Media as liberation

Up until the development of the internet and other modern media, knowledge was spread locally and in a slow manner. As well as being very vulnerable to national restrictions in publishing and dissemination.

I’ve always known how lucky I am to have free access to the internet and its evergrowing amount of information. I was always and still am slightly awestruck by the wide variety of knowledge, entertainment and ideas I can access for free while sitting in my lazy chair. Doing media-studies only made this awe grow: I have realized we are living in a time which, in a way, is similar to the time of the invention of bookprinting. A deeply radical change in the way we learn and develop as a species.

Embracing this freedom has always felt like an obligation to me, mostly because of my family’s history. Due to our heritage and religious origin we have been a target of discrimination and in some cases (fatal) violence for centuries. Unfortunately, my ancestors were never able to learn about (geo)politics, communication, public discourse, privacy and safety like we are. These things would have surely empowered and even saved them in case of a dangerous or threatening times.

But the gratitude I have for our current access and freedoms is just as big as or even greater than the feeling of grief I have for all people in the past and the media they missed. While I’m only slightly worried about a possible future of authoritarian governments and widespread discrimination, I still try to keep up to date on important political changes around the world, I still try to ensure me and my loved ones have access to modes of communication that can’t be restricted by anyone and I still try to learn about places, things and ideas that can guarantee and improve our collective safety and freedom. Not because I’m scared or paranoid, but because modern media offer us all a deeply liberating life and I would be a fool not to enjoy and embrace it to the fullest!

Student No.: 14021277


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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