Mustafa Özcan

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Technology versus Culture - who influences whom?

For decades, mankind experienced a tremendous change in telecommunications technology, therefore changing also people's behaviour in their environment. The digital world let us look (or forces us to look) to our mobile phone and our life outside the network is gradually fading.
In former times the humankind could get non-verbal and verbal communication at once. We could see a person's face while we were talking with him, we could feel the vibe or call it "karma", we could use every antenna of our body to evaluate. People in trains, metrolines, are spending more time with their phone instead of experience their actual environment. People communicate almost everything through their new friend "smartphone". Investigating a person's profile in social media has advantages but also "spoils". We can get Information about somebody without having a real communication.

Should technology influence our culture (behaviour) or vice versa?

  • Apr 6 2013: We have throughout our history viewed technology as them-us situation, whether the technology was the printing press, the telephone, radio, TV or any new technology. Technology always changes the world in ways we can never fully predict and some of this change is certainly as a result of the nature of the technology, but some of the unpredictable change is because people are creative and they find new ways to use every technology. It's not technology versus us, we can choose how we use technology and we can choose when to use it. We have to think more about how and why we do what we do and not feel that we are being force to use technology in inappropriate ways. I find it strange that we need to make laws to prevent people from texting and driving, that should be common sense, but it's not to many people and that's not the fault of the's the people. And why do we have to remind people to shut off their cell phones before the start of a movie?...again shouldn't that be common sense. My feelings about technology can be summed up in the line from the 1950's Pogo cartoon: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
  • Apr 6 2013: its real but its not the full can always get a profile on someone but until you feel someone's vibes you don't have the most important part.. a lot of information is in the waves we put out and the subtle movements in body language. necessity breeds invention and i believe the space age jump started the computer age. I make a habit to pull my face out my phone when I'm out and about cause there is a lot a beauty in the world,inspiration for new ideas and people are missing out.
  • Apr 6 2013: Your question makes no sense to me. I find your concerns very confusing, and it seems to me that your thinking might be badly flawed.

    First, technology is part of culture, and is not distinct from it.

    Second, technology is passive. People must act to use technology. If people act thoughtlessly, whether the act involves technology or not, they will likely cause some harm. It happens every day.

    We have always picked up information about people "without having a real communication" including when we speak to people in person, face to face. Real communication requires effort, it always has and always will.
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      Apr 6 2013: I have chosen this kind of question in order to heat up the topic.

      Because a lot of authors dont define it as a part of culture. There are oppinions they say:
      Technology could endanger the cultural identity and also flat out cultural diversity and so on.

      The question about, how should we think about technology and culture (culture AND technology, technology as a culture, technology as a part of culture, etc..) is becoming more and more relevant due to our globalized and digitalized world.

      In a rapid growing digital world its important about to discuss the relation of the technological world and the cultural world.

      - Its about how much room they should give to each other? -
      • Apr 6 2013: I disagree with these authors.

        The notion that "technology could endanger the cultural identity" makes technology the active factor. That is not realistic. Humans are the active and responsible participants in every interaction with any technology. These concepts are potentially very harmful.

        Again, the technological world is part of the cultural world, and any other viewpoint is wrong. Attempts to redefine the word culture only confuse the issue and add nothing to understanding the role of technology within culture.

        In any event, cultural identity is constantly changing and attempts to nail it down are futile.
        • Apr 6 2013: i guess what you could call it is a side effect.a lot of couples meet online as opposed to "ye old watering hole". but one thing about being an adult is taking full responsibility. you really cant blame technology .but you can point out peoples dependencies and weigh pros and cons.
  • Apr 6 2013: Maybe we need to look at feedback loops.
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      Apr 6 2013: Can you explain that?

      Do you mean its still an ongoing feedback loop between them?