between Analogue and Digital Technology
Understanding the difference between the analogue and the digital technologies can be difficult when one does not know the distinguishing characteristics of the two. Analogue refers to the continuous changing representation of a continuously varying quantity. Digital, on the other hand, relates to the representation of the variable quantities of digits or numbers. For example, in analogue system when one considers a number line that has numbers 1 and 2, they assume that there is an infinite amount of numbers between the two points, while in digital system one looks at certain fixed points or numbers between 1 and 2, for instance, 1 ¼, 1 ½ and 1 ¾. The difference here is that the analogue technology captures the whole line, while digital one only takes a few “snapshots.”
One can further differentiate the analogue and the digital technology when seeing people in real life and watching them in a film. When people see things in a real life, there are no in-between spaces and the sequence of events flows smoothly, thus, making it similar to the analogue technology. In a film, on the contrary, there is a series of photographs, taken at rapid-fire intervals, and when they are seen in succession, our minds are tricked, so that we believe that it is a continuous flow of events.
In music studios some people prefer to use analogue technology, because the sound occurs in a consistent set of waves that can be heard. The capture of waves takes place in line with the infinite number of points. However, in order to produce the same sound by using a computer and to translate it into numbers that make the sound similar to the natural one, digital recording format is needed. Thus, the analogue format can use tapes to make a record, and the final product is manufactured with the help of standard equipment.
During the digital recording, minimum percentage of quality is lost, so that it is even difficult for one to recognize. However, some people claim that small percentage is still important, and they discuss the potential impact of this loss. Thus, some researchers argue that analogue technology might be more accurate, as compared to the digital one, since it manages to capture all the information. For example, some people say that an analogue watch might be more accurate than a digital one. The analogue technology is a domain of the continuous system that uses the model of ‘bending' to recall, while the digital technology is the domain of the discontinuous (discrete) system.
There is also an argument that analogue information can be preserved longer than the one, stored in a digital form. For example, in museums, there are still paper documents as well as some recordings, written on clay and stones that are thousands years old. None of us, however, has the first cell phone call recording or email conversation that people have ever had. When we look at history books, we see captions or pictures that were taken during the early days.
The Evolution of Today's World with the Digital Technology
As the society is becoming more sophisticated, the need for technology improvement materializes. There are so many procedures and information, which need to be processed, that it requires more advanced machinery. Thus, analogue technology does not have a place in the modern society. Although some people argue that analogue technology still has the capacity and integrity that the digital technology cannot maintain, analogue communication is coming to an end due to the technological development. However, this technology is not diminishing without giving a rise to a better product. Thus, the digital technology is a new media that extends the opportunities for participation. The sophistication of this technology incorporates the demands of the society. There is a need to view the emergence of the digital technology in the context of the era of capitalism and globalization. The complexity in the organizational coordination and economic production in the Globe requires the development of technologies in the sphere of information and communication.
Analogue technology cannot meet the high demands of today’s age. Governments worldwide are endorsing policies aimed at facilitating the transition from the former analogue media to the digital one. The digital switchover has now been occurring all over the world, involving even some developing countries. The technological advancement that is happening now does not give room for analog technology. The needs and demands of the world are far beyond the capabilities of the analogue system, disregard of its advantages. For the government to communicate its secret information through intelligence services, it needs a network that will facilitate the discreteness. Digital communication provides opportunity for it, whereas analogue system is to some extent inappropriate in this area.
The Global Digital Divide
Nowadays the world is referred to as a global village due to the digital capabilities. The network between individuals mostly corresponds to the economic globalization. People from different countries are supposed to communicate and further extend their businesses. With the analogue technology, communication on a broader scale was limited. However, the digital technology has eliminated the limitations and broadened the scope of interaction. The digital culture gathers together various organizational structures, strategies, and materials in order to facilitate marketing in a globalized economy. For the purpose of economic activities, the information and communication technology is expected to have significant increase so as to enable access to potential customers. Analogue technology is limited in its means for accomplishing the marketing purposes. Its capabilities are beneath the demands at this level of the transaction. Thus, the digital media penetrates into this sphere to ease the tension that would have emerged otherwise. Through the use of the Internet as opposed to the limits of newspapers, the seller will advertise the product while the buyer will access the information and product easily and within a shorter period. The Internet has benefited many public and private services and led to their development in such business sectors as healthcare, administration, and education among others.
Participation in Democracy
The digital network has advanced and become more efficient than the analogue one. For example, now many people can express their opinions about political ideas. The media is significantly involved in governmental matters. The digital world has enabled many people to get involved in issues that socially affect them and to address those issues. Previously, all people could do even in institutions was to rebel or resist. However, now it has become possible for people in different spheres to express their views without being stopped. People can voice their opinions and get solutions to the pressing concerns through Twitter and other forms of digital media. Therefore, digital world is opening more opportunities for increased communication and involvement.
The old media provided an environment filled with ambiguity and disorder. Although analogue technology was cheap, it also occupied much space and many things were not orderly arranged. For example, in order to get the required information one had to search only books. Thus, people used to have shelves filled with materials that were hard to find and to keep. Now, on the other hand, with new digital technologies in the form of E-books, one can have several books in a small space that would not have to take the space of a whole shelf. Many books are now being converted into E-books so as to make the accessibility easier. Moreover, it has become very convenient for students to acquire information in the areas of their studies, since information is available in a digital form. Doing research on particular subjects is very easy, since there are so many materials on the Internet, and they only need to enter a name of them to find what is needed. It is more efficient than the previous system, when students had to check a book by a book without being sure that they would find the needed article.
Limitation of Old Media in a New Form
Although the new media has introduced many opportunities, some researchers argue that it has brought with it new constraints too. For example, the digital media has been a subject of the alert, since it promotes sexual predators such as paedophiles by providing them with an immediate environment. The new media has also associated with cases of infidelity and divorces. Due to the social media platforms, cases of adultery have risen to a greater percentage that has led to the breakup of many marriages.
Another majorly discussed issue on digital media is the reduction of human contact. Many people have switched to texting and calling instead of finding time to spend together. These behaviors may foster insecurities among young people and children. Many children may perceive their parents as being too busy for spending time with them that can create problems in future. Many families spend little time together due to having a great number of gadgets at their disposal. As a result, due to the advancement in technology children are becoming antisocial and lack even the skills, needed for interaction.
In spite of the minor disadvantages of the digital technology that are named above, this media offers significant advances, including better security, ability to share more than just information, and interoperability enhancements. It has provided a sufficient ground that has extended the opportunity for participation. Through this advancement, people across the globe can communicate and exchange their ideas. Business transactions are conducted easier, thus creating economic empowerment. Some products would not move across the board without the capabilities of digital media. Many people have been able to get politically enlightened due to the new media. By interacting with different people, they continue to broaden their perspectives in various areas. The new media has managed to help even in educational sphere by facilitating the learning process. Thus, the transition from the analogue technology to the digital one has increasingly provided many people with the opportunities for participation.