technology has become an abstract term – it now defines the entire habitat we live in. now that humans have learnt (in the Western culture, anyway) to live with technology and have become dependent on it, is there any way we can revert back to a time without technology? and when did humans begin to rely on ‘technology’, do more simple forms of technology (for example, tools for hunting etc) count as technology? this isn’t in the reading but from what I can infer, technology seems to have arisen from a need to make life ‘easier’, but the way it has influenced our lives and now has caused us to become dependent on it almost seems paradoxical. does technology make life simpler or is it complicating life more than ever?

technology influences disciplines such as psychology and science, for example metaphors such as ‘the mind as a computer’. if you deconstruct the human brain, as some psychologists attempt to, you will see that it brain, like a computer, is programmed specifically to react, perceive and behave in a certain way. when somebody is mentally ill or has suffered mental trauma, it is not dissimilar to a computer getting a virus that changes or inhibits certain functions.

I don’t think I need to link a diagram of a computer and all of the functions of the different parts to prove my point. it is interesting that technology – which is man made –  has come to mimic organic forms such as the human brain in the way it is broken down into sections which cater to specific functions. maybe I’m drawing a parallel where there is none, but this metaphor was interesting to me.

there is a distinction between ‘technology’ and ‘technique’ > technique is a skill set in which enables technology to be useful, if we were to forget the technique behind technology, technologies would become “one vast pile of junk”, to use an analogy, if you were in a car accident and suffered amnesia and brain damage so severe that you forgot everything you have learnt about language and how to construct sentences/speak, then to you, language becomes useless. to an indigenous person who has never stepped into the modern world, a computer is literally a piece of garbage because without the ‘technique’ or knowledge of how to use it, it is nothing.

technology shifts and change and with it culture shifts and changes according to the technology which becomes available. it is evident that shifting technology changes the way a culture acts and behaves. if you think of the example of how big the effects of a site such as ‘facebook’ are, you can see this. before Facebook and other similar technologies, did people feel this apparent need to share every aspect of their life with supposed ‘friends’? did people take a million photos of their every day life and activities or did this come out of a necessity to share everything on the internet? if you didn’t have a platform like facebook or instagram where you could share these photos, I highly doubt it would become such a common practice to document and photograph your life to the extent most people do in this day and age. this would mean far less photos of people’s meals, coffees and clothing choices. I’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing. if this is how far we have come in the past 5 years, can you imagine what will happen in the future? I can’t even begin to forecast what the future looks like but I have this feeling that soon enough, nothing will be private, people will begin (and already have begun to) live their lives online, and by extension, vicariously through other people’s lives and photographs that have been shared. the fact that something as small as a website can so radically affect culture is kind of a scary thought. are people going to just simply stop “living” in the real world and rather live in this hyperreal parallel internet universe? maybe I’m being melodramatic, but it’s a scary thought.


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  1. Pingback: Cultural Technology | Networked Media

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