New Media Interactivity: Technologies Are Simply Tools

With the rapid growth of technology-based society, people have greater access to digitally based technologies that enable the manipulation of different digital media forms. Marketing is always focused on reconfiguring a service to promote sales and contribute to new opportunities. Therefore, technologies can be perceived as simply tools to alleviate our lives and replace or enhance human work. When examining the distinction between new media and traditional media in the digital environment, one should consider the keywords, such as “manipulate, converge, and instant.” To begin with, once the image or any document is digitalized, it can be easily manipulated. Hence, people are allowed to manipulate all kinds of media and everything else in this regard, which poses a critical issue within the new media environment. Manipulation is considered a relatively easy approach for most users of digital technology since new media interactivity facilitates vast manipulation opportunities to the populace.

Convergence, in turn, is a more complex method that refers to the digital media where telephone connections, computer data, and video are the digital signals that can be transmitted and exchanged over the same network. Nowadays, the convergence of voice, data, and video signals over an IP-based network can be seen as a tool that helps eliminate the “technical and economic barriers,” and expands the communication opportunities (Steele, 2009, p. 494). Finally, the concept of instant implies that speed plays a fundamental role in the digital world. However, instant access and communication undermine the general credibility of online sources and media, specifically in the wide range of new media outlets. With that said, these three notions have critical implications for the broader understanding of the digital world that affects every aspect of our life since they help us become more acknowledged and educated about new changes.

New media interactivity serves as the crucial force advancing the course of globalization in modern society. Globalization caused the significant transformation of many aspects of human society, including the perception of the community, the reinterpreted meaning of cultural identity, and the need for a new way of intercultural interaction. Chen (2012) describes three areas essential for analyzing the intercultural impact of new media, including “national/ethnic culture, cultural/social identity, and the impact on different aspects of intercultural interaction” (p. 6). The last area contributes to the development of intercultural relationships, intercultural dialogues, and intercultural conflicts that, altogether, complicate the statement. Intercultural relationships refer to the significant impact of various social media platforms that enable people across the globe to represent themselves and stay connected in cyberspace.

The abundance of information presented in the new media can directly affect the development of intercultural relationships in the online community. Intercultural adaptation demonstrates how social interaction through new media by immigrants appears to be a critical factor that defines the success of adaption to the host country. Ultimately, the intercultural conflict proves that new media provides people and authorities with a “powerful tool to construct their image” (Chen, 2012, p. 6). Kaul (2017) believes that the convergence of new technologies redesigned communications, which resulted in the “dramatic transformation of society” (p. 12). Therefore, intercultural competencies and technological solutions are more than “simply tools” in global communication and international relations as they allow individuals to control their communication in interpersonal media. The rapid technological improvements facilitate the emergence of an even more multilingual and multicultural society. For this reason, technologies should be considered more than just tools as they promoted mediated and interpersonal means of intercultural communication. The current era faces the outburst of new media technologies that cover the interactivity of interpersonal, intercultural, and mass communication.


Chen, G. M. (2012). The impact of new media on intercultural communication in global context. China Media Research, 8(2), pp. 1–10.

Kaul, V. (2017). Intercultural communication and new media. International Journal on Transformations of Media, Journalism & Mass Communication, 2(2), pp. 10–22.

Steele, R. L. (2009). Traditional and new media. In W. F. Eadie (Ed.), 21st century communication: A reference handbook (pp. 489–496). SAGE Publications.

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