For the most part, technological advances in almost every sphere of life has been viewed as advantageous, and yet in some industries, the impact of technology has been somewhat of a ‘double-edged sword’. For the entertainment industry, this is particularly true.
The movie industry is a great example of where this is true. While producers, actors, directors, and backers have been able to produce bigger and better movies through the use of today’s technology that same technology has been used in other areas to produce entertainment that has caused some moviegoers to forgo the experience of seeing latest releases on the big screen. Though nothing can match the atmosphere of watching a movie with a large number of other people, a bucket of popcorn in one hand and an ice-cream in the other, the dwindling number of attendees have forced movie theater owners and operators to increase ticket and concession prices to stay profitable.
The upside for consumers is the ability to stream almost any show or movie they want to watch, provided it has already appeared on live television or in movie theaters. Some movies don’t even make it into theaters, instead of being made exclusively for the home movie viewer. Movie makers have recognized that the theater experience has somewhat been replaced with large screen smart televisions that allow viewers to be entertained without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
While radio and to some extent television were the platforms for new and upcoming music talent to reach a wide audience, the likes of YouTube.com have allowed these same artists to build a fan base without having to convince radio and television programmers of their talent. Anyone with video creation software can record themselves and upload to YouTube in the hopes of being discovered by a music producer.
One of the downsides of technological advances in the music industry, from the point of view of top artists, is that the Internet has opened up the means for music to be downloaded illegally, thereby reducing sales of recorded music. Many music artists make money from concert tours, but a large part of their income is reliant upon sales of their albums. For consumers who are not able to attend a live performance featuring their favorite music artist, technology has provided the means to purchase the recorded video of a live performance in such good quality that it is almost as good as being there.
Video gaming is hugely popular with people of all ages but has come under some flack over recent years from educators, and health professionals as results of studies have revealed some negative effects of sitting for long periods playing video games. Not only is playing video games less healthy for young children and teens than being outdoors playing team sports and interacting with others of similar age, but it is also contributing to the rise in childhood obesity, a serious condition that many countries are experiencing.
Smartphones have made it possible to conduct business from anywhere in the world, providing a means to take your office with you everywhere you go. There is very little that a smartphone cannot do. People can talk ‘face to face’ in a new way through video chatting, allowing groups to ‘get together’ via the Internet and enjoy chatting much as they would if they were at a coffee shop or party. Though some have said that the Internet has reduced the frequency of people getting together in real life, for many for whom this is not an option the Internet has been a blessing.
For the most part, technological advances have made significant positive impacts on the entertainment industry both for those involved in bringing entertainment to the millions and for those who are seeking ways to relax and enjoy their ‘downtime’. It is important, however, that technology remains a positive influence upon the lives we live, and not be used to harm humanity. Entertainment is a crucial part of our everyday lives, for if we do not take time out from the stresses of working and raising families, no technology will be able to prevent the health issues that ensue. It is up to every one of us to find a way to make time in our busy lives for entertainment and to teach our children to do the same.