It is commonly thought that technology has shaped and changed us as individuals and as an entire human race. It is easy to blame the technology and claim that the ways that we have been formed by it are out of our control. I often look at our world that way when I see people’s eyes glued to the screens of their phones and think that the phones changed us and the technology did this to us. It is a very easy stance to take because it removes human responsibility and almost makes it so that we don’t have to put in the work to change the way things are; we are better able to accept and be complacent in our concerning ways.
Meikle points out that this really isn’t possible; humans create this technology and not only is it true that “deliberate choices about the relationship between people and new technology are made by someone, somehow, every day of the year” but the “uses to which technology is put are not determined by its technological properties alone – uses are determined by the interaction of social, cultural and economic forces, and the end result will reflect competing interests and objectives” (102, 103). This is such an important thing to realize and something I didn’t really think about. Now that I am thinking about it, it is so true and also so interesting that we can even see it the other way in any way shape or form.
The way we use technology is constantly being conditioned into our minds by constant representation in advertisements. These advertisements link certain lifestyles or ideals to which we aspire to the technology being sold so that we envision ourselves realizing those aspirations through the use of the product. We are constantly manipulated into believing that these products are magical entities that will change our lives and make us better people. Not only can we not accept that ““technology is somehow autonomous, an independent realm from which new products appear by surprise and then change everything” but we must also be aware of just how much technology is shaped by people, corporate interest, and cultural constructs (101). Technology is swayed by the hegemony within our society and in order to use technology wisely and not let ourselves get wrapped up in the unrealistic ideals it “promises” us, we must actually realize all of the minds, hands, and processes it goes through before it reaches us, the consumers.