Media Life Book Prospectus

Because of shifting priorities and an Obama-like sense of the "urgency of now" (yes we're all caught in the grips of immediatism), I am temporarily postponing work on "Beyond Journalism" (contracted with Polity Press), and just finished and sent out a brand new book prospectus, titled "Media Life". I'm nervous but also very excited! Below is the opening rationale for the new book. Will post news on whether it will be published (and if so, when) as soon as possible...

Media Life Book Prospectus

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, all 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, The Netherlands, and Finland consistently shows how through the years more of our time gets spent using media, and how multitasking our media has become a regular feature of everyday life. Yet at the same time, we tend to take our media for granted.

Our media environment has become a key site of how we give meaning to the converging context of how we live, work, and play, as media connect us to each other, to our entertainment, and to our work – all at the same time. Media have come to be part of every aspect of peoples' daily lives, facilitated by the worldwide proliferation of the internet and similar services that connect subscribers to a global, always-on, and increasingly mobile digital information and communication network. The whole of the world and our lived experience in it can indeed be seen as framed by, mitigated through, and made immediate by pervasive and ubiquitous media. This world is what contemporary social theorists (such as Roger Silverstone, Alex de Jong and Marc Schuilenburg) label a mediapolis: a mediated public space where media underpin and overarch the experiences of everyday life. However, the expanding body of literature -and particularly those texts aimed at higher education- seems to ignore the broader impact of these considerations, or focuses solely on the (production or consumption of) media content (movies, music, news, games), instead of how media are articulated to the contemporary human condition. The texts that do deliberately address the interconnected and mutually implicated nature of digital media and society are generally aimed at graduate or post-graduate readerships.

Although it is certain that media are both the directors and reflectors of human behavior and social organization, what remains underinvestigated are the different ways all those taken for granted things that make up our day-to-day existence have become automated, augmented and organized through media. This book addresses the most fundamental aspects and themes of everyday life – such as work, family, love, play and work – such as these can be understood in the context of a life lived in media.