The Deterministic Technology Of Todays Era
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The Deterministic Technology of Todays Eras
Technological determinism refers to the set of claims made about the relationship between society and technology. The idea influences culture and social order in various ways. Some instruments or the concepts of technology are deterministic while others are not deterministic. Before entering into the arguments for and against the idea, it is essential to note that specific social values do not accept the changes that occurred due to a determination of technology in due course of time. In the contemporary scenario technology is the principal initiator of transforming the society. Social media is deterministic for the community because it modified the way, the humans communicates with each other. Receiving and sending of a message was not so fast and effective in the past, then the present era. Different forms of communication have been transformed through social media, and it also eliminates the way people are interacting with each other, which illustrate that it is deterministic.
The extensive change brought by the advancement of technology has contributed to the values of social connections. During the past few centuries, progress in technological instruments has played a critical role in shifting and improving the activities which are used to be done in the usual way. Especially the human actions and the discussion regarding the imposition of changed values and cultural norms are the result of technological determinism. It was mentioned by the social evolution theories, which explained the concept in the light of current technology like social media which make it very easy to connect and interact at any time (Dafoe, 1048). There could be another side of the picture where social media has negatively change the social values and reduce the face-to-face interaction among humans. People prefer to talk on phones, media networks and instruments like Facebook, Skype, and WhatsApp.
Social media is continuously increasing over time and the value of social interaction gradually decreased. People brought closer by the innovation in technology, and at the same time, it is isolating the communities unintentionally. As per the arguments and analysis of Marshall McLuhan who is one of the critics of social media reflected that there is a need for special attention for forming of a medium rather than the content it carries. Throughout the centuries messages are communicated among us, and it has been less informed than the forms of its medium. Signals are transferred and change human society through the innovation that is brought in technology. It is a way which expands the scale of impact, encourage the participation and unifies people across the world. The emphasis is on the form of communication which is recognized by an individual while they respond to it.
The unconscious adaptation of the modern telecommunication is the medium that contributed to increasing the capacity in the effective delivery of content. Everything is related and connected with human psychology. Values system and the change occurred after innovative actions are governed by one segment or the other (Dafoe, 1065). The arguments supported the fact that we cannot deny the combination of online media technology with offline activity. There is a lot of difference and change happened between both. The actions for advocacy campaigns are considerably creating social movements and impactful variations. One of the big argument in this regard is the current election of President Trump who invests in making favorable opinions on social media than electronic media and won the election accordingly. On the contrary, there was rigorous support for the winning of Hillary Clinton where electronic and newspapers were extremely supporting her. After the declaration of results, there was a significant change, and electronic media acknowledged the mistake they committed for campaigning while neglecting social media (De et al., 1528). The evidence supported the deterministic concept of social media and weight for bringing change in the community of the United States.
There is no doubt that social media technology is deterministic and run many campaigns across the world for supporting and opposing specific ideas and value chain. For example, the incident of shooting that happened recently is also the result of technological determinism. The killer during the fire made a video for sending a message to the entire world about his ideas and ideological concerns against the innocent community living more than a decade in New Zealand. He was well aware of the importance and impact of social media in contemporary society. People are extensively reaching to an audience and carry out their engagement at reasonable prices. Anyone wishes to become popular can effectively use the channel of social media and become prevalent for others.
The stakeholders significantly practice like the government sector, organizations, the general public, brand selling companies and the ability to penetrate the particular ideology. However, it is essential that there should be coordination among offline and online social media to create profit, solving problems and the fulfillment of the needs at any social stage (Drew, 167). The result of a campaign might appear otherwise if it is not well supported by an online enhancement of capacity to reach the audience. Social media has played a significant role regarding the globalization movement which also became common. An insight into the research provides the arguments that the idea of internationalization became possible only because of social media. Even the leaders and decisions at the policy level are discussed and exchange among the states in the world (Klinger et al., 1247). It also reflects that there is increasing attention given to medium rather than carrying of content. Technology itself is a dominant force over the scalability and formation of human actions.
There might not be an absolute power or the control over norms and social values of society, but technology has a significant hold on contemporary communities of the world. Physical movement of humans are there, but social media are determining communication and interactions. Various outcome of the technology is bringing closed and socially constructed relationships. The actions can have positive or the negative impacts on individual or groups as it depends on the plan of movement. The choice of an individual directly support the outcomes and process through innovations in technology, and it leads us to the changes in cultural, political and economic aspects.
Interesting fact argues that man is the fundamental inventor of technology, at large, small and extensive level. The decision to use technology is also taken by humans, the super creation of this world. However, after the advancement and development of technology, it reversely impacted on the inventors. The use of technology can be in a negative, positive and neutral way. It is because of the dimensions and the advantages it provides for humans and other segments of society. Without the participation of humans, technology might not necessarily regarded as an independent variable which ultimately determines the modification and changes in the community. In isolation, there is no concept of learning a change in any culture, unless the members of those states are involved in the process (Klinger et al., 1255). Human activities and extensive usage give power to social media to act and influence them accordingly.
There are various concepts explained by the scholars under the titles of soft determinism and hard determinism of technology. Both can be contrasted with each other as compatibilist argues that it is possible for free will and determinism to exist in the world together. In other words, they can live without shaping and impacting each other (Klinger et al., 1257). The view of incompatibility differs from the above argument and suggest that they cannot be separated from each other. Both technology and inventor of social media will remain intact and in connection with each other. Hard determinism area of the opinion that technology is developing independent from the social concerns and it creates a set of powerful tools for acting and regulating meaning and social activity. The society organizes itself for the meeting of the needs unfolded by technology, and its outcome is beyond our control. We do not have the choice or concept to control the freedom against the autonomous technology.
A social theorist and philosopher Jacques Ellul argues against the autonomy of technology and gives more powers to humans for actions and controlling specific aspect. In his work Technological Society, he positioned that by virtue of power and efficiency several things are determined and social elements are best suited for its development. A process of natural selection can support the fact of human capabilities against the influence of technology in making or breaking the opinions of the public at large. The philosophy, value and social system are most conducive to the advancement of technology and innovation that occurred over time (Rambe et al., 629). The hard determinist Theodore J. Kaczynski explored that objective material factors in the human environment are the principle determining features for evolving social system.
Same is the case with natural factors like climate and geography where the parameters of social conditions are affected by these elements. Technology here is the new aspect that is impacting human interaction and forces like the industrial revolution which has changed the entire atmosphere of the world. The progress of technology is rapidly evolving and growing in the 21st century, and it also asserted itself into the ways where we evaluate knowledge, skills and distribute the information (Rambe et al., 635). The arguments of soft determinism in purview of social media as current technology and innovation in the human lives reflect the passive view of the way technology interacts and explain the socio-political condition. They believe that new inventions provide necessary guidance and there is a chance of making decisions effective and efficient. It does not mean that it is free will existing in humans but the possibility for rolling the dice and interacting with a specific situation. The slightly variant of soft determinism in 1922 was driven by the theory of social change proposed by William Fielding Ogburn.
The basic fundamental ideas circulates that society must adjust the consequences of significant intervention. After a period of cultural lag, it does affect and presents a blinking picture of revival in the cultural norms and values. Among the hard and soft determinism of technology and contemporary innovation of social media, we can adjust the neutral view which significantly supports the option of neither good nor bad position. For example, guns are neutral, and it is up to our commitment and will to use them for noble and evil purposes. There is an option which can be explored in a way that the world is full of positive and negative opinions, but the real phenomena lies with the humans in explaining as for how they will use the innovation. However, there is criticism that technology is neutral in a sense that no one can identify how to use it following the set of norms, culture, and values (Rambe et al., 642). The functionality and existence of the community are based on the phenomena as how it will perceive the changes that are coming over time.
Once becoming knowledgeable about the technology and community which is drawn into social progression where nothing is neutral about society. The phenomena of determinism regarding technological and human life cannot be separated. Co-dependency and the cyclical change is the requirement for fulfilling needs and demands. From traveling to communication and from learning to specific business social media is replicating the fundamental concerns of life. A comfort zone has been created by social media technology where a group of people are earning and sharing their skills through online sources and websites (Rambe et al., 645). While using the skype, WhatsApp and Facebook organizations and companies are sharing information about their business and receiving a positive and high social status.
Job finding, relationship building, and networking are easier which can be achieved by submitting the CV and other relevant documents. Learning with the communication are emerging with other political stakeholders like Labor Party use social media in the run-up to a general election. The party lost elections, but it encouraged the young individuals and especially youth population to get involve and understand the realism of politics. More than one million tweets were posted on Twitter during the 29 April to 4th June 2017 with the hashtag #Votelabour which again demonstrate the determinism of technology regarding the change effecting the society.
Concluding the discussion social media is deterministic for society because it modified the way, people communicate with each other. Receiving and sending of a message was not so fast and effective in the past, then the present era. More than messages it became an essential element for reflecting the social views and opinions about anything that is discussed and analyzed in the society. Unconsciously we are adopting and increasing the influence of social media which is invented by us, we the humans.
Dafoe, Allan. "On technological determinism: A typology, scope conditions, and a mechanism." Science, Technology, & Human Values 40.6 (2015): 1047-1076.
De la Cruz Paragas, Fernando, and Trisha TC Lin. "Organizing and reframing technological determinism." new media & society 18.8 (2016): 1528-1546.
Drew, Rob. "Technological determinism." A Companion to Popular Culture (2016): 167.
Klinger, Ulrike, and Jakob Svensson. "The emergence of network media logic in political communication: A theoretical approach." New media & society 17.8 (2015): 1241-1257.
Rambe, Patient, and Liezel Nel. "Technological utopia, dystopia, and ambivalence: Teaching with social media at a South an African university." British Journal of Educational Technology 46.3 (2015): 629-648.
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