This change in our perceptions of reality is the metaphor. “Our metaphors create the content of our culture. ” (Postman, 1986) Postman compares the prophecies of George Orwell’s 1984 with the Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World. Orwell’s warning is of an “externally imposed oppression” while Huxley’s warning is of “people who will come to love their oppression, to adore their technologies that undo their capacities to think,” amusing their selves to death (Postman, 1986).
Our culture is in danger of trivialization due to the distractions, amusements and limitations of our media today. It is our esponsibility to study the effects of our technologies to prevent any detrimental unanticipated consequences they may have on our society. Samuel Morse when he invented telegraphy, predicted that it would make “one neighborhood of the whole country. ”
According to Postman telegraphy “destroyed the prevailing definition of information, and in doing so gave a new meaning to public discourse. ” It is with telegraphy and its union with the press that the value of information changed. Information became context-? free and a commodity. Information was bought and sold irrespective of its use or eaning, 1 and this is how the value of news has come to rely on its novelty, interest and curiosity and not on its functionality (Postman, 1986).
“Television speaks in only one persistent voice – the voice of entertainment,” (Postman, 1986).
Like the primitive technology of smoke signals, television is a medium restricted by its form. A Cherokee philosopher cannot communicate his ideas with smoke signals. Likewise, television with its inherent bias cannot be used for complex discussions. “The average length of a shot on network television is only 3. 5 seconds so that the eye never rests, lways has something new to see. ” (Postman, 1986) Television favors fascinating dynamic visuals over ‘boring’ complexity and coherence-? which do not play well on television.
Advancements in information technology have had many great benefits on society. It has revolutionized the phase of business and living around the world. Information Technology has made Local businesses become international due to a simple website. Information technology (IT) is the use of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data. The term is ...
All content is presented as entertainment, “requiring minimal skills to comprehend it, and is largely aimed at emotional gratification. ” (Postman, 1986) However, this does not mean that there is anything wrong with entertainment or that all TV programs are useless. What is wrong is to turn to television for anything serious, expecting the meaningful. It is our obligation to be aware of the metaphor. The metaphor is new culture centered on the need to be entertained and incapable of filtering information, distinguishing what is relevant, or questioning what needs to be questioned. As we are now experiencing the boom in social media with 955 million active users on Facebook in June 2012 (Wikipedia, 2012), it is apparent that we should follow the advice of McLuhan and Postman, and study the elusive effects of social media on our culture today. Facebook tends to encourage people to only show how wonderful their life is. They engage in a form of personal propaganda, indulging in narcissistic behaviors n an environment where it is the norm to do so. It is true that social media brought the world closer together but it has also distanced us. We stay in touch without actually having a conversation through broadcasts and status messages.
People compete to have as many friends as possible, making relationships shallow and communications superficial. With more than half of Facebook users accessing Facebook on their mobile devices, it is also important to note the distractions and disconnect these devices cause in our relationships in the real world. “People know what they do; they frequently now why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does” Foucault (Mahon, 1992).
Running head: SOCIAL EFFECTS OF THE INTERNET Social Effects of the Internet April 17, 2009 Social Effects of the Internet Introduction The development and advent of internet technology has become of the most important events in the latter half of the XX century. Internet became a miracle allowing individuals to get immediate and free access to information, bringing the world closer and allowing to ...
In a world where technology is the way of life, it is crucial for us to investigate the effects these tools have on our societies. These tools are extensions of our human experience and therefore must be examined as phenomena that shape the very form of our existence, altering our day-? to-? day lives and dynamically influencing our culture.
These influences maybe indirect and subtle and it is our responsibility to be simply conscious of their effects regardless of whether they are eneficial or not. It is through this awareness that we would be able to 2 prevent the changes that we decide do not suit our visions and goals for the human race. References: • McLuhan, M. (1994).
Understanding media: The extensions of man. (pp. 721).
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Postman, N. (1986).
Amusing ourselves to death. New York, NY: Penguin Group. Mahon, M. (1992).
Foucault’s nietzschean genealogy: Truth, power, and the subject. (p. 130).
Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Wikipedia. (2012, August 20).
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Facebook Facebook. Retrieved from • • • 3