New Media as a Social Phenomenon
The main objective of the study is to explain the new media as a social phenomenon and indicate that this kind of the media perform several significant social functions, including informational and educational functions while serving as a discursive platform (the formation of public opinion) and a realm to advocate political viewpoints. These functions are discussed primarily in the context of the nature of the communication act performed by the new media and the nature of social interaction exercised through the use of the media. They stem directly from the features that characterize the new media, namely, their multimedia, decentralized, hybridist, egalitarian, non-linear (concerning the quality of data decoding processes), and interactive character. It could be argued that the new media mainly duplicate the functions of traditional media, however, they use more advanced electronic technology to make the interaction more effective and quicker. More importantly, they adapt to the changing social situations easier than the traditional media, influencing the nature of social contacts and the act of communication through the electronic devices. Through the use of contemporary technologies, the media owners and journalists shape the public opinion and they are subjugated to the pressure exercised by the new media users in turn.
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