By Lune van der Meulen
Listening to your favorite podcast on your iPhone, which is connected to your Bluetooth speaker, while writing a blogpost on your laptop doesn’t mean that you cannot give your friends an update about your adventures from last weekend on Whatsapp. These days, we cannot only do it all, we can do it all at the same time.
This development can be thanked to the proliferation of channels and the portability of new computing and telecommunications technologies. In an article by Henry Jenkins about media convergence written in 2004, he states that “we are entering an era where media will be everywhere and we will use all kinds of media in relation to each other.” Now, in 2017 we can say loud and clear that we have long passed the entrance to this era.
Although media convergence is efficient and can be very handy, it is not necessarily good for our mental health. The effects of the constant flow of information have huge impact on our wellbeing. Since the invention of the iPhone ten years ago, people became addicted to the endorphins released every time they receive a notification or a “like”. Therefore, the Belgian Safety Institute will launch a campaign in January to make people aware of the impact that comes with it.
We cannot be sure whether the Belgian campaign will have the desired effects, but I am sure that a little digital detox every once in a while we’ll keep us from driving crazy.
- Jenkins, Henry. “The cultural logic of media convergence.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 7.1 (2004). Print.