Taken from personal experience, and having read a few of the other posts, I think the general consensus is that for the average person in America, there exists two sides of the media coin; production and consumption. To qualify, an average American is someone with even minimal access to a television, computer, smart phone, even a paper and pencil. Media, after all, can even include writing a letter on a piece of paper. To clarify further, I chose to include only Americans in my generalization since this is my home (although the same argument can probably be made for other countries as well)
Viewing with this expansive lens, I find it hard to think that people are only now becoming both consumers and producers. In fact, I’d venture as far as to say that even the first cave scratchings can be argued to be media (produced and consumed by at least one caveman, the creator).
Albeit there has been a certain paradigm shift in the vision of media, especially with the advent of social media. In modernity, media is often thought of as strictly social media, even though there are plenty of forms of communication and media that aren’t inherently social. Today, media is inescapable for most. We use it for fun, at work, to be heard, and to stay connected. In today’s society, media runs our lives. Email forms the bedrock of communication after the telephone (sometimes, even more so).
That being said, when evaluating my own position (and peers I have observed) I consider myself to be a mad consumer and producer. For those of you who may think I am angry, think mad more in the British sense; crazy. The amount of media I consume on a daily basis is baffling when I truly think about it. I check my email, open my ‘Big Three’ (Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr), maybe even watch a Vine or YouTube video all before rolling out of bed most mornings. By the same token, I produce a plethora of media as well. Why I may not engage in social media (post Facebook statuses every hour, post nonsensical photos on Instagram daily) I still send at least a few emails a day which I considered to be a form of media. While balance may tip in favor of consumption, I remain convinced that I am both a producer and consumer of media.
Here I am producing a symphony of my own media consumption.
p.s. That’s not really me.