“Digital media is everywhere” is what I used to think. I still think it’s true – I simply have a slightly more complex understanding now of what that generic phrase means. Before my first lecture, when I thought of digital media, key words such as “social media” and “Photoshop” would come to mind, but being able to grasp the extent to which digital media exists in our world today was difficult. Without realizing, I’ve been surrounded by digital media my entire life. It’s in the way I choose to communicate with my friends; it’s why I choose David’s Tea over Lipton; it’s something my mom chastises even though she’s surrounded by it too. It’s huge, and it is, quite literally, everywhere.
As Dr. Richard Lachman reminded us in the first lecture of RTA 102, “media is the plural of mediums.” Although digital media feels new and fresh, it’s an established form of media just as TV, broadcast journalism, radio, and film are. Students in RTA are here to learn about it all (especially in the first year). It doesn’t make sense to ignore a media that has become, and will continue to be, so fundamental in all our lives. The understanding of digital media is a gateway to the understanding of all the other mediums because digital media has become intertwined with everything we do. My professors in RTA 101 say that without theory there is no deep appreciation of media, and I’d like to say the same thing about digital media.
I’m looking forward to finally learn how to use Photoshop. I never took a communication technologies course in high school, so I feel as though I’m a bit behind everyone else. To overcome that, I’ll probably be spending many hours in one of the labs trying to hone the skills that I’ll learn. One thing I really want to try is to scan the photos I have taken on film and alter them in a digital format. Perhaps, they could even be used in my projects so I don’t have to worry about copyright issues. By the end of the semester, I want to be able to effectively convince my mom that digital media isn’t as bad as she thinks it is. I can’t wait to learn more about it myself!