Mass Communications


The current developments in the information and technology sectors of the global society have a significant impact in the human society. Media refers to the collective tools of communication used in the storage and delivery of information and data. The developments in media and communication technologies are exemplified by the globalization phenomena. The global society exists in a unified structure with a substantial level of interdependence that is facilitated by the growth in media.

Among the major impacts of media in the human society, the cultural impact is highlighted as a significant outcome. The transmission of information, attitudes and ideas from one person to another is an art that defines the sole purpose of media in the global society. Therefore, the media has enhanced the bridging of the geographical gap between the diverse cultures of the world. Consequently, geographically dispersed persons can share information, ideas and attitudes resulting in a substantial cultural influence. This paper focuses on evaluating the impact of media on the collective imagination of individuals in the global society.

Media Technology and Collective Imagination

The unified ideas, information and activities in the global society define the collective thinking. The impact of media is significant in the unified human attributes as indicated in the previous researches. A study by Poe indicates that the collective imagination in the human society is directly subject to media technology influence. This study evaluates the development of communication as an essential attribute of the human society. The study indicates the essence of communication in the human life through the evaluation of Plato, whose writings regarded the dialog rather than monologues. The ideas of Plato were founded on the assumption that monologue constrained the development of the intellectual potential in humans. Therefore, the idea of dialogue and written communication enhanced the propagation of ideas and information in the society enhancing the collective imagination.

Communication is highlighted as a critical factor in the social dynamics as conceptualized by Poe. A collective imagination is exemplified by the social transitions that took place with the society adopting new production means in the ancient times. The token system was founded on effective communication patterns. This system necessitated the appropriate communication strategies that enhanced a unified way of doing things in the ancient times. The system was further revolutionized to writing that further signified the social patterns. The pictographic writing and the information processing were essential discoveries that revolutionized the ancient communication patterns. With a significant impact on the social institutions, the developments in the communication tools of the ancient times are indicated to bring about a substantial pattern of collective imagination.

As conceptualized by Poe, the significant social dynamics that included the domestication of the food sources, development of the cities and villages, the development of the writing system and the institution of the priests and princes in the society were universal in the global society. The civilization process further signifies the collective imagination of the society that resulted due to the innovative communication instruments.

A comprehensive analysis of the views presented by Standage indicates a seamless agreement with the Poe’s views on the impact of technology on cultural elements of the global society. As discussed, Poe view on the manuscripts culture and the manuscript writing presents a significant impact on the culture of a society with a particular documented impact on the religion. Culture entails the various attitudes, ideas and perspectives of the natives of a particular location. These relay of information through the manuscripts presented a significant influence on the ancient developments in the social patterns and the changes in the social order. However, it is evident that Poe’s ideas were inadequate in substantiating the concise impact of media technology on the specific cultural changes. The ideas presented in the document necessitated a further research on the imperative needs for further technologies to augment the cultural changes. Poe’s perspective indicates that the dissatisfaction on the printed manuscripts brought about the need for new forms of information relay in the global society.

As discussed by Standage, in the Writing on the Wall article on The First 2000 Years, the relay of information was an essential element of the 19th and 20th centuries. Before then, information was horizontally propagated. The telegraph and the steam press enhanced communication and facilitated the innovative process in the global media sector. Standage appreciates the impact of media during the civilization period of the human society. The Standage perspective conceptualizes media technology as a critical factor in the enlightment period and during the industrial revolution.

The Technological Determinist Perspective

Carey’s assertion is a technological determinist. The ideas in the concept indicate that the media technology enhances the development of the society’s cultural values and the social structure. Through the analysis of the significance of the telegraph in the human society, Carey’s study indicates a determinist perspective with regard to media technologies. The evident impact on the social welfare indicates the importance of embracing media technology.

As conceptualized in the research by Carey, various forms of technologies complemented by the discovery of the electricity brought a significant impact to the social institutions such as the religion. Additionally, a substantial impact of the media technologies is identified on the essential social activities such as commerce. Carey’s assertion presents a significant appreciation of the impact of the media technology on the human society. Therefore, it is rational to argue that Carey’s perceptions on the media technologies indicate a deterministic technology perspective.

The Impact of Media on Culture in the 19th and 20th Century

Media such as Telegraph is among the product of the communication technology that facilitated the emergence of new cultural orders in the 19th and 20th century. The mass media factored in as a critical element in the management of intricate social issues. The media technology facilitated the re-writing of the American law also referred to as the telegraph war. This which was an innovative action that, however, failed to show the patent struggles. The telegraph also enhanced to the formation of the electrical industry which included electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and civil engineering. It rationalized the industry and enhanced solutions to of major problems in the modern engineering.

Mass media resulted in both positive and negative changes in the nature of language. On the positive side, media improved the social, moral, political and spiritual life of human being as indicated in the studies by Harari and Carey. For instance, good morals, values rules and regulations among others were well communicated through the media. This important aspect of communication presented a significant influence on culture in the human society. On the other hand, media was seen as a channel that led to trivialization and wastage of energy as seen by scholars Thoreau. Scientific language has replaced traditional literature that has enhanced rational decision making. The languages standardize and were used globally to enhance communication and socialization leading to changes in a culture where idea diffusion was evident due to standard knowledge.

The media, augmented by the improvement of transport and communication increased the speed and the volume of work being transacted. The new media technology had effects on structures of the organization. For example, new media technology that resulted from the innovation of computers facilitated a faster and efficient relay of voluminous information. Commercial issues concerning buyers and sellers and the production and distribution were addressed effectively. Therefore, the use of mass media greatly changed the economic attribute of the of the human society. The market size of the economy expanded. Different people were able to trade which lead to the exchange of cultural values, ideas and attitudes.

The world became more interconnected as compared to the past years. The globalization phenomena set in revolutionizing the global society into a global village. Modern technologies such as the use of computers and the internet are critical elements that present a myriad social change. Improvement of transport and communication brought people together in the whole universe changing people’s culture, for instance, their taste and preference. The way of dressing and perceptions towards the aesthetic value of the human phenomena signifies the media impact on the collective ideologies of the society. New ideas, enlightenment and progress among others were fruits of mass media. With globalization, people either left or adopted new cultures.

During the 20th and 19th century, paperwork usage was part of people’s culture but with the adoption of mass media technology, the new system was adopted which was cheaper and influenced statement of facts. Use of cables established a secure investment that was media technology through the use of the telegraph. Through media, detailed investigations were enhanced. Great awareness to people resulted due to the new dimension of standardization taken by the news.

Communication and transport were positively impacted sectors of the economy such as government, military, commerce among others. Uncertainties in prices and time were minimized through the use of new communication hence changing the culture or way of budgeting or planning. Adoption of strategies such as trading warranties helped in correcting imperfection in the markets. On the other hand, adoption of media technology such as railroads and dependency on local times had some setbacks such causing accidents that were brought about by the variety of local time. A solution needed to be found to cool down the angered public members. The adoption of standard time zones achieved through the use of computers helped to solve the problem. Microcomputers replaced watches and were very effective.


The human society is inherently defined by interdependence and a substantial aspect of the social relationship. Consequently, the global society is significantly founded on the effective communication patterns. As discussed, the transition of the society since the ancient eras of the hunters and gatherers was unified by the influence of the innovative communication processes and the discovery of the media technology. As discussed by various scholars, the established patterns of social change characterized by the homogeneous patterns exemplify the impact of the media technology in the propagation of ideas, beliefs and attitudes. In conclusion, media technology is therefore identified as a critical determinant of the collective imagination of the global society.

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