Within the new age of technology, there has been an exponential amount of change withing reading and writing. Audiences becoming users, and writers becoming multi-digital media users. It is clear that our identities of being readers and writers have changed over the course of a few decades. Because of the shift to technology, remediation and hypermediacy has shaped our identities as readers and writers. This is by improving our understanding of old media in new media as well as increasing a deeper level of engagement with the media we use.
First off, we must understand what these vocabularies mean. What is Remediation and what is Hypermediacy? For Remediation, we look to the works of Dough Eyman’s writing of “Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric.” He defines it as “where new media reshape and reconfigure “old” media when they are drawn into the mix and play of new media composing.” In simpler terms according to FunLearn’s article about remediation, it is “Instead, new media transform older media, retaining some of their features while discarding others.” We then look into hypermediacy, and according to J.D Applen, using the quote of Bolter is a “style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium.” Or in simple terms, it is when media itself is aware that it is media.
Remediation on Readers
Looking at remediation, it has affected our identities as readers by having more access to different information through new media, thus improving our knowledge of old media. According to Eyman, he explores this notion and explains that through new media, most information becomes computer-accessible numerical data. Thus, whether that be via digital text, animation, videos, or digital art, it becomes widely available to all who look for it and read it. This is in contrast to physical objects like books, physical speeches, and canvases of art. It is difficult to obtain information of these physical objects if the reader is not in close proximity to the media. As a result, the reader may miss out on valuable information this media holds. Additionally, remediation makes sending and receiving information quicker and easier to understand intention. Applen brings up an example between texting and handwriting letters.
Remediation changed handwritten letters into texting as both are purposed to send information to a specific reader. With texting, the reader’s identity has shifted as they are expecting more short-handed and straightforward information with the occasional emojis 😭😊💕😒. Emojis transform the intent behind wording in a text and convey the writer’s feelings clearly to the reader. However, readers are not the only ones affected by remediation.
Remediation on Writers
Remediation has significantly shaped how writers create their pieces by creating different ways for their readers to access them amid new media. For instance, Applen presents the example of scholars who wish to have their journals published. Before the rapid acceptance of technology, scholars would have to physically publish their findings through publishers as this would be considered a “higher status” of their work. Now with remediation, these scholars’ writings can be accepted as online journals which are accepted as equals to traditional publishing. Applen even mentions how scholars choose to publish their journals to both traditional and online publishers. This shapes them as a writer as they learn to new ways to introduce their work to new audiences via new media. Writers learn different tools necessary to convey their message properly in each form of media whether that be digital text, video format, animation, etc.
Writers increasingly improve their digital rhetoric and digital literacy as well because of exploring these new forms of media. Eyman describes how users must “be able to read and write with a number of sign systems” within digital literacy. Additionally, the improvement of digital literacy improves digital rhetoric which is the “use of tools within the digital space to efficiently influence people into persuasion of an idea or concept,” which I have explained in my previous blog. Overall, writers learn how to use different new media if they wish to gain a bigger audience, they can improve their rhetoric by understanding and using the tools the media provides, to their advantage.
Hypermediacy on Readers
Hypermediacy has shaped our identities as readers by interacting with the new media and gaining a deeper understanding of the writer’s intention. Within new media, the best media to easily present hypermediacy is animation and video media. For instance, within video media, majority are found on YouTube. YouTube is the perfect video-sharing platform for readers to find new information about whatever piques their interest. Here, readers can feel like they are engaging with what they are reading when the writer talks to the readers directly by saying “Guys look”, “you at home or on the couch”, “I appreciate you, yeah you, watching this video right now, thank you for your endless support.”
This shapes the identities of the readers by feeling closer to the media that they are engaged with and feel on a level with the writer, gaining a better understanding of what their support means to them, and feeling a sense of community.
Within animation, readers can gain multiple understandings through the writer’s intention. For instance, in the early 2000s a show called Chowder aired on Cartoon Network. This show was known for its fourth-wall breaks that reached hypermediacy as the characters knew they were within a show. The biggest example was in one of its episodes called “The Shopping Spree.” Where the characters spend all their money on a shopping spree. Once reaching the consequences of going broke the character Mung Daal exclaims “No money means no animation!” This then cuts to the real-life voice actors in their booths talking about saving the show.
The solution was a car wash which there was real-life footage of the voice actor cast washing real cars. Once it was done the fictional character Mung Daal returns and says “ah, much better.” This shows that the media Chowder was aware it was an animation. This shapes the audience as even when directed towards children, they get a glimpse of what goes into a cartoon. The readers recognize that real people are behind the voices and behind the work of the cartoon too. The readers also understand the importance of budgeting and saving money not just from a cartoon standpoint but also in real life as the voice actors themselves raise money to fund the show.
Hypermediacy on Writers
Hypermediacy has also shaped writers’ identity by finding new ways to engage the audience and express certain ideas uniquely. As writers, it is important to engage with their audience and integrate their input. It is also important to get support from their audience as it drives the writer to continue what they do. This is because they know there is an audience for their content. For example, content creators on YouTube or other social medias are aware what media they use to create their content. In order to remind their audience to support their work many say a phrase. This can end or start their videos or posts with “Don’t forget to comment, like, and subscribe.” This makes the writers’ work hypermediacy as they recognize their content as media. Thus, engage their audience by asking directly for their support.
As writers, hypermediacy permits anyone to be engaged with the media they are using and directly talking to the audience. They can then redirect their attention back to the media they are using themselves. Additionally, it shapes us as writers due to its immediacy to create a connection between writer and reader. As Cool Medium states when describing artists who wanted an “immersive or immanent experiences that provide a sense of immediacy, or non-mediated experience.” By writers calling their audience to support them, it gains an immediate reaction of readers to “like, share, and subscribe”.
Overall, Remediation and hypermediacy both greatly affect and shape our identities as readers and writers within the digital era. Remediation has allowed readers to access different information at quicker speeds and have a better understanding of the writers’ intentions. Remediation has affected writers by using different media platforms in order to reach a bigger audience. Thus, this pushes them to learn digital literacy and digital rhetoric. Hypermediacy has significantly shaped the identities of readers as they feel more connected to the media they are watching. And can be actively participating in it with the writer. Finally, the writers are affected by hypermediacy due to understanding the immediacy they are trying to create with their writings. This is due to videos calling actions of the reader to actively use the media the writing is on.