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I want to start by saying pretty obvious and banal things about significant changes of our world, society, perception of both, as well as day-to-day relationships, as a result of the introduction of new media technologies and their rapid influx. They all, I mean everything connected with the Internet – social media, smartphones etc., have only recently appeared, exactly a few decades ago but have already been widely accepted by society. However, my objective now is to delve into two equally important concepts like social determinism and technological determinism. Certainly, take a stance on them.
First of all, I will consider technological determinism by the very relevant words of famous Marshall McLuhan’s: ‘The medium is the message…It is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.’
Pay attention on the bold words – … shapes and controls …, but does not determine society, and on the contrary, society does not define the course of technological changes! At the same time, there are so many factors such as human ingenuity or entrepreneurialism that in some way may interfere in the scientific discovery processes, technological innovations, and the way society applies them. Consequently, the outcome depends on a complex interaction of both.
And the next point I am certainly confused about is that in the debate about social and technological determinism, people sometimes forget to acknowledge who created the technology or the machine, let’s say to honor themselves. We are the hands that control computers and we are the intelligence behind their creation, consequently, we have full power over them. These are all man-made constructs that we choose how to use or not to use at all. Also, we tend to obsess over the negative things that people do with technology or what is even worse, to criticize the good by saying we are too technologically determinant. Should we do something, to alleviate this so-called technological determinism? Any proposals? Maybe to eliminate all new media, text messages and modern language? Or to go back to the time of primal human existence and live in simpler times when there were no technological distractions and so on? It is enough, I’m finishing to write this stupid stuff. Personally, I don’t see any problems with adapting to our present, that are shooting by new media innovations. Even if to look at the modern professions’ tops, most of them are related to the Internet and new media technologies. This states the reality in all developing countries of our modern times. It is stupid to ignore that fact or try and argue that this is somehow bad. Agree with me, things that we have already accomplished and are continuing to do with these technologies is really fascinating and doesn’t have any analogies with anything we have ever seen in history.
To conclude, we will make our lives easier if we accept one simple thing: we are dependent on technologies for the reason that they make us greater as well as provide with the numerous opportunities. We are dependent the same way on transportation or fire, just as on oxygen to breathe or whatever. The same way we can depend on modern technologies because they alleviate our lives.
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