The Precarity of the Media Industry: An Individual’s Struggle?

“What’s next?”  In this day and age, we are always looking what is next—what would be the next iPhone, and what’s Samsung’s response to it?  As a consumer, we don’t think about how much work goes into creating such smart devices or games, software or in general, technologies.  How quickly one object phase out.  How do trends arise and fall?  What makes those demands?

Money dictates our world and creates barriers, social structures and conflict.  It forces companies to always release the next generation of product, allowing for company growth thus fueling the growth (or decline) of society.  Money is the center of our world.  And according to Mark Deuze’s Media Work, it is now the individual who wishes to participate or not, to keep up with technology or be the long forgotten Motorola Razor.

What does it mean to become irrelevant in today’s society?  Does it mean you are out of date? Old?  In need of an upgrade?  There are so many circumstances that could prevent you from moving forward and this precarity is frustrating.  Not only does life throw obstacles at you at the most inopportune moments, your job requires you to be at the top of your game, on your toes and always up to date with the global economy or technologies or advancements in your field.  The American Dream doesn’t just require you to work hard anymore, you have to work harder than the rest of your colleagues.  Much of this is placed on the individual as Deuze explains in Media Work.  However I don’t believe it is solely up to the individual.

Of course, a media company would have to thinking of how to advance in this ever evolving world.  Skills have to be constantly learned and knowledge of software and technology have to be constantly updated, but we are a community of people that helps each other.

In the multitude of YouTube videos I watch to procrastinate my collegiate duties (aka homework, and work study obligations), I’ve noticed that in close networks of YouTube channels, everyone seems to help out to collaborate and help each other to stay up to date in today’s world of constant updates and product releases.  Though much still relies on the individual, it is not entirely without empathy of each other’s life’s circumstances.  But in an essence, their life has become a YouTube series.  And this is more real than reality tv shows broadcasted on MTV.

My fear about life after college is that my life would become my job.  Working in the media industry, much of our time would be devoted to having to be experts in what we do as well as to constantly be experts in new and improving technology.  Change is inevitable and so we must be flexible.  Would there be a time where I am no longer a relevant part of society?  Would there be a time where I no longer can keep up with the demands society brings with the constant stream of supply and demand and evolving trends?


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