Does Technology Affects Culture Or Does Culture Affect Technology?

1094 words - 4 pages

Culture is the unique set of beliefs, behaviors, and way of life of a group of people. Our culture, according to many, is undergoing a steady increase in the culture gap, and for the most part, their main target when seeking whom to blame is technology. Our culture drives us to pursue success and pleasure, complete tasks efficiently, and contemplate how to improve the lives of the generations to come and ourselves. These elements of our culture, these demands, the majority, are fulfilled by technology. In Robert Solomon’s essay, Culture Gives Us a Sense of Who We Are, he states “We are becoming a culture without a culture, lacking fixed points of reference and a shared vocabulary” and that “ ‘Television culture’ is no culture at all” (Solomon 426). Solomon is one of those people who blame technology, but the reality is that one chooses what makes up their unique culture. Most people, due to the competitiveness of the education system now a days, share the same culture of getting assignments done fast and efficiently, striving to succeed and therefore live a better life, full of pleasures, all of which is immensely aided by technology. Essentially, our culture affects the technology, not vice versa as many tend to believe.
The theory that culture is affecting technology and not the other way around applies not only to our culture, but also to other cultures, cultures that have their own unique beliefs and ideas. The technology around is a result of the beliefs and way of life of our culture. Take the manufacturing of cell phones for example; there are some “mobile phone manufacturers [that] have developed popular phones for Muslim users that support their religious practices by (1) reminding them when it is time to pray, (2) orienting them towards Mecca…” (Finin). In this situation, the technology has adapted to the needs of the religion of a specific culture, and possibly even enhanced their life, as the reminders to pray may make them follow their culture more than normally. Speaking on the cultural values of humility and simplicity held by Hindus and Muslims, Dr. Genevieve Bell is quoted describing how “ ‘If part of the value of the home is this space of purity that's protected from the pollutedness of the world…that becomes a barrier to adopting some technologies’ '' (Erard). So, culture limits what technologies thrive, and technology must then adapt itself to the cultural values of these people, to meet their cultural demands. Notice that in both situations, the technologies are adapted, tailored to the cultures of each group of people, meaning that the culture is intact, unchanged by the new development because the technology was made to fit in.
Going back to our culture, the fight for A’s and the competition to get into top universities in order to have a successful life, is a major part of it and this drive to succeed has also led to the implementation of new technologies. The education system demands a great deal from students and...

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