The dawn of the “digital era” is upon us. For the past three decades, since the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989, technology and interconnectedness has been growing at an exponential rate. Now, technology has been integrated into nearly every aspect of our life, but one of the most substantial shifts in society due to technology has been in how we communicate.
No longer are we stifled by physical restrictions of communication — interpersonal connection has gone entirely digital. We can stream, text, speak and even send pictures of our dogs to people thousands of miles away, all with the tap of a screen or the click of a button. But with such great power comes great responsibility. Since social media became mainstream, many have learned the hard way that what goes on the internet stays on the internet forever. Despite this, people still find a voice through social media. Whether it be posting photos of a fitness journey on Instagram or tweeting about politics, there is quite literally something for everyone online.
Since the world has shifted into the digital age, we as journalists must follow along. We must explore new mediums and expand our horizons to match the ever-expanding boundaries of the internet, because each day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are uploaded to the internet, according to Forbes. With that massive amount of data being crammed online each day comes the inevitable sifting through of information in order to determine what is true and what is not.
Everything is so available through the internet, which is why it is the public’s responsibility to be intentional about what they consume. Baylor, as much as the rest of the world, is shifting its focus to be digitally focused through its social media presence, its online grading portals and in some ways, legal accountability.
All this being said, this special edition was created to share with the Baylor community different points of view, benefits and side effects of living in a digital world. It is up to you as consumers to determine what you give power to in the world of social media — to filter, if you will, the content and the mass amount of digital media we consume. We present you with “#Filtered,” a quick look at all aspects of digital media and its effects on our lives. Read carefully, read conscientiously, read with an open mind. Hopefully, #Filtered helps you become more aware of the full scope of the digital world we live in.
Molly Atchison | Editor-in-Chief