#114 - The Best and Worst Thing About the Age of Digital Media

November 3, 2021

Modern technology has made so many amazing things possible. Let's talk about the best and worst parts of it.

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to talk about what I believe is the best and worst thing about the age of digital media.

[00:00:13] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:18] The Life in English Podcast is Designed to teach you the real American English that you won’t learn in school, and it’s made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you get access to our private conversation group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you’d like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip

[00:00:43] I truly believe the internet is one of the best inventions of all time. In many ways, the internet democratized the exchange of information. Before the invention of the internet. If you wanted your content to be consumed by the masses, you'd have to find a way to get it in a newspaper, on national television, or on the radio... and that simply wasn't possible for the vast majority of people, either because it was too expensive or whoever was in charge, simply didn't think your content was good enough to be shared. 

[00:01:12] The internet changed all that.. Now anybody can create their own newspaper, radio station, TV channel, art gallery, or book publishing house. You can create a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a photography website, or social media account and easily publish or distribute electronic books. Before, you would only see what the major networks and companies wanted you to see. Now, you have the ability to consume all kinds of content from people around the world, and also have your content found and appreciated by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.

[00:01:47] This is great because artists, content creators, doctors, philosophers, psychologists, teachers, and business owners can create and share their work with the world almost instantly, which has an incredible impact on the way their careers develop. 

[00:02:02] It's even better for you as a content consumer, because it means that you will never not have some form of entertainment available to you. It's always there, 24/7 and people are constantly making more. You want podcasts? No problem. You want another book? We got you covered. You want a new TV series? Say no more. More pictures? Here you go. 

[00:02:27] You can also learn virtually anything on the internet these days. How to maintain your car, how to style your hair, how to cook a meal, how to survive in a foreign country, how to communicate more effectively, how to lose and gain weight, how to learn a language. The list goes on and on

[00:02:46] Before the internet, you'd have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to some institution to learn these things. And most of the time they'd just be teaching you theory. Most traditional schools don't teach you anything practical. So most students do nothing but waste time and money there. Now, you can take your education into your own hands and learn a skill in less than 18 months, and it will cost you a fraction of what you would have paid at a university. Many times you don't have to pay anything at all. 

[00:03:14] Now, it also created countless new jobs, virtual assistant, video editor, digital marketing specialists, web and software developers, et cetera. Some of the biggest companies in the world exist and operate solely because of the internet. You're listening to me right now solely because of the internet. 

[00:03:34] It really is one of the best times to be alive when you think about all the things that modern technology has made possible. People are sharing more information than ever before in human history, more movies, music, books, podcasts, photos, paintings, lectures, stories, and ideas. People that really have something to say are being heard, and people that really do admirable work are being discovered every day. 

[00:04:02] But you know what the worst part about all of this is? We have no time to consume it all. There's so much content being created on a daily basis that you couldn't consume it all even in 10 lifetimes. It simply isn't impossible. You have to work, spend time with family and friends, eat, exercise, sleep, clean the house. There's always something to be done. Meanwhile, thousands of pieces of content are being uploaded every minute of every day. 

[00:04:32] I'm not saying that we should be able to consume all the content in the world because honestly, I don't think that would be good either. Humans aren't really meant to be consuming things all the time. I don't think any form of life is meant to be consuming all the time. In fact, I think producing is just as, if not more important than consuming. The act of producing is much more rewarding and fulfilling, in my opinion. 

[00:04:57] I'm saying even in the context of content you probably enjoy consuming, you'll never be able to consume it all. Like, take me as an example, I love photography and I love the fact that photographers all over the world finally have the ability to create and share their work with potentially millions of people. I have a deep appreciation for visual artwork. So I really enjoy viewing interesting photos, watching good movies, appreciating beautiful paintings, et cetera. But it makes me kind of sad when I think about the fact that there's so much great artwork out there that I will simply never see or be able to appreciate.

[00:05:35] I know this is normal and this is how it was even before the internet was created. Before the internet, we were typically only aware of what was happening in our neighborhood or city, and whatever was happening on the TV or the radio. The happenings and people of the world were almost non-existent to us because we didn't know anything about them unless we left our neighborhood or city.

[00:05:58] I'm just saying that the internet made me even more aware of the fact that it’s a big world out there and a lot of stuff is happening. And since I'm someone who values experiences, it kind of sucks to think that there are so many great things in life that I will never experience, even though I know that's totally normal, and even though I know that it's all the more reason to get out there and experience everything I can until the day I die. So I'm not really trying to make any point in particular here. This is just something I think about from time to time

[00:06:26] Now, another inevitable downside to the invention of the internet and social media is that algorithms decide who and what gets found organically. Just because you post a video or a great video on YouTube, doesn't mean that people around the world will be able to find and appreciate your work. The internet is only semi-democratic

[00:06:48] At the end of the day, a search engine, like YouTube shows you what it thinks you want to see, and it makes that decision based on many things. How many people click on your video, how long people watched the video, and what they do after they watch your video, and even how many other people are making videos about the same topic has an effect on who sees your videos. I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, because at the end of the day, there has to be some kind of system in place that determines which content is good and useful, and which content is not. I'm just saying that making good content doesn't guarantee that your content will be found and appreciated. 

[00:07:24] But that's also where the ability to create your own website becomes important, right? Anybody can create their own website, which means that anybody can have their own little piece of real estate in cyberspace.

[00:07:36] Having a social media account is like renting an apartment. The account is yours, but you don't make the rules and you don't own the platform. You can be blocked or banned at any time, and the owner decides who and how many people see your content. A website on the other hand is like owning a home. You decide what you can or cannot put on a website. You decide what the site looks like and what the site is for. You simply have to find a way to get people to your website. 

[00:08:06] Whereas on social media, there's already a huge audience of people actively looking for content, with your website, you have to create the audience and give them a reason to consistently come back to your platform instead of staying on the most popular ones.

[00:08:21] Another downside to the digital age is that oftentimes there are simply too many options, too many series, too many podcasts, too many videos, too many courses. Having too many options, it makes it hard to choose, right? Have you ever found yourself spending more time looking for a video to watch than you actually spent watching the video? That's what I'm talking about. 

[00:08:46] Sometimes less is more. And with the access to endless streams of content and entertainment comes a responsibility of choosing what, when and how to consume. 

[00:08:57] But what do you think? Is now really one of the best times to be alive? 

[00:09:02] Has the democratization of the exchange of information helped or hurt society as a whole?

[00:09:09] Has it helped or hurt you as an individual? 

[00:09:13] What type of content would you like to see more of? 

[00:09:16] Send me a message and let me know, you know, or start a conversation about this topic with your language exchange partner. 

[00:09:22] This is Life in English. I'm Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you later. Peace

[00:09:26] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to talk about what I believe is the best and worst thing about the age of digital media.

[00:00:13] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:18] The Life in English Podcast is Designed to teach you the real American English that you won’t learn in school, and it’s made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you get access to our private conversation group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you’d like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip

[00:00:43] I truly believe the internet is one of the best inventions of all time. In many ways, the internet democratized the exchange of information. Before the invention of the internet. If you wanted your content to be consumed by the masses, you'd have to find a way to get it in a newspaper, on national television, or on the radio... and that simply wasn't possible for the vast majority of people, either because it was too expensive or whoever was in charge, simply didn't think your content was good enough to be shared. 

[00:01:12] The internet changed all that.. Now anybody can create their own newspaper, radio station, TV channel, art gallery, or book publishing house. You can create a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a photography website, or social media account and easily publish or distribute electronic books. Before, you would only see what the major networks and companies wanted you to see. Now, you have the ability to consume all kinds of content from people around the world, and also have your content found and appreciated by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.

[00:01:47] This is great because artists, content creators, doctors, philosophers, psychologists, teachers, and business owners can create and share their work with the world almost instantly, which has an incredible impact on the way their careers develop. 

[00:02:02] It's even better for you as a content consumer, because it means that you will never not have some form of entertainment available to you. It's always there, 24/7 and people are constantly making more. You want podcasts? No problem. You want another book? We got you covered. You want a new TV series? Say no more. More pictures? Here you go. 

[00:02:27] You can also learn virtually anything on the internet these days. How to maintain your car, how to style your hair, how to cook a meal, how to survive in a foreign country, how to communicate more effectively, how to lose and gain weight, how to learn a language. The list goes on and on

[00:02:46] Before the internet, you'd have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to some institution to learn these things. And most of the time they'd just be teaching you theory. Most traditional schools don't teach you anything practical. So most students do nothing but waste time and money there. Now, you can take your education into your own hands and learn a skill in less than 18 months, and it will cost you a fraction of what you would have paid at a university. Many times you don't have to pay anything at all. 

[00:03:14] Now, it also created countless new jobs, virtual assistant, video editor, digital marketing specialists, web and software developers, et cetera. Some of the biggest companies in the world exist and operate solely because of the internet. You're listening to me right now solely because of the internet. 

[00:03:34] It really is one of the best times to be alive when you think about all the things that modern technology has made possible. People are sharing more information than ever before in human history, more movies, music, books, podcasts, photos, paintings, lectures, stories, and ideas. People that really have something to say are being heard, and people that really do admirable work are being discovered every day. 

[00:04:02] But you know what the worst part about all of this is? We have no time to consume it all. There's so much content being created on a daily basis that you couldn't consume it all even in 10 lifetimes. It simply isn't impossible. You have to work, spend time with family and friends, eat, exercise, sleep, clean the house. There's always something to be done. Meanwhile, thousands of pieces of content are being uploaded every minute of every day. 

[00:04:32] I'm not saying that we should be able to consume all the content in the world because honestly, I don't think that would be good either. Humans aren't really meant to be consuming things all the time. I don't think any form of life is meant to be consuming all the time. In fact, I think producing is just as, if not more important than consuming. The act of producing is much more rewarding and fulfilling, in my opinion. 

[00:04:57] I'm saying even in the context of content you probably enjoy consuming, you'll never be able to consume it all. Like, take me as an example, I love photography and I love the fact that photographers all over the world finally have the ability to create and share their work with potentially millions of people. I have a deep appreciation for visual artwork. So I really enjoy viewing interesting photos, watching good movies, appreciating beautiful paintings, et cetera. But it makes me kind of sad when I think about the fact that there's so much great artwork out there that I will simply never see or be able to appreciate.

[00:05:35] I know this is normal and this is how it was even before the internet was created. Before the internet, we were typically only aware of what was happening in our neighborhood or city, and whatever was happening on the TV or the radio. The happenings and people of the world were almost non-existent to us because we didn't know anything about them unless we left our neighborhood or city.

[00:05:58] I'm just saying that the internet made me even more aware of the fact that it’s a big world out there and a lot of stuff is happening. And since I'm someone who values experiences, it kind of sucks to think that there are so many great things in life that I will never experience, even though I know that's totally normal, and even though I know that it's all the more reason to get out there and experience everything I can until the day I die. So I'm not really trying to make any point in particular here. This is just something I think about from time to time

[00:06:26] Now, another inevitable downside to the invention of the internet and social media is that algorithms decide who and what gets found organically. Just because you post a video or a great video on YouTube, doesn't mean that people around the world will be able to find and appreciate your work. The internet is only semi-democratic

[00:06:48] At the end of the day, a search engine, like YouTube shows you what it thinks you want to see, and it makes that decision based on many things. How many people click on your video, how long people watched the video, and what they do after they watch your video, and even how many other people are making videos about the same topic has an effect on who sees your videos. I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, because at the end of the day, there has to be some kind of system in place that determines which content is good and useful, and which content is not. I'm just saying that making good content doesn't guarantee that your content will be found and appreciated. 

[00:07:24] But that's also where the ability to create your own website becomes important, right? Anybody can create their own website, which means that anybody can have their own little piece of real estate in cyberspace.

[00:07:36] Having a social media account is like renting an apartment. The account is yours, but you don't make the rules and you don't own the platform. You can be blocked or banned at any time, and the owner decides who and how many people see your content. A website on the other hand is like owning a home. You decide what you can or cannot put on a website. You decide what the site looks like and what the site is for. You simply have to find a way to get people to your website. 

[00:08:06] Whereas on social media, there's already a huge audience of people actively looking for content, with your website, you have to create the audience and give them a reason to consistently come back to your platform instead of staying on the most popular ones.

[00:08:21] Another downside to the digital age is that oftentimes there are simply too many options, too many series, too many podcasts, too many videos, too many courses. Having too many options, it makes it hard to choose, right? Have you ever found yourself spending more time looking for a video to watch than you actually spent watching the video? That's what I'm talking about. 

[00:08:46] Sometimes less is more. And with the access to endless streams of content and entertainment comes a responsibility of choosing what, when and how to consume. 

[00:08:57] But what do you think? Is now really one of the best times to be alive? 

[00:09:02] Has the democratization of the exchange of information helped or hurt society as a whole?

[00:09:09] Has it helped or hurt you as an individual? 

[00:09:13] What type of content would you like to see more of? 

[00:09:16] Send me a message and let me know, you know, or start a conversation about this topic with your language exchange partner. 

[00:09:22] This is Life in English. I'm Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you later. Peace

[00:09:26] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to talk about what I believe is the best and worst thing about the age of digital media.

[00:00:13] INTRO MUSIC

[00:00:18] The Life in English Podcast is Designed to teach you the real American English that you won’t learn in school, and it’s made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you get access to our private conversation group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you’d like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip

[00:00:43] I truly believe the internet is one of the best inventions of all time. In many ways, the internet democratized the exchange of information. Before the invention of the internet. If you wanted your content to be consumed by the masses, you'd have to find a way to get it in a newspaper, on national television, or on the radio... and that simply wasn't possible for the vast majority of people, either because it was too expensive or whoever was in charge, simply didn't think your content was good enough to be shared. 

[00:01:12] The internet changed all that.. Now anybody can create their own newspaper, radio station, TV channel, art gallery, or book publishing house. You can create a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel, a photography website, or social media account and easily publish or distribute electronic books. Before, you would only see what the major networks and companies wanted you to see. Now, you have the ability to consume all kinds of content from people around the world, and also have your content found and appreciated by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.

[00:01:47] This is great because artists, content creators, doctors, philosophers, psychologists, teachers, and business owners can create and share their work with the world almost instantly, which has an incredible impact on the way their careers develop. 

[00:02:02] It's even better for you as a content consumer, because it means that you will never not have some form of entertainment available to you. It's always there, 24/7 and people are constantly making more. You want podcasts? No problem. You want another book? We got you covered. You want a new TV series? Say no more. More pictures? Here you go. 

[00:02:27] You can also learn virtually anything on the internet these days. How to maintain your car, how to style your hair, how to cook a meal, how to survive in a foreign country, how to communicate more effectively, how to lose and gain weight, how to learn a language. The list goes on and on

[00:02:46] Before the internet, you'd have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to some institution to learn these things. And most of the time they'd just be teaching you theory. Most traditional schools don't teach you anything practical. So most students do nothing but waste time and money there. Now, you can take your education into your own hands and learn a skill in less than 18 months, and it will cost you a fraction of what you would have paid at a university. Many times you don't have to pay anything at all. 

[00:03:14] Now, it also created countless new jobs, virtual assistant, video editor, digital marketing specialists, web and software developers, et cetera. Some of the biggest companies in the world exist and operate solely because of the internet. You're listening to me right now solely because of the internet. 

[00:03:34] It really is one of the best times to be alive when you think about all the things that modern technology has made possible. People are sharing more information than ever before in human history, more movies, music, books, podcasts, photos, paintings, lectures, stories, and ideas. People that really have something to say are being heard, and people that really do admirable work are being discovered every day. 

[00:04:02] But you know what the worst part about all of this is? We have no time to consume it all. There's so much content being created on a daily basis that you couldn't consume it all even in 10 lifetimes. It simply isn't impossible. You have to work, spend time with family and friends, eat, exercise, sleep, clean the house. There's always something to be done. Meanwhile, thousands of pieces of content are being uploaded every minute of every day. 

[00:04:32] I'm not saying that we should be able to consume all the content in the world because honestly, I don't think that would be good either. Humans aren't really meant to be consuming things all the time. I don't think any form of life is meant to be consuming all the time. In fact, I think producing is just as, if not more important than consuming. The act of producing is much more rewarding and fulfilling, in my opinion. 

[00:04:57] I'm saying even in the context of content you probably enjoy consuming, you'll never be able to consume it all. Like, take me as an example, I love photography and I love the fact that photographers all over the world finally have the ability to create and share their work with potentially millions of people. I have a deep appreciation for visual artwork. So I really enjoy viewing interesting photos, watching good movies, appreciating beautiful paintings, et cetera. But it makes me kind of sad when I think about the fact that there's so much great artwork out there that I will simply never see or be able to appreciate.

[00:05:35] I know this is normal and this is how it was even before the internet was created. Before the internet, we were typically only aware of what was happening in our neighborhood or city, and whatever was happening on the TV or the radio. The happenings and people of the world were almost non-existent to us because we didn't know anything about them unless we left our neighborhood or city.

[00:05:58] I'm just saying that the internet made me even more aware of the fact that it’s a big world out there and a lot of stuff is happening. And since I'm someone who values experiences, it kind of sucks to think that there are so many great things in life that I will never experience, even though I know that's totally normal, and even though I know that it's all the more reason to get out there and experience everything I can until the day I die. So I'm not really trying to make any point in particular here. This is just something I think about from time to time

[00:06:26] Now, another inevitable downside to the invention of the internet and social media is that algorithms decide who and what gets found organically. Just because you post a video or a great video on YouTube, doesn't mean that people around the world will be able to find and appreciate your work. The internet is only semi-democratic

[00:06:48] At the end of the day, a search engine, like YouTube shows you what it thinks you want to see, and it makes that decision based on many things. How many people click on your video, how long people watched the video, and what they do after they watch your video, and even how many other people are making videos about the same topic has an effect on who sees your videos. I'm not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, because at the end of the day, there has to be some kind of system in place that determines which content is good and useful, and which content is not. I'm just saying that making good content doesn't guarantee that your content will be found and appreciated. 

[00:07:24] But that's also where the ability to create your own website becomes important, right? Anybody can create their own website, which means that anybody can have their own little piece of real estate in cyberspace.

[00:07:36] Having a social media account is like renting an apartment. The account is yours, but you don't make the rules and you don't own the platform. You can be blocked or banned at any time, and the owner decides who and how many people see your content. A website on the other hand is like owning a home. You decide what you can or cannot put on a website. You decide what the site looks like and what the site is for. You simply have to find a way to get people to your website. 

[00:08:06] Whereas on social media, there's already a huge audience of people actively looking for content, with your website, you have to create the audience and give them a reason to consistently come back to your platform instead of staying on the most popular ones.

[00:08:21] Another downside to the digital age is that oftentimes there are simply too many options, too many series, too many podcasts, too many videos, too many courses. Having too many options, it makes it hard to choose, right? Have you ever found yourself spending more time looking for a video to watch than you actually spent watching the video? That's what I'm talking about. 

[00:08:46] Sometimes less is more. And with the access to endless streams of content and entertainment comes a responsibility of choosing what, when and how to consume. 

[00:08:57] But what do you think? Is now really one of the best times to be alive? 

[00:09:02] Has the democratization of the exchange of information helped or hurt society as a whole?

[00:09:09] Has it helped or hurt you as an individual? 

[00:09:13] What type of content would you like to see more of? 

[00:09:16] Send me a message and let me know, you know, or start a conversation about this topic with your language exchange partner. 

[00:09:22] This is Life in English. I'm Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you later. Peace

[00:09:26] OUTRO MUSIC

[END OF PODCAST]

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