According to Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The same thing could be said in today’s society, wherein the market demands more and more skills from the working class, pushing more and more people to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the market, in order to survive. One of the skills that are needed is the ability to use multimedia. But before I delve into the topic more, let me explain what multimedia is.
Multimedia, an amalgamation of the Latin word multus, meaning many, and the plural form of the word medium, which came from the Latin word medius, which means median, or middle, is the use of a variety of artistic or communicative media. Relating to the aforementioned statement, the word media is a plural form of the word medium, and we could see the correlation of the unity of the words multi and media, which may be transcribed as: “Multiple mediums being used to transmit information, art, and the like.”
Multimedia has existed since the first cave paintings in the Prehistoric Era, but the first most notable use of multimedia was when the printing press was invented in around 1439, by a man named Johannes Gutenberg. Ever since then, writing and reading became a widespread skill, in contrast to the days of yore, when only the religious, financial and aristocratic elites had access to reading and writing, and with almost everyone knowing how to read and write, people could absorb information through multiple sources.
After the invention of the printing press, books, newspapers, flyers, and the like were mass produced and people were using paper as their main source of information until the birth of the transistor and the Industrial Age ushered in a new age of media. It brought upon the telegram, which made exchanging information faster, the radio, which made information exchange via audio possible, the telephone, which made instant communication between individuals possible, and the television which brought upon the advent of audiovisual media. Technological advances only benefited multimedia, with the advent of the colored television, in contrast to the monochrome televisions, the personal computer, and the Internet.
With all of these in mind, you’re probably asking yourself right now: “Why the heck should I listen to this kid and his ramblings?” Good question. Multimedia and multimedia literacy is, believe it or not, very important in today’s society, and I’ll provide two reasons why.
Firstly, you can use it to spread your agenda. Imagine the power that every one of us is wielding. With one single push of a button, we could send our message, our thoughts, our opinions, our rants, our joys, our sadnesses, our everything out into the world for everyone to see. We could use this to “toot our own horn” and get our message across a wide audience. We could use this to broadcast a message, or advertise a certain product, or show your skills to the world, or shed light upon a certain wrongdoing and bring justice upon it.
Secondly, you can use it to inform yourselves. Behind the screen of your computer or smartphone is a plethora of information, news, articles, and the like, which you can use to make opinions, or to make better decisions, or to support your beliefs and opinions with other information to back up aformentioned opinions, et cetera.
In conclusion, multimedia is beneficial, it has always been, and will always be, especially in our modern, connected society, and as such, we must keep up with the trend of multimedia and become multimedia literate.