As a society we are progressing from passive to active consumers of media content. Digital technology now allows us to further use media content for personal use and to interact through a medium or with the content on another level compared to analogue mediums which was a one way. Thus consumers are now often referred to as end users which was explained by Dorner (1993). Dorner (1993) explains that when we read a printed page and analyse a text we are a reader, though in regards to words on a computer screen we have become an end user. We are now able through technology, to analyse a text in minutes rather than take a life time as Alexander Cruden did making a concordance of the Bible (Dorner 1993 p.10). The same technology is also allowing individual’s to become more active with text, however, that also increases the ease to plagiarize authors work’s which then raises the question over who owns the content?
Dorners (1993) main argument is that consumers are now classed as end users as they no longer read texts for enjoyment and to learn, they instead “scan” texts for a personal reason. They have an end result they are trying to achieve, thus, they are missing out on information that would have been received if they had read the entire text instead of scanning or using the find function to eliminate un-necessary information.
Another example of active consumers is the gaming culture. Gaming culture has expanded tremendously with the rise of technology and we are now witnessing studies expressing concerns over the effects of video game addiction and the possibility that video games generate aggressive behaviour. Video games nurturing an aggressive personality has always been an interesting topic for debate as their are no conclusive studies. Shreier (2013) presents two studies that tested the rise of aggression while playing a video game, the findings were aggression raised by 2% by one scientist 0.6% by another. Therefore, these statistics are not very concerning and perhaps video game aggression is more of the media creating a moral panic? Dorner (1993) could be applied here, as the emotive response of aggression depends on how the end user uses the media content being presented to them, therefore, it will depend on how receptive and how the end user interprets the information provided to them from the video game.
Nevertheless it is clear our society is altering to become active consumers of media content, consequently also becoming end users.
Dorner, J 1993, “When Readers Become End-Users: Intercourse without Seduction,” Logos 4.1 (1993): 6-11
Schrier, J 2013. “From Halo to Hot Sauce: What 25 Years of Violent Video Game Research Looks Like.” Kotaku, 27 Jan. 2013