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Lecture 2

SOC3116 Lecture 2: Lecture 2 - A Critical Approach to Technology and Society

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Tonio Sadik

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017 * A Critical Approach to Technology & Society - Our engagement to technology is passive; we try to use them in a way in which we see ourselves accommodated — we base our lives around them (ICTs). - Why do we feel compelled to use technology? What are we supposed to think that technology does for us? What is it about technology that is supposed to make it so useful? - We are exposed to a huge amount of messages about technology and what it can do for us (ex; in advertising, in university — encouraged to come to class with our laptops in order to facilitate note-taking and such, we are provided with wifi, etc.). Our ability to multitask is usually seen as something very good and promising, but if you are multitasking, how effectively are you actually doing those things? You are only paying continuous partial attention to each of those things, instead of paying complete attention to one thing at a time. We can achieve higher quality work when we focus our attention on one thing at a time. - 4 reasons to ask questions about the role of technology in our society: Challenging our complacency is one good reason to ask questions about the role of technology in our society. A secondary reason is to improve its usefulness to us (basis for innovation, as we ask what can be done better, how is it different from other technologies, etc.). It is also useful to ask questions in order to enhance our awareness about how much we rely on these technologies; we come to take it for granted. We want to get our head outside of the box of popular messaging about what technology will do for us. We think we are ‘above’ advertisement, that we are immune to it, but in reality, we are not. - ICT = information and communication technology (smartphones, computers). ICTs enable two-way communication, not only one-way comm. - ‘Media’; news/traditional/old media (newspapers, radio, TV) or social/new media (internet). We are trying to distinguish these two different types of media, and on what basis do we make this distinction? What is it that differentiates the two? The old/news media like newspaper, radio and TV are all separate, distinct forms of news, whereas on the internet, it all sort of blurs together. The traditional/news media is mostly controlled by the government or corporations, whereas anyone can put anything on social media. The defining difference between the two is the fact that all these 1 Wednesday, May 3, 2017 sorts of traditional media are all one-way communication, whereas in social media, commu
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