We’re going to switch gears a bit here. Until now we’ve been focusing on our participation in media, as consumers and as creators. The next several chapters look more widely at topics that are not as much about what we can do individually as what we need to consider as a society.
Why the broader brush? Because the issues I’m going to discuss are intertwined with media, participatory media in particular. The success of mediactivity depends on them.
When we look at things like copyright and other legal issues, as we will do in the next chapter, we are looking directly at how well any of us may be able to participate in tomorrow’s media. When we consider the social customs of the recent past, and agree that we need to update them in the new century’s flourishing digital age, we are understanding another key part of our participatory culture.
And when we consider who should be bringing mediactive values to our children (and ourselves), we’re considering a broader effect than the impact on our own immediate needs.
Our work won’t be done even when we get all of this. I noted early in the book that we’re only in the early days of this amazing and, I believe, wonderful evolution. That means we have a long way to go, and it’s worth considering what pieces of the puzzle are still obviously missing. Of course, once we locate them, we’ll realize how much more there is to do. We’ll be working on this for our lifetimes. So will our grandchildren, for theirs.
As societies and within our narrower communities of geography and interest, we’ll get closer and closer to something vital for the function of self-governing societies: a diverse, robust and trustworthy mediasphere. Remember, we can’t do it alone.