In a two- to three-page essay reflect on the effect a specific technological change has had on your life. Review Peter-Paul Verbeek’s video about “technological mediation” in which he explains how technology both creates new ways for us to act in the world while also shaping the way we experience the world in the first place.
Think about how a specific new technology has shaped how you experience things in your everyday life, how you relate to other people, how you relate to time, etc. It is helpful to think about this in terms of a change, considering how your experience now is different than it was before the invention of that technology.
Be sure to consider the ideas of Jacques Ellul about how technologies promise freedom but in fact determine our actions for us in unpredictable ways.
Obviously there are plenty of other examples, too: how ebooks changed the experience of reading, how Facebook changed friendship, how smart phones changed your relationship to boredom since you always have a distraction available, how GPS devices made it impossible to get lost and thereby changed your relationship to how you navigate in an unfamiliar city or even in your own neighborhood, how Amazon changed the way you shop, etc. Think about digital photography, text messaging, online dating, fitness trackers, touchscreens, etc.
Don’t try to discuss all of these technologies. Pick one specific technological change and discuss it in detail. Describe how your life was prior to the invention of that technology, and how that new technology has fundamentally changed the way you experience your life – how it created new possibilities, removed other possibilities, allows you to notice new things, keeps you from noticing other things, etc.
In a two- to three-page essay reflect on the effect a specific technological change has had on your life.
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