Supersaturation

Supersaturation

  • Submitted By: dandresch
  • Date Submitted: 09/01/2015 8:55 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 656
  • Page: 3

In the article “Supersaturation, or The Media Torrent and Disposable Feeling,” author Todd Gitlin makes many accurate and astute observations regarding the increasing level to which media has entered our lives. From early art in 1700 Holland right up to the emergence of television and the internet, Gitlin examines the rapid and seemingly unstoppable invasion media has had on our lives, from print, to film, to television and finally the internet. However, pertinent as Gitlin’s examinations are, the evolution of the internet in recent years leaves some of his observations sounding dated. The following seeks to add a much needed amendment, addressing the way the internet has dramatically changed the notion of media saturation in our society in the years since Gitlin’s article was published.
Gitlin goes to great lengths in describing the impact of various forms of media and their immersion of our daily lives; CD players, print media, television, film, and photography are all being increasingly used. Gitlin even begins to discuss these various media’s integration. However, his mention of the internet in regards to media integration seems somewhat misguided today: “Neither... has the internet diminished total media use” Gitlin 141. Although he goes on to state that “the internet redistributes the flow of unlimited media,” it seems as though Gitlin did not anticipate the complete amalgamation of media types the internet would bring about. The internet today, I would argue, neither diminished, nor redistributed media use, inasmuch as it revolutionized it. The internet has immersed our society in a hypermediated world, but even more importantly, the internet has changed us from media consumers to media producers.
Although Gitlin’s article certainly downplays the enormous impact the internet was to have since the time of his article’s publication, many of his points remain extremely potent. The emergence of the social phenomena Facebook provides an...