Metal heart

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By May Anne Cacdac

The Iron Maiden

Thursday, May 22, 2014


IT HIT me Wednesday when Gmail gave me an alert saying I am fast running out of storage space for my electronic mails.

I have amassed more than 4,000 mails over the course of two years and realized, more than half of these mails are from people I have never met and probably never will.

So it comes to this. Technology.

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In one of the emails I subscribe to, I read, “If you are a journalism educator or media professional, I have news for you. We work in tech. I know, that’s not exactly what you signed up for when you entered the profession 20, 10, or even five years ago. But things have changed.

While some of the tenets of the profession we formerly knew as journalism have remained, workflows, business practices, participants and competitors are all very different. Because we work in tech.”

Indeed. We take a look inside our purses and there you have it. We work in tech. We have our mobile phones, our tablets, our laptops, our pocket wifis, our power bank. All these so we remain in touch. With who exactly, sometimes we forget.

“The ways we communicate both personally and professionally have been profoundly altered. Communication is technology, and technology is communication. That’s the true convergence,” the article I read further stated.

Convergence. Multiple platforms. These are terms I have been hearing the past two years as print media continues to keep up with the times by digitizing their content and maximizing presence in social media to drive readership.

“There’s a specific angle of tech in which we must be focused. What everyone in journalism needs to understand about tech is the distribution platform made possible by the Internet, web, and mobile technologies. ‘Platform’ is another term that can mean a lot of things to different people, but in this context, it basically refers to the systems by which content is distributed and shared. It specifies who can publish, who can share, and how easy it is for them to do so. But it’s also what has changed the scale, scope, business models, competition, and participation levels associated with media,” the article stressed.

With all these said, it’s really go tech or die.

And while I am not prepared to see the death of newspapers, the reality is fast catching up even with the smaller community publications that getting on the platform will somehow give you a higher chance of survival.

“Internet and web technologies... represent a new medium where print and multimedia can live in harmony,” it said.

Now is not the time to be a skeptic. Not with evidences pointing to the obvious, tech truly has changed the way we communicate with each other. It has allowed us to go global. Imagine receiving an email from someone abroad saying he found your article “funny and yet packed with punch.” That’s how tech revolutionized the way we tell our stories and the people we tell it to.

Oh, the title of today’s column.

“Metal Heart” is the 6th studio album of German metal band Accept and released in 1985. (Check out the album cover. The Commander once told me it’s awesome and yes, it is.)

According to Wikipedia, “Wolf Hoffman (guitarist of the band) explained the concept behind the album: ‘We had read an article that someone was working on an artificial heart and that one day everybody is going to have a computerized heart. It talked, in general terms, about how more and more of humanity gets sucked out of the daily life and more and more replaced by machine. It’s not a new thing now, but then it was new.”

Part of the lyrics to the song with the same title goes: Metal heart, metal heart, they found it everywhere; metal heart, metal heart, lifeless piece of steel.

We are all witness to how humans have become dependent on machines. So I guess the “man versus machine” argument will end up circuitous especially when engaged in drunken conversation with your friends.
But the “connectivity” with our audience, and most importantly our loved ones, we claim we have achieved through technology, we have been reduced to this – conversing with steel boxes.

A disconnected connection. If there is such.

I pray we don’t develop metal hearts. If we haven’t already.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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