“Making new media make sense”
While reading this article or chapter, I feel it was very well thought-out. The author’s explanation of the 4 main views of the adaptation and future domestication of new technological sources made sense and was easy to understand. The examples and even visual aids from the New Yorker cartoons help the notion or theme of the views easier to comprehend.
The technological determinism view of new technology and sources he states is when people see the device or machine forcing change onto the society. I can see how this view is so popular with the typical response to change being that of a negativity. It has been stated that most humans are creatures of habit and strive off routines and structure. So therefore, anything that comes along and can change the status quo, allows for people to jump to conclusion, and often focusing on negative ones.
This is a dangerous way to approach things, is there such a fear of being left behind, or having yourself become a victim that one’s mind must reject the good a new technology or innovation may bring? When you look deeper in this view it seems to be the fear one has for change and opportunities of loss that drive this view.
Social construction is the view that people are the main driving force for the technology and seen as the active agent of the change. The movie loosely based off the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook highlighted this phenomenon. In a scene Zuckerberg is questioned with the notion of making money off the newly created platform, to which he is reluctant to as he states that they don’t even truly know what they have yet. Implying the platforms intent was being dictated by its users.
The idea that the users dictate the platform and give the value to the technology is strong. As can be said with the internet as a whole, it is valuable for the information it holds, connections it provides and power it can generate, but all those aspects are fundamentally based off the users, their information, their connections and their power. Without users the technology is dead.
The view that seems to be the best fit is that of social shaping, which sees both the device or innovation and the users as the driving force for change. It acknowledges that the technology is typically a result of a need, and the use is typically the result of society adoption. Much like that of the telephone, the benefits and drawbacks take time to weight and depending on which exceeds the notion over the other it will prevail or fail.
The use of an Advice column readers rebuttal is a good way to understand this point. It basically calls out the idea of the device or innovation as the problem, as with this example which uses a knife. He states that the knife was used as a tool for good as he had recently had lifesaving surgery, yet a knife could also be used to take a life in a murder. Such a strong way to say there is more than one reason or cause for the direction technology leads us.