Are there downsides to “convergence culture”? What are they?
Before we discuss whether or not there are downsides to “convergence culture” we must understand what it is and when talking about “convergence culture” we must mention the father Henry Jenkins.
When Jenkins discuss “convergence culture” he is referring to individuals in contemporary culture and their relationship with the media. Most recently, Henry Jenkins has focused on how individuals in contemporary culture tap into and combine numerous different media sources.
By convergence, I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who would go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they wanted. Convergence is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes, depending on who’s speaking and what they think they are talking about. In the world of media convergence, every important story gets told, every brand gets sold, every consumer gets courted across multiple media platforms. Right now, convergence culture is getting defined top-down by decisions being made in corporate boardrooms and bottom-up by decisions made in teenagers’ bedrooms. It is shaped by the desires of media conglomerates to expand their empires across multiple platforms and by the desires of consumers to have the media they want where they want it, when they want it, and in the format they want….
Now to the question.. are there downsides??
Eighty Five percent of the 7.1 billion people in the world have access to the Internet. These people are looking at an endless possibility of media platforms. There are cultures converging everyday through one platform or another. I believe that there are downsides that will come but the good out weighs the bad.
I think that the major downside to this convergence is loss of self-identity but with that loss there is a gain of a greater community that can contact and reach all corners of the world. People from every culture can reach one another and learn from each other.
As long as there stays a balance between the consumer and the producers of media I believe there are no downsides. However, if the producers begin to dictate or persuade what the consumers consume there should be no downside.