Week 4 - Technology and Society
How is society going to change if technology progresses further? In our fourth class we discussed the impact of technology on our society and how we’re affected by it. We talked about the influence that television had on people’s lives when it was first introduced. Family lives began to be shaped around television programmes and it became a medium for gathering and socialising. However, as it developed people were suddenly able to watch their favourite shows in other rooms of the house as televisions were easily available, therefore undoing its initial effect by isolating people instead of bringing them together. This was an example of how something so simple and innovative caused a reaction in society norms as people willingly accepted the changes and quickly adapted to them.
Because of this it is very important to stay aware of such changes in technology and not disregard them but instead to keep an eye out on its effects and to respond to them when necessary. One should hold onto that awareness while not being subdued into the effects of technology. Such example can be found in our study in Second Life where we need to modify our behaviour when communicating and listening to our classmates as we are deprived of real human contact and instead are compelled to rely on our avatars’ demeanour. While we have complied with the technological advancements by participating in this class, we must remember not to stray too far away from reality but be as involved as possible to maintain a perfect balance between both ‘worlds’.
The most obvious aspect of technology is that it will without a doubt, continue to make progress and with that, society will need to take actions to adapt and react to these inevitable changes. Undeniably there will be both advantages and disadvantages that follow these. Life will more likely be easier as everyday mundane tasks such as cooking, driving, working etc. will be taken care of by technology. Already there are multiple solutions to these tasks that have previously required more energy than what we put in to them nowadays; Thermomix which cuts, blends, cooks, weighs and steams your food; self driving cars that can park on their own; machines in factories which replace people who previously conducted the same job. It’s hard to imagine what other progress can be made if advancements like these already exist. We’ll have everything carried out for us that we’ll having nothing to do but to simply just live. From a utopian point of view, this does not sound to be a bad thing as we’d have endless opportunities to live the lives that we please. However, if we have nothing to do, no purpose or goal to attain then what could we possibly do with our lives? People could become lazy and this could in turn be the demise of progress and productivity. Therefore we cannot allow ourselves to be engulfed by everything technology has to offer, or at least we need to conform to it in a cautious manner.
It is difficult to speculate how civilisation will change or what progresses it will make. It’s easier to look at everything in hindsight and make judgements on what could’ve been changed but I think if we stay true to ourselves and not forget the person behind the progress, while being cautious and well informed, we can expect some positive outcomes from technology and its aftermath.