Home > musings > Looking back at how digital technology and media changes our ways of being and structures our activities.

Looking back at how digital technology and media changes our ways of being and structures our activities.

Thanks a lot for sharing your reflections and thoughts! It sure was an interesting reading and in some cases very thought provoking. These posts showed well that the strength of this group is its diversity. Your different backgrounds and perspectives you considered important while carrying out this task are nicely visible. Thus, for sure something to learn from each other. However, hardly any comments have been posted by you, any questions being asked…

Most of you admit that technological development actually has an impact on our ways of being and the ways we go about life. It is not just a technical progress, but also a social one. Technological development is not seen only as an independent variable, but rather a mutual social shaping process. Many of you have mentioned Facebook as one of the examples of tools, which has a great impact on people. For instance, the concept of “liking” has replaced our conversations and our dialogues. For more see for instance Tiina’s and Karmen’s thoughts. In fact Karmen rightfully points out that “It is an addiction of a sort, looking for people’s approval and reflection on everything”. Thus, I guess you agree that attention has become our currency.

Furthermore, Darja points out that “On a personal level digital technologies became not only mediums I use on a daily basis, but a part of me, almost in a physical meaning”, but she also acknowledges potential threats. She continues “Little do we realize how it can impact our lives and who can use those little pieces of information for creating a bigger picture of our activity and using this picture for their own purposes”. There are many concerns as well as benefits, many advantages and disadvantages. Copyright problems, lost privacy, intellectual property, new laws and regulations, lack of critical thinking, constant multitasking…these were just a few aspects named by you.

I guess you all have experienced a flow state, when you just can’t stop and want to continue with your task. Eret claims “I have recognized that it is like an addiction, the more you consume digital solutions the more you need these”. Karmen continues “at one point we may turn into obsessive compulsive zombies relying only on our smart phones and other gadgets”. I guess to a certain degree we are already there. We have turned to be ‘information junkies’. It reminds me of one of the occasions… I was sitting in the restaurant and there were two friends having dinner at the next table…both of them with their iPhones. And during the whole evening, they hardly exchanged any words between themselves…This is the reality we are slowly getting into…

Reading your posts it reminded me of a year 1996. I was a young student and one of our teachers said that one day we can do shopping, banking, just name it…without leaving home. At that time we found it so hard to believe and so utopian. And some 10-15 years later this is all happening and even more…

Merje says that “…we live in era of interruptions”. Technology frees us, but also restricts us… I sometimes wonder… how much it is related to self-discipline, making conscious choices about the ways to structure our days….maybe our information overload is also due to our sloppiness…we send out messages, e-mails without reading them twice, without thinking if I answered all the questions, if I have provided all the possible information one might need. We create constant information flows, but they might be poor in their essence. Nevertheless, it is self-explanatory…we need a set of additional competencies to handle our lives…

I also found it interesting to see how people from an advertising field interpret the changes. Johan, for instance, points out that with the opportunity to personalise and customise different tools and services, we can avoid advertisements, however, on the other hand we ourselves have become advertisers…and even more aggressive ones.

I want to end this short summary with Karmen’s words: “It really is a very interesting, yet frightening era we live in.” Don’t you think?

Categories: musings
  1. September 26, 2012 at 11:49

    Definitely these are interesting times, and no-one actually knows what will the world be like in another 10-15 years 🙂

  2. September 27, 2012 at 20:17

    Agree with you, but on my opinion 10-15 years are even long, we will see unbelievable things in five years already, if the technological development keeps this improvement. 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eHwbUKxDHo

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