We are living in a new visual world,
a world which is different from the one that exists side by side
but remains unnoticed. The new visual world actually shaped when
the internet opened the gates of communication highway and the
e-mails and voice-mails dominated the cyber space. This format is
now being replaced by the new visual world.
In the mew visual world
communication is taking place through the webcams and in an array
of activities its application is found. Whether its business,
board room meetings, social networking, medical surgery, court
room trials, every this mode of communication is gradually
The mobile telephone based on 2G, 3G
and now the 4G is enhancing the speed of communication of the new
visual world. As we are able to see one another on a more frequent
using such technology, the new visual world is bringing world
closer, catapulting a global society.
As we have started to live under the
shadows of cameras, the new visual world is changing our life
style. We cannot escape the eye of the camera, whether it’s a mall
or a superstore, bus station, railway platform, airport or even
traffic signals, we are under the vigil of the camera.
In a super store, Mother Merry cannot breastfeed her toddler,
because the camera watches her act, and to some the images
generated may be liable porn. Similarly, many offices have cameras
to monitor the work their staff and in such a case, one may have
to sit tight, because each member is under the surveillance of the
Notwithstanding the constraints, the new visual world has come to
stay simply because the communication is now happening through
touch screens and the keyboards. The visual technology is helping
simulate the experience that a phone conversation or an e-mail
exchange may not generate. In such mode of communication, one does
not have to travel a distance to make the face-to-face appearance
and such visual interaction saves time and energy.
It’s a life experience that’s happening and there is no escape
from this reality. There are many who see this visual process a
intrusion of the only remaining personal space in their lives and
such people do not subscribe to this mode of communication. They
are challenged by two sets of people, one those who are tired of
every other form of communication and want to try visual options
and other the young Turks who are growing with the changes and the
new visual world is part of their life style.
The new visual world has thrown open a window of opportunities but
it’s filled with challenges. It requires the basic skills of
visual communication and if one doesn’t have the skills to face
the camera, chances are to be dubbed as ineffective communicator.
So in order to be an effective communicator and to make an impact,
one needs to adapt to the requirements of the new visual world.
One has to show maturity towards embracing the new technological
changes. Those doing so alone can surge ahead; the rest may lag
behind or fall by the wayside. Time and tide waits for no one.
The social impact of the new visual world is tremendous. Slowly a
world of visual communicators is emerging, as one sees people of
different cultures and backgrounds more visually and interacts
with them more frequently. As more people see one another, and
more direct contact taking place, the fears, inhibitions,
prejudices, concerns, ignorance or other negative feelings are
Whether there is a greater acceptance of diverse audiences and the
new visual world is welcoming the visual differences is something
debatable. However, the fact remains there is no escape from such
a reality. This is definitely a sign of change.
At another level the new visual
world is pushing the cart of globalization. As people get
opportunities to interact among many cultures, a globally
interactive society is emerging. In this endeavor the young Turks
is taking the lead. After all, children are not born with a
natural fear of likes and dislikes, they learn from the
environment they live. The new visual world provides them their
own experience to decide as those who look so different have so
many things in common with them.
This brings us to the point that the more we see one another, the
more we may understand each other and such interaction may bring
us closer together, leading to a global society. In such case, the
space for nationalism is shrinking, and globalization s surging
This is not to suggest that prejudices are disappearing and we are
moving towards a perfect harmonious world. It’s only to underline
the fact that the no matter what maybe the prejudices, one still
have to interact with different people on a daily basis. The new
visual world is making people to accept those people whose
lifestyles and backgrounds those are different from their own.
Is the new visual world is better for our future generation or
does it have negative influences on their minds that’s something
being debated. There are many who are opposed to the ideas of the
new visual world. They argue that children are exposed to
pornography and other such vices in a tender age. Children’s
creative activities are stifled as their attention is diverted in
such unmeaning activities. A child has to have sound body and mind
and the development of both is getting undermined by this new
The other arguments put forward are that every individual can not
be visually appealing and the new visual world is creating a new
divide that is based on looks and not on merit. One has to be over
conscious all the time in terms of diet and dress to match the
expectations of the new visual world.
Some are commanding to control this new trend. They say come on,
where are we going, stop this highway to nowhere. However, there
many who live by the slogan, it’s my life and I don’t give a damn
to those who do not like the way I like. It’s such kind of people
who are making the new visual world’s dream come true.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a
journalist based in Chennai.
He can be contacted at