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Q1.what pottentials are offered and what threats are possesed by new forms of media technology ?
A.The Potential For New Media
Daniel Miller (Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University College London. d.miller@ucl.ac.uk)
Contents:-
INTRODUCTION
PART ONE - THE UPTAKE OF NEW MEDIA
PART TWO – THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, CONFIDENTIALITY and BARRIERS TO CHANGE
PART THREE – EMERGING INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE COORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION
PART FOUR - PILOT STUDIES AND RECOMMENDATION
SUMMARY OF REFLECTIONS and PROPOSED INITIATIVES
INTRODUCTION
This document outlines some results and conclusions from interviews with Hospice staff, patients and carers that have been carried out since May 2012. This research will continue for another three years, with anincreasedacademic focus on dying patients (in the last days, weeks and months of life), including their communication not only with the Hospice, but with their larger social universe, examining the potential of new media in relation to combatting feelings of isolation and understanding the wider relationship of patients to family, friendship, locality and community.
PART ONE - THE UPTAKE OF AND THE BARRIERS TO NEW MEDIA
This section reviews each of the new media that are already available to many staff and patients, documenting the advantages and grounds for encouraging their future use. Both advantages and disadvantages to staff and observations about patient’s private use of these media are noted. The obvious caveat, which is discussed in more detail below, is that no pressure should ever be exerted on patients to adopt or use a form of media they do not feel comfortable with. I then turn to suggest the primary reasons why new media are not being taken up within the Hospice sector and health services more generally.
PART TWO - DIGITAL DIVIDE, THE RIGHTS OF PATIENTS TO REFUSE CHANGE, AND THE CONCEPT OFCONFIDENTIALITY
The majority of patients referred to the Hospice are elderly and include many who do not possess or use new media. Indeed, our research made clear that some of these elderly patients feel that one of the few saving graces of the fact they have a terminal illness is that no one at this point is going to impose upon them the usage of new technologies that they utterly detest! As things stand it is increasingly hard for people with impaired mobility to manage a bank account and shop without being pressured into online activity. The result is a digital divide which can, in and of itself, be oppressive. In such cases the ideal is for this burden to be returned to institutions such as banks supplemented by carers and staff rather than imposed upon a reluctant patient.
PART THREE - EMERGING INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE CO-ORDINATION AND COMMUNICATION
The push towards honouring preferences for care at home means that multiple care organisations will be involved in supporting patients and families, and the risk is more scenarios similar to the case study above. There is now a recognized need at commissioning level that the experience of care will only improve if better coordinated, and various initiatives are emerging to address this.
An essential element to co-ordination however is how different agencies communicate electronically with each other. So although there is a will to co-ordinate, there is less of a will to communicate, unless the issue of data sharing, confidentiality and ease of transfer of information is addressed.
PART FOUR – PILOT STUDIES AND NEW INITIATIVES PERMITTING THE USE OF IT SERVICES and NEW MEDIA
The initial import of the previous section’s concern the liberalisation of media usage and the provision of some facilities none of which should imply significant additional costs. We would expect that any Hospice by this stage would provide convenient wireless broadband and 3G telephone services to all in-patients. A spare laptop for patients without their own computer would seem reasonable. In addition we suggest a laptop with webcam is available to all staff within a private room to communicate with patients who prefer Skype to ordinary phone calls. Given the falling prices of basic computing, it would also seem reasonable that all staff should expect to have computer access for their routine work. Most of our proposals should save money, e.g. in staff time and transport rather than cost money.
CONCLUSION
This is intended as a policy document with respect to the rapid adoption of new media in order to increase the welfare of patients, carers and staff in the Hospice and provoke new thinking about the nature of confidentiality. The context is a much longer term study that we will report on at a later date. This will help demonstrate the foundational place of communications for end-of-life patients in a situation where many staff have noted that isolation and loneliness are paramount issues and where any means that can facilitate connectedness are central to patient welfare and self-esteem.
Threats of Modern MEDIA Technology
Technology improves our lives, but that doesn't mean every new invention only makes our lives better. There are a number of reasons to think some technology may be making our lives worse. This isn't to say the benefits don't exist; rather, it's to say that

Over dependence * The more useful technology becomes, the less humans know to do on their own. A recent article printed in The Atlantic points out that, even among literary types, reading long articles and novels is becoming increasingly difficult. There's a very real risk that instant access to information is making us less intelligent, and less capable of solving problems on our own.
Cyber-attacks
* This reliance of ours means our society is vulnerable to a type of threat previously unimaginable: the cyber attack. In June of 2009 various government computers and banks were attacked by a botnet, or a series of computers compromised with viruses and malware. This botnet started constantly requesting information from bank and government servers, causing them to overload and shutdown. This in turn disabled various government institutions and banks, essentially shutting them down until a solution was found. The interdependence the Internet creates leaves nations vulnerable.

Alienation * The more time we spend online the less time we spend with each other. A study by Duke University and University of Arizona faculty shows that the average American has two close friends with which to discuss important issues---one fewer than in the 1980's. The study concluded that the spread of social networking is encouraging superficial relationships based on brief, passing statements instead of deep-rooted friendships.
Isolated intellect * This alienation extends into politics as well, as people increasingly access only information they agree with. Be it getting ones news from like-minded bloggers or watching networks that cater to our viewpoints such as Fox News, people today engage less with ideas different than their own than ever before. This could cause drastic problems for democracy in the long term, as the population becomes less and less capable of seeing eye-to-eye.
On the other hand... * None of this is intended to say there aren't positives that help to negate the negatives; there's a lot of innovation already unique to the Internet age and there undoubtedly will be more. It's just to say that any new technology brings with it new complications and new threats. It's important to be aware of this as a society as we move forward.

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