Technopoly: Good or Evil
The Neil Postman reading is very thought provoking and we can clearly see how the ideas he presented about technopolies can be applied to most aspects of our lives today. Our lives are so dependent on the technology that sometimes we are not even aware that we are using them. The reading also brought up the point of the intent of the inventor and the manipulation of the invention by those who control it. Furthermore, the affects of technopolies on the evolution of our culture and a good example is Alexander Bell’s telephone. With the invention of the telephone everyday life changed for ordinary people everywhere. The change started slowly and took about 75 years from the time it was patented in 1876 to the time most home had a phone during the 1950s. Communication with friends and family was easier and quicker than the mail. So, we went from:
Sure it’s has made communication with family and friends easier but the invention has also been used as a sales tool to invade our privacy by the telecommunication companies.
How many times had dinner been interrupted by a salesperson calling to ask if you need a new mortgage? Now my pet peeve is when I am with a friend in the middle of a deep conversation and their cell phone rings. Or even worse, when you are at dinner and someone at the table next to you is having a loud conversation. So the intrusion to our lives as far as phones are concerned is 24 X 7 now. This is not limited to phones but also instant data communication. In the past we would plan ahead but now we have an artificial need to remain connected at all times. So my question is do we really need to be this accessible all the time???
And how does this accessibility affect our culture?
Please do not misunderstand my point of view; I too own a cell phone and need it to be available for my children and my elderly mother.