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【AIP学粹集】英语写作Traditional Media over Social Media

2016/03/09 10:42:47 2034 400-999-7270

Traditional Media over Social Media

By:广美附中AIP高二B班厉延韵Vivian Li

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity...” Growing up and being caught up amidst the rise of the Electronic Age, now and then I am still amazed by how well the opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities written up two hundred years ago has captured what is happening in our time. It is not that I am convinced the author Charles Dickens was able to foresee such a thing due to his massive intellect, but when you are the one seeing that new forms of technologies emerge, survive, and thrive, there is always this process you undertake to come to terms with the pros and cons of newly-born social media that comes along. Comparing with what traditional media provides for us, social media is no longer simply a tool for us to receive information from the world; it is more of a subtle mechanism that works in the form of Internet-based applications and requires our own participation. However, in light of many revelations of its downsides through the past few years, things have certainly gotten more complex than creation and sharing of user-generated content in virtual communities. Hence, regarding social media’s negative effect on users’ concentration, real-world interactions, and its questionable contributions to social disparity, traditional media has become a more favorable choice, as it allows us to become more initiative in our personal lives than social media does.

“这是最好的时代,这是最坏的时代;这是智慧的年代,这是愚蠢的年代;这是信仰的时期,这是怀疑的时期……”在电子时代的兴起之时度过生命的最初阶段,我依然有时会被《双城记》中两百年前写下的开篇语捕捉到正在我们的年代发生的事的准确度而感到惊讶。这不是因为我相信作者查尔斯· 狄更斯能够凭借他广博的学识与理解力预测到这件事,但当你是那个看着新晋科技诞生,存留并蓬勃发展的人,就总会有一个你试着去接受伴随新晋科技而来的社交媒体的优劣势的过程。与传统媒体为我们带来的相比,社交媒体不再简单地只是一个使我们从外界获取信息的工具;它更像是一个通过以网络为基础的应用而工作并需要我们参与于其中的巧妙途径。然而,根据在过去几年关于它负面的揭露,事情无疑发展得比虚构群体中用户自发内容的创造与共享要更加复杂。因此,考虑到社交媒体在用户的专注力,现实生活中与人交往的负面影响和它对社会不平等性的令人质疑的贡献,并由于传统媒体比社交媒体更允许我们在个人生活中具有主动性,传统媒体在这种趋势下变成一个更讨人喜欢的的选择。

In this time when everyone has gone to lengths about using social media, it seems like we have always been fooled by its outer glamour, in spite of the fact that social media has always had a degrading effect on one’s focus and productivity in doing necessary things and fulfilling their obligations. When you’ve got a cellphone right next to you, for most people, it must be very hard to focus on what you need to do at the moment. In contrast, traditional media, including printed documents, published works, radio, broadcasts, etc., has always operated under a monologic transmission model, instead of focusing on strengthening itself through giving people access to common efforts and building mutual relationships. It then becomes quite clear that traditional media influence seems to be more manageable, as in the case that since you are the one who chooses to receive information in this way, you can always stop the information input right away in one single command, sometimes plainly by a click of the button. But social media, on the other hand, is created in a way that it can seep into our lives so deeply that it is difficult for one to get over once you get addicted to it, especially when you are deeply immersed in the excitement of feeling connected. This would in turn lead to deficiency in one’s efficiency, focus, and then every aspect of their lives. As what media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out, social media shapes the process of thinking as well as supplying “the stuff of thought,” and the Internet seems to chip away one’s capacity for concentration and contemplation, which are the two things that you can only be able to attain from deep reading via a traditional approach. Disappointingly, needs for convenience, which is often easily attained through modern-day social media, make it difficult for the majority to choose this slower, more deliberate way.


However, considering the bigger context, social media, in contrary to the traditional forms of media, actually has few real impacts on our daily life. As more and more social media platforms have been introduced, drastic decrease in face-to-face interactions has also become prevalent, but nothing more is particularly gained through the newly formed, alternative relationships that are supposed to be more preferable. Generally, the virtual relationships people strive to gain via the Internet are typically built around weak ties; due to trust and privacy issues, connections created through involvement with using social media platforms do not provide more depth but more breadth only. In real life, it is widely acknowledged that only deep relationships with less than fifteen people are effective in influencing the course of your life at a particular time period. Just as Malcolm Gladwell has argued that “social networks are effective at increasing participation ---- by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires,” taking Facebook for an example, the activism being presented succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice, but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice. When all the attempts to do good via the social media platforms are still conceptual, it still has nothing to do with what can be brought forth in real life. In contrary, traditional media always acts through a one-way approach; without drawbacks induced by mutual ignorance typical in social media, it gets a better chance at spreading critical information and letting it take effect by directly molding the public’s minds.

然而,考虑它所置于的更大的背景环境,社交媒体,相反与传统形式的媒体,实际上在我们平日生活中真正影响却比较少。随着越来越多的社交媒体平台被介绍引进,面对面交流方面的减少也变得严重,而我们从这应是略胜一筹的另一种形式的人际关系的中却并不能得到更多的东西。大体上看来,这种我们努力通过网络获取的虚拟的人际关系是建立在单薄的纽带之上的;因为信誉与隐私的问题,牵连社交媒体平台的使用而形成的关系只能在人际方面提供更多广度,而不是更多深度。在真实世界中被公认的是,只有在同一时期少于十五个人的人际关系能有效地影响你的生命中这一时间段。正如Malcolm Gladwell曾辩论“社交网络只有通过减少参与中所需要的动力的水准才能它在增多的参与中变得有效“,拿Facebook作为范例,它所展示出的许多行动主义不是靠去鼓励人们去做一个真正的贡献或意义上的牺牲,而是靠鼓励他们去做人们没有足够动力时去做的事情而达成的。当所有的通过社交媒体行善的动力仍是概念性的,它与能在现实生活中带来的没有任何相干。相反地,传统媒体总是通过单向渠道来进行运作;没有社交媒体中惯有的双方面的知识性的蒙蔽而导致的不足,它在传播重要信息与直接地塑造大众的思维方式来使其产生作用方面拥有更好的机会。

As social media has become more and more prominent with the constant development of prototypical technologies, it is not unfair to say that it has changed many aspects of our lives at least in some ways. Due to its highly contagious quality, frequent usage of social media without proper self-control can be ruinous in terms of the harm it exerts on one’s focus, efficiency, and real-life interpersonal relationships. Additionally, the worst thing that can ever happen is that while it turns your life upside down at the moment, you may also receive the consequences from the good opportunities you’ve missed during these “lost” years in the times to come. Hence, traditional media, which allows more freedom and initiative in information-receiving, is more of a favorable choice for us to pick. But in the end, the real question is: Has or has not the media deprived us of the depth we could have attained in our social connections with others? Either the traditional media or the social media, how you handle them and how much influence you get from them in your life is up to you.



capture [ˈkæptʃə(r)] vt.俘获; 夺取; 夺得; 引起(注意、想像、兴趣)

emerge [ iˈmɜ:dʒ ] vi. 出现,浮现; 暴露; 摆脱

thrive [ θraɪv ] vi.兴盛,兴隆; 长得健壮; 茁壮成长

pros and cons n.利弊; 正反两方面; 优缺点; 赞成和反对的理由

virtual adj.实质上的,事实上的; (计算机)虚拟的; <物>有效的,虚像的

social disparity 社会差距

favorable ['feɪvərəbl ] adj.赞同的; 称赞的; 有利的; 讨人喜欢的

mutual [mju:tʃuəli ] adv.互相地,互助; 对

deficiency [ dɪˈfɪʃnsi ] n.缺乏,不足; 缺点,缺陷; 不足额

drastic decrease 急剧下降

face-to-face interactions 面对面互动

prominent [ prɒmɪnənt ] adj.突出的,杰出的; 突起的; 著名的

contagious [ kənˈteɪdʒəs ] adj.有传染性的; 传染病的; 有感染力的; 会蔓延的

exerts [ ɪgˈzɜ:t ] vt.发挥; 运用; 使受(影响等); 用(力)

deprive [ dɪˈpraɪv ] vt.剥夺,夺去,使丧失

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