Today's world has witnessed a tremendous transformation in the media and human communication sector. One can easily communicate with others via internet and which turns human communication a liquid one.
Technological advancement makes human communication very easy – it was beyond imagination even a few years before. Zygmunt Bauman describes this modernity and advancement in science and technology as "Liquid Modernity". In such a situation, everything has become liquid even love and friendship.
Again, Bauman comes up with his book "Liquid Love" describing love and romance in this age of internet. All this makes life precarious where uncertainty is a certain phenomenon in the age of sophisticated form of human communication – it is called "Liquid Life".
Today's time has taken a liquid format in which life is full of uncertainty – this has been described as "Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty". Now nobody has to suffer or face difficulty communicating with anyone whenever they want or need. Human communication has taken a liquid shape simply because of the easy availability of both the means and modes of human communication. This is the age of "Liquid Communication". All forms of media have been transformed into the liquid format. Newspapers, television and radio have online editions in different shapes and shades. Traditional mass media are available on social media like Facebook and so on. This is a compulsion – which no medium can avoid. So, one of sort transformation has been noticed in traditional mass media and mass communication sectors. Social media reigns in the media and communication sector which is beyond the control of any state power and society. On the other hand, the mobile communication and journalism has emerged as the strongest and easiest form of journalism in the liquid communication age.
Mobile Journalism does not mean that one has to do journalism with their smartphone, rather it does mean that a reporter can cover anything anytime due to their mobility, and they do not need to go to an office. They go to a spot with pieces of equipment and required personnel.
Prestigious media and journalism schools all over the world now teach "Backpack-Mobile Journalism" as one of the major courses in their syllabi.
Both the media and communication are in a transition period and none can predict what is their future. This is not a national or regional phenomenon, rather it is a global one in this global village of internet and social media. One can think over the point of easy availability of both the means and modes of human communication. This is simply because it has given birth to the fake news and false propaganda Bangladesh has experienced again and again.
Attack on the Buddhists in Ramu, by local fanatic Muslims on the midnight past September 29, 2012. The mob destroyed 12 Buddhist temples and monasteries and 50 houses in protest against the false Facebook post from a fake account on the name of a male Buddhist. The same happened on October 30, 2016 in Nasirnagar upazila. A group of Islamic extremists swooped on the minority Hindu community protesting an alleged defamatory post against Islam on Facebook from a fake account on the name of a Hindu fisherman. They destroyed 19 temples and vandalised 300 houses where 100 people were severely injured.
In October 2019, a group of Muslims hacked the Facebook account of a Hindu gentleman and spread hatred against Islam on Facebook messenger, leading to the death of four men in a protest rally against police personnel at Borhanuddin in Bhola district. Policemen were compelled to open fire to save their lives. This sort of liquid communication creates disturbances and uproars in society and can destroy peace and harmony in every society. So liquid communication can liquidate any person's goodwill and prestige all of a sudden with a single social media post. It can also give birth to social hatred and create unrest.
The future of media and communication can't avoid this sort of anti-peace and anti-harmony activities in societies of the world. In fine, tremendous technological advancement in the media and communication sector can lead to the dehumanisation process by destroying humanity in the name of religion, nationality, and race. That is a great challenge for media and communication in the future.
Abdur Razzaque Khan is an associate professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka.