Response to The Technology and the Society

Langdon Winner makes some valid points about the role of technology in our everyday lives. When TV was first invented you never thought that it would become so heavily relied upon by people for entertainment and social discussion; I wasn’t surprised to hear that most Americans spend about one-third of their entire lives watching it, however that number is truly shocking. It seems to me that people deserve a better quality of life than just sitting on their behinds staring at a television set. It is no wonder that TV has been speculated as a major contributor to obesity since it is so easy to loose track of time sitting in front of the TV opposed to doing other things. In my opinion, about half of the things aired on TV today don’t benefit or teach anything and ultimately becomes a waste of time. In this case technology has really become a detriment to people’s quality of life in a major way. However, from a different perspective the evolution of TV can also be viewed as a positive. In Winner’s words it is “the universal babysitter” which when watched in moderation can be a wonderful source of entertainment as long as it’s advantages outweigh it’s disadvantages.

This reminds me of another technology that has impacted our world immensely in recent years and can easily be switched with television as well as a few others in each of William’s versions of cause and effect in technology and society. Since the invention of Facebook and Twitter many people have gained as much of an addiction to those as they have to TV and it has certainly altered our world. I have a Facebook account in which I am “Facebook friends” with four hundred eighty-two people and I would say that at least a third of them if not more, must sit on Facebook all day and post statuses about their life, hour by hour of the day. For some it has become an addiction which has some unfortunate consequences, but looking at it from a different perspective it has a lot advantages too for example, being able to stay in touch with people you know who you may not have otherwise. Therefore, I think it is partly up to you how much direct exposure you get to these technologies, but as Williams mentions you will never be fully free of exposure to them because they have become embedded in and central to the content of our everyday life. Hence, people don’t really have control over their exposure to these new technologies. For example, it has not only become the topic of social discussions but also the method through which teachers teach and businesses run. Even as I sit here now I am using a brand new Apple computer to type up my homework and submit it online.