Media life: Mark Deuze
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Life in today’s liquid modern society is all about finding ways to deal with constant change, whether it is at home, at work, or at play. Over the last few decades, these key areas of human existence have converged in and through our concurrent and continuous exposure to, use of, and immersion in media, information and communication technologies. Research in countries as varied as the United States, Brazil, South Korea, the Netherlands and Finland consistently shows that more of our time gets spent using media, and that multi-tasking our media has become a regular feature of everyday life. It must be clear that media are not just types of technology and chunks of content we pick and choose from the world around us – a view that considers media as external agents affecting us in a myriad of ways. If anything, today we have to recognize how the uses and appropriations of media penetrate all aspects of contemporary life. This world is what Roger Silverstone (2007), Alex de Jong and Marc Schuilenburg (2006), and Sam Inkinen (1998) label a ‘mediapolis’: a comprehensively mediated public space where media underpin and overarch the experiences and expressions of everyday life. It is the point of this essay to argue that such a perspective on life lived in, rather than with, media can and perhaps should be the ontological benchmark for a twenty-first century media studies (Deuze, 2009).