Remember When…We Didn’t Live in a Web 2.0 World?

What do you think of when someone asks you “Remember When?” Among the historical disasters that have plagued our world, the media has always played a prominent role in the information that is released to the rest of the world. For example, in 1986 a huge explosion occurred at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Even though nuclear power represented a large technological step forward for mankind, our technology in regard to media was still lacking. In fact, the Soviet Union tried its hardest to keep any information regarding the disaster out of media coverage. Not only did it take a long time for the rest of the world to find out about the disaster, but when they did, many of the facts were inaccurate and misleading. This is only one of the many examples in which getting authentic news coverage was halted by the government. Also, the mediums in which the information was made public were very minimal.  There are many other events that occurred during World War I, World War II, The Cold War, Vietnam, etc. that were not made public as well due to the lack of technology in that era.

In more recent years, a new dawn of technology has signed the beginning of the Tech Age as well as the information Era. These new technological discoveries have further allowed us to transfer information liberally and have also given us the privilege of instant access to information that would otherwise have been difficult or tedious to find in the past. With improvements in technological development, such as the internet, we now have new global platforms that further enable and enhance the flow of information.

We saw the amazing impact of the Web 2.0 technological age on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.  The new millennium called for the drastic cell phone advancement from bulky older versions to a new PDA form.  The advantages of this transformation really came to light when doomed passengers were able to make one more phone call home on their descent.  Also, real-time coverage about the day’s events was available instantaneously for the world to follow.  Unlike the decades prior, we did not have to wait for the evening news or rely on word of mouth information about the attack.  Americans could simply turn their television on, tune into their radio, call someone on their cell phone or access the internet from their PC or smart phone to keep up with ongoing news that day.  While this was beneficial to the average American that wanted to be informed, it proved especially pivotal for family members that had loved ones working in the buildings that were attacked.

Every major advancement in society comes with its consequences.  While the technology era has birthed an easier way of living and communicating, the new wave of innovations came with a downside characterized by the improper usage of this knowledge via the media. Nowadays the media is manipulated all the time; these negative effects often come from lobbies that push political agendas or use inaccurate sources.  It is hard to determine what is credible on the web today due to the fact that almost anyone can access it.  Even with the disadvantages that come along with the new technology enhanced media, events such as September 11th prove the importance of getting accurate information in a timely manner.

Sasha De Vecchi, Lindsay Gallagher, Jay Reilly, Cary Welborn