For a decade online media houses around the world have prophesied the death of ‘traditional’
media. This week, Debbie Rowles of Think Human Being has presented a media trends report that
reveals a different picture of international and local media trends. It seems the death of radio and
TV was something of a hoax.
In media trends, as in life, there is BC-19 and AC-19; Before Covid-19 and After Covid-19. BC-19 we
were already experiencing fake news and social activism online. But 2 years in, “the default emotion
is distrust,” as Debbie stated. People are skeptical of AI, politicians, and mostly big data.
My mobile is my alarm clock, my journal, my family time. It's my dad showing me 'how to', it's my mom sending hugs on tough days. It's my repository of dear friends and dreams. My mobile is my time capsule, a recorindg of what life is like in 2022 for me. Just me. It is my personal space. The fact that I am the product, has become unbearable. Somehow my algorithm has decided I'm 60+ and in need of char Pilates.
So, we're sweeping out of cookies and brushing up on PoPI (or is it PoPIA?). We're unsubscribing and deleting apps to overcome the swell of digital clutter. Anyone else tired of being asked to confirm that you're not a robot?
Excuse me if I sound tired. Debbie's stats did show that we Millennials are tired- tired of endless change, burnt-out and asking Google "how to deal". On the other hand, Debbie also showed that the Gen Zs are optimistic and searching for silver
linings within the difficulties. Now, when you see your child watching TV while streaming music, posting a dance ‘short’ and chatting to their friends, it can feel like the gap in un-bridgeable. But the real shift is not between generations.
And it’s not between media platforms, Debbie’s data shows that media use is stabilising with an
omni-channel approach. ‘Traditional’ media is also online while online platforms have begun adding
outbound elements to their offerings. This spread is because the user has an omni-channel approach
to media. And here’s the real death…
The real death has been the death of the consumer. I am not satisfied being a data point or even
finding the ‘best value for money’. I am a citizen. I have values and beliefs that guide my spending.
After all, “put your money where your mouth is”, right?
Now social activism has morphed to include brands; what Debbie called brand activism. As a citizen
of the world, I insist on brands sharing my ethics and values. I require brand CEOs, specifically, to
address social issues and stand for social justice. My loyalty is to the things I hold dear; everything from my cat to political transparency.
This is great news. If we put our money where our values are, we will be creating the world we
dream of. At this point in the presentation my story-telling heart was singing... Our stories are who we are. They are beyond channels. It's about telling Namibian stories in our own way on any channel. Whether it's "it ain't me" on TikTok, a 'royal hustler' sharing their journey, the NFC's latest film, or a Namibian soapy playing on prime time, these are the stories I want to hear, see and make.
Debbie's forecast has given me a hopeful outlook on the future of Namibian stories and on being a global citizen with he power to create a better world. Every swipe, like and play is a vote for the world you want to see.