To have or not to have power? That is the question.

Are we as consumers too lazy to take power into our own hands? Do we rely too much on others to take the lead? Can this lead us to success or to failure? This isn’t just a question that relates to everyday life, but also relates to the media world. I am a self-confessed lazy boy. If the phone’s ringing, I wait until someone else gets it, I wait for instructions before I do something. I tend to be afraid to put in my own contribution. This trait seems to follow me quite noticeably into my media practices. I follow the trends of social media such as creating a Facebook, and also bought an Iphone and Macbook pro purely because every young person in the whole of bloody Australia has one. What I’m trying to say is that I would rather the company of the product I have, control how I use their product (locked appliance). That’s just because I don’t have any desire (can’t be bothered) to change the codes, operating system etc. Sure, there is many limitations but some locked appliances recognise this and try to compromise. For example the stock navigation app on the Iphone is horrendous with no alternate options when it was just released, so they released google maps as an app on the app store. Some users however enjoy having the responsibility to make free choices (open appliance). Jonathan L. Zittrain in the reading this week “The future of the internet and how to stop it” clearly reminds us that with the freedom of choice, can come with “viruses, scams, identity theft and crashes.” This may not be seen as entirely negative because there is yet again users that enjoy the challenge to solve these issues. An open platform also allows for collective intelligence which is little bits of knowledge from multiple users coming together. An example of this (and a very sad one I’m ashamed to know of) is the Survivor TV show spoiler sites such as Survivor Sucks. Lots of users put their little knowledge of speculation and leaked information to figure out the next person voted out or the winner (now can I put a bag on my head?).

Some people have a clear preference as explained in the BCM112 lecture this week with the topic being locked appliances vs open appliances. I prefer my Apple Iphone and Macbook simply because I do not have to get used to multiple operating systems. There is little threat of getting unwanted viruses just due to the restrictions of downloading foreign programs. Apple products have essentially a “promise of security”. This can be contrasted against audiences that prefer open appliances such as Soundcloud. This program allows users to upload any of their musical artistry with little restrictions. Operators do however advise about the dangers of breaching other artists copyright, but there is no program that stops users from uploading pirated music. There are a few changes in this relatively new company that indicate that it could be transforming to a closed appliances such as the taking down mixtapes.

Alternatively, there are people who prefer to ‘sit on the fence’ with this power issue. There is always going to be arguments involving the people who sit strongly on one side. Eg. Apple vs Android. But this purely just comes down to the vastly different ideological views of what a media platform should be. Henry Jenkins shows support for both sides in the reading “International Journal of Cultural Studies” by stating “they all get partial credit, given the contradictory and transitional nature of our current media system.”

If the world was perfect Id have the security of a locked device with some options including safe alternate operating systems.

2 thoughts on “To have or not to have power? That is the question.

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