Changing the Way Our Society Functions
Technology is constantly changing, and with the evolution of technology humans are changing as well. Is this change in technology affecting the way we live our lives? Yes, with the technology we have in today’s society we as human beings are changing the way we live our lives to accommodate technology.
This idea could be considered as the digital revolution because it is similar to what we did as a society during the industrial revolution when society was adjusting life around the steam engine. Similar to the industrial revolution during the digital revolution the ways we do things are changing and we have to keep up in order to function as a whole. Many of the simplest and daily tasks we do such as, communication, and even how we read are changing.
With the new technology how we communicate has been affected the most I feel. Before modern technology you communicated using pen and paper and were delivered by horseback, then the telegraph came along and it sped everything up. Alison Gopnik explained this in her article “Diagnosing the Digital Revolution” when she said, “Information had always traveled at the speed of a fast horse; suddenly it traveled at the speed of electricity, from 10 miles an hour to millions”. The telegraph, although it was a great technological innovation seems prehistoric compared to how society is able to communicate nowadays. With this new emergence in computer technology communication has become mobile, with the innovation of the cell phone.
Cell phones have not only made it easier for people to communicate on the run but they have brought back a more technologically advanced version of the classic letter writing, text messaging. The introduction of text messaging into the society has been one of the baffling technological successes of our age, according to Gopnik. “Take texting, surely the most baffling technological success of our age”. Texting has almost singlehandedly revolutionized the way people communicate with one another, because apparently it is easier to type a few words with your thumbs than it is to call and speak with someone.
Another way communication has changed due to technology is the emergence of social networking sites. According to Cheryl Coyle and Heather Vaughn, in their article “Social Networking: Communication Revolution or Evolution?” they describe what social networking is, “A social network is a configuration of people connected to one another through interpersonal means, such as friendship, common interests, or ideas” (13). They then go on to explain how social networks have existed long before the age of the internet. Social networks are a way for people to connect with an individual they know and would like to know more about them. Coyle and Vaughn explain this as well in their article, “A related study investigated whether college students use Facebook for “social searching” or “social browsing”. Social searching occurs when a Facebook user looks up particular individuals he or she already knows or has become aware of via an offline connection in order to learn more about them… Overwhelmingly, college students are using Facebook for social searching” (14). They also explain that it is also used to message people.
Technology it seems is affecting every aspect of our lives, even the classic past time of reading. With the presence of technology it becomes just a little bit harder for people to sit down and read a book or even just a few pages before drifting of out of boredom. Nicholas Carr explains how he feels the same way in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” when he says, “Immersing myself in a book or lengthy article used to be easy… That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration starts to drift after two or three pages” (57).
Although technology has made it harder for us to focus on reading what is in front of us we might actually be reading more now than we did in the past. Carr explains this in his article when he says “Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice” (58).
So as you can tell technology has affected the way we live our lives. Whether it is communicating via cell phone and text message or how technology shortens how long we can read but also makes us read more.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Atlantic. Atlantic Monthly Group, July/August 2008. Web. 11 Feb. 2012. Coyle, Cheryl L., and Heather Vaughn. “Social Networking: Communication Revolution or Evolution?” Bell Labs Technical Journal 13.2 (2008): 13-17. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 Feb. 2012. Gopnik, Alison. “Diagnosing the Digital Revolution.” Slate. Slate Group 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 11 Feb. 2012.