What is the relationship between the advancement of technology and its users?


The advancement of technologies has developed and became one of the most influential items in the modern world. It has risen from a luxury good that only the wealthier ones can afford to a necessity good that one have to use daily. Things have changed as time goes by, I remember last time when I was younger during my childhood days, we do not have Ipad or smart technology gadgets to play with when we are bored. Also, as we grow older, if we want to make friends, we will go and have a conversation with a person to get to know each other, not search for that person on Facebook or Instagram, trying to understand and get more background information of someone before interacting with them. Moreover, when we visit someone in the house, we will knock or ring the door bell, not texting or calling the owner that we are standing right outside waiting. So since the habits and actions can be changed by the influence of technology, what causes these to happen? For my understanding, the relationship or connection between advancement of technology and its users is related to a large extent.

Conception

In the image above, it depicts a scene where my friend, Jodie was snapping a photo in a crowded street of Hong Kong. For your background information, Hong Kong is one of the few chinese-associated district where it is governing through the ideology of democracy. This image symbolizes the recording of a democratic moment that is happening in a district through the use of technology, sending a message that people are no longer suppress by the governing system and can voice up their opinions and thoughts freely. While technology is the most efficient tool to achieve democracy as it has extensive viewership that can influence and convey messages to the public clearly and freely.

There’s another area of public life where we want and expect transparency, and that’s democracy. -Eggers, Page 207

The use of technology for surveillance, from the story in the novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell describes a society where every aspect of human life is controlled through telescreens and microphones located in houses and streets, so that people were forced not only to behave according to the expectations addressed to them but also to assume corresponding attitudes and beliefs.-Cunha, page 14

Inception

In the image on the left, my friend Angela was snapping a photo in a stair-case, the angle and direction from her own perspective for the photo seems to a cycle that is never ending. But this image has more to be spoken of as it is taken from a third person’s view, while Angela is merely a person that is holding on to her Iphone in the photo. But it also symbolizes the relationship between the user and the advanced technology gadget as Angela can only focus on what she perceives from the screen, whereas from a third person’s point of view, Angela seem lost to the cyber world, while the stair-cases that goes round and round seems like the trap or never ending maze that will lure her in as she goes deeper into the technology.

Individually you don’t know what you’re doing collectively. -Eggers, page 261

Technology causing ignorance and indifference, from the novel, Fahrenheit 451, which inspired the homonymous movie by François Truffaut. The novel describes a world where books are forbidden, and people are only fed the information that the political power wants to provide them, in order to produce pleasurable emotions while preventing any critical thinking. -Cunha page 15 & 16

Deception

The image on the left depicts a scene in which Angela was snapping a beautiful scenery near the ocean side with her Iphone during the summer. As projected from the photo, the ocean seems calm and boundless, causing people to feel nostalgic and joyous from its magnificent view, along with the smart phone gadget, it suggesting that through the using of technology, it can stimulate the similar emotions and perceptions as one look back to its photos stored in the phone. It is a deception that is saying one can never enjoys the view and feels the same as the user is present in the actual world, the cyber-world is just as enormous and boundless like an ocean, its tranquility seems to be alluring but as one venture too far into it, it will unpredictably produced “waves of terror” that slams you back to reality.

A breath that said Settle in, this will take a while and will blow your mind. -Eggers, Page 131

Technologies for illusion and artificial pleasure, from the story of the Experience Machine, contained in Nozick, where ‘super-duper neuropsychologists’ have figured out a way to stimulate a person’s brain to induce pleasurable experiences, which that person cannot distinguish from real ones. Thus virtual experience could become a substitute for real experience, providing easier and deeper satisfaction than real life, it could become an electronic drug susceptible of taking possession of human minds. Humans indeed may become indifferent to their natural and social environment, to their relations with other people, substituting them with virtual experiences. -Cunha, page 17

Cognition

In the above image, it was depicted that Jodie was trying to focus and snap a photo while facing another camera. But she is also hiding behind the camera, trying to not reveal herself and her identity, so people will have little or no understanding of her, therefore unable to identify her. This is indeed similar in the actual world, where hideous users camouflage themselves through the cyber world, so other users never know who is the person on the other side of the screen that they are actually dealing with, posing imminent dangers to the one that are exposing themselves due to their vulnerability.

If you aren’t transparent, what are you hiding?-Eggers, Page 241

Use of technologies for cover control and judgment, from the novel Trial, where a man is prosecuted for a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. As the trial goes on, the man progressively loses his esteem, the very sense of his dignity. -Cunha page 14 & 15

All in all, the relationships or connections between the advanced technology and its users can be both positive and negative as in some circumstances, it enables majority of the public to benefit through it. But it can also create imminent danger to the public as it is a sophisticated system that not many would understand, it can inevitably cause a impact when one is less expected as technology has already become a daily necessity that people can no longer separate themselves with.

Sources:

Cunha, Mario Viola de Azevedo. New Technologies And Human Rights : Challenges To Regulation. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2013. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 1 Apr. 2015.

“The Circle”, First Vintage Books Edition, May 2014. Copyright 2013 by Dave Eggers.

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