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How Technology Shapes Our Society

Updated on January 6, 2017

“When a country develops its technology, the traditional skills and ways of life die out. It is pointless to try and keep them alive.” Is this really true?

It is undeniably true that we cannot stop progress, and when technology develops, the society also develops. Marshall McLuhan theorized Technological Determinism, which states that media technology shapes how we, as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how society operates as we move from one technological age to another. Nowadays, technological advances and their rapid and wide applications are having a significant impact on a nation’s traditional skills and ways of life. Some argue that such impact is so extraordinary that it would make conventional skills and life styles obsolete. However, technology would continue to thrive by providing alternatives to modern ways of life, and innovative ideas for modern technologies, and all that we see now is a product of this shifting dynamic and it is symbolic of our new, empowered citizenry.

Positive Effects

The new age of technology is mainly designed to continue for providing alternative solution and innovative ideas for easy living. Today, due to the advancement of technology, new inventions are coming into existence. Nobody has sufficient time to write letters to their loved ones. Moreover, it also takes longer to send or receive any information. But the Internet is the easiest way to send messages to our loved ones.

Negative Effects

But, just like other things, internet can also cause some negative things to people like health problems for example, poor eye-sight, back ache or migraines. Today’s teenagers usually prefer to spend their time on the internet rather than to participating in other physical activities, which causing them to have a weaker physical health. The internet can also be a major source of harassment. Spammers and hackers can invade your privacy and get personal/confidential information, which otherwise they will never get access to. You are never out of anybody’s reach, unless you make a conscious decision of not checking your email, there can be always more work waiting for you in your inbox and you might never have a moment to yourself. Worse yet, if you were a workaholic, you might never experience that stress-free vacation ever again in your life – simply, because you have your mobile workplace with you at all times.

As Technology Develops, Society Develops

These things show that generally, when the technology develops, the society also develops. The development of technology itself is quite predictable, but one thing is for sure – that we are unable to control technology. And the development of technology reflects on the behavior of the people, say, for example, the “selfie”. Today, almost everyone has access to smartphones and has the ability to share their “selfies” with the global audience. In the past, self-portraits were reserved for royalty and those in power, but today, the common people pictured in these selfies are the people-in-power. Every selfie taken, regardless of how trivial it may seem, is a proud declaration of our connected generation's newfound ability to communicate in a free and frictionless manner.

Selfie is the new trend

Recently, a new techy word is added in an official dictionary. It means holding your smartphone at arm’s length and point that front-facing camera at yourself in celebration. What’s the word? It’s “Selfie”. “Selfie” is now Merriam-Webster approved, due to its intense popularity and usage around the world. In Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, selfie became a hot cultural phenomenon where in many Filipinos, mostly teenagers, are posting their photos on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites without hesitation. Last March, two great cities, Makati City and Pasig City share the distinction of being the “selfie” capital of the world, with at least 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, according to TIME Magazine report. It is said that the two cities produce “more selfies per capita than any other city in the world” based on TIME’s analysis of mapped Instagram data. More cities in the Philippines were also included in the TIME list’s top 100. The so-called summer capital Baguio City came in at 16th, Quezon City at 59th and Iloilo at 72nd.

To conclude, Internet is one of the most modernized and most successful tools, not only for communication, even to get most relevant information regarding every field in a very short period of time. As the world continues to live on the next period of time, we expect a wider range of technologies and inventions to affect our society. As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message”, means that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.

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