You can compare the idea of technological determinism to a verse from a Rolling Stones tune," kids are different today, I hear every mother say." While the contex may be slightly different, this past century offers an example how new innovations in technology have altered the perceptions of each generation through range, speed and channels of communication and technology.
Consider generational I recently had my 23rd birthday. My grandpa was 23 in the mid 1940's when Harry S. Truman was President. Polaroid cameras were soon to be developed, allowing for instant visual gratification of any moment in time. In addition, with the transistor radio, music and inforamation suddenly became portable. No matter how isolated the individal, worldy news was readily availabve. My parents were around the age of 23 in the early 1970's when Nixon was president and the space shuttle program was initiaited, sending two Apollo missions to the moon. Television broadcasts in color were a new innovation, and the internet hadnt been fully concieved and developed yet. In the two generations preceding myself, visual and aural media outlets were dominant. Today social integration of media technology have created electronic communitites where readers and authourship are synomnous with change and immediacy. In aggrement with a 2008 article titled "Is Google Making Us Stupid," individuals are spending more "time online, searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet...Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes...Even when I'm not working, I'm as likely as not to be foraging in the Web's info-thickets'reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link."(1)
However convincing the claims for technological determinism, I believe that there are other weighing issues such as economic prosperity and politicts that influence societal "progress." In a 2006 statistical review of world patents conducted by the the World Intelectual Property Organization, United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China accounted for approximately 76.5% of the total patent grants, representing a 6.3 percentage point increase from the 2000 level. When looking at GPD, a measurment of all economic output of a country, the USA, Japan and China are the three largest economies in the world - producing the most of the worlds pattents as well.
Technology is exciding, simple to say. Today, it is remediating everytinng from travel, to visual media and communication. Within the next year, Richard Branson will release his passenger space rocket, where passengers experience weightlessness. In addition, NASA is currently holding competitions with total prizes of $2 million for "Space Elevator" prototypes that could one day climb from earth to outer space. Yes technology alters our perception, but it wouldnt be possible without strong economies and powerful incentives.