What’s Black, and White, and Soon to be Extinct?
Comparing newspapers to panda bears may actually be unfair. Newspapers are failing because as technology and humanity progress, we experience new and revolutionary forms of communication. Pandas are just really, really bad at mating (although maybe they’re just waiting for “the one”; to my knowledge we never actually asked the pandas, which seems unfair, but I digress).
As time moves forward and we find better ways to interact, the old ways will undoubtedly fail. Much like the telegraph, the written letter, and the landline telephone, newspapers will soon be obsolete and fall into disuse. This also goes for television, radio, and many other forms of traditional media. This is partially due to audience fragmentation caused by the endless supply of niche markets that are easily accessible online, and partially due to humanity’s desire to evolve. We use social media more because we have a say: we are fulfilling one of our basic needs (shoutout to Abraham Maslow) for social interaction while at the same time losing none of the information or experience of traditional media. Traditional media will be around for some time, but I expect it to die with our generation. Our generation watches less TV than any other since its invention, listens to less radio, and uses far more social media. The people have spoken, and if you can’t keep your thoughts to less than 140 characters we have absolutely no interest in hearing them.
While traditional media won’t disappear anytime soon, its influence has been consistently dwindling and will continue to do so until it is no longer relevant. The rise of social media has brought the human need to interact with others to the forefront of the media world, and as long as people have opinions to express and a contingent willing to listen, social media will flourish and prosper as the dominant form of media.