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TITLE: SMART PHONES AND CULTURE
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SMART PHONES AND CULTURE
There are as many definitions to the term technology as there are users of technology. It is not easy to put into words the large connotations that this term refers to. It is easy to pin point what technology is and how it has affected our lives rather than to define the term. Over the years, scientists and scholars in the field have been content to give a working definition according to their needs.
In the book "Society and Technological Change'' Volti (2017) relates this lack of a globally accepted definition to the extent that it is a collection of things rather than an independent component, in his words, for a technology to be developed and used, the energies and skills of many individuals have to be combined and coordinated through some organizational structure. From this statement one can clearly deduct that technology is not the physical object but rather the organizational structures that are put together to bring forth the gadget. He states that the first definition of this term by the English dictionary was in the eighteenth century as ‘'a Description of Arts, especially the Mechanical.''
The writer gives a very schematic definition of technology as a system created by humans that uses knowledge and organization to produce objects and techniques for the attainment of specific goals. This brings out some very important aspects of technology which we can safely refer to as characteristics. Technology is therefore a combination of devices, skills and organizational structures and can be seen as a system.
There is no question as to whether smart phones are a technology or not. Generally, technology is developed so that we are able to do things that we have previously been unable to do, or do what we can in an easier way that is both cheaper and faster. This helps us to compliment our physical, social and intellectual capabilities and greatly reduces our limitations. This is in agreement with Volti (2017) who is convinced that without this capacity to invent and use a great variety of technologies, the human species would not have been able to establish itself on virtually every part of the globe.
He goes on to say that reliance on technology is as old as humanity itself. For instance, when man first used fire to cook his meals and realized the conveniences it brought into his life, there was no living without it afterwards. It became part of him; his way of life, which brings us to the next very important aspect of our essay- culture.
Culture defines what is wrong and what is right and provides social sanctions for individuals who go beyond what it accepted as right. They learn what can and cannot be done in given contexts in relation to their environment and interaction with other humans, with technology and through technology. Pineda (2013) defines culture as a way of life of a group of people- the behaviors, beliefs, values and symbols that they accept and are passed from generation to generation. Drawing from this definition, it is clear to see why technology is now an important part of the conversation when it comes to culture. Its impact on culture has been too great and it can no longer be i gnored. We can only agree with Pinchot et al (2010) when the say that we have moved into an era where phone numbers refer to people instead of places.
Technological change is a social process
Volti (2017) raises a very important point saying that technological change does not take place in social vacuum but that it is a human creation and because humans are social creatures; technological change is therefore a social process. According to him, new technology does not succeed or fail solely on the basis of narrow technical merits. Instead, the point at which one