Technical constraints of media

From Media Technology and Culture Change

Technical constraints of media limit every type of existing media. Each type of media, whether it's television, podcasts, newspapers, radio, games etc all have technical limitations. For example, radio offers stimulation for the sense of hearing, but cannot provide visuals. Although these limitations are beginning to decrease as technologies progress, they do still exist. For example, video games did not originally allow players to communicate to one another if they players were not in the same room. Advances in gaming and internet technologies now allow this to be commonplace (see interface). Although technical constraints are often seen as negative, there are also some that are accepted within the media. Television, for example, is seen as a type of Cool Media because it does not allow for any active participation. However, this is an appeal to television as well and most likely will not change. Most viewers enjoy being disengaged. As technologies improve, limitations and constraints within media do disappear, however many, like the ability to touch someone over the phone, may be around forever. This idea is related to the social shaping of technology where technology is shaped by societal uses. That's why, as mentioned above, there exists a melding of technologies, where these constraints are becoming more and more easily overcome as mediums combine. For example, technologies like Skype (internet and phone) and newer ipods (can watch movies as well as listen to music) exhibit the blending of technologies in order to overcome traditional constraints.