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Internet Technology and Culture

written by: Baby Rani•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/31/2008

Technological advancements have undoubtedly had far-reaching affects on our culture and societal practices; if left unbounded, the influence of technology can corrode cultural ideals. Creating a cohesive balance between technology and culture is the need of the hour.

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    Technology is multiplying by leaps and bounds in today’s modern world. Mind flabbergasting arrays of gadgets vie with each other to grab our attention and add more oomph to our technology-dependent existence. Life as we know it would cease to exist if we weren’t equipped with our mobile phones in our hands and computers on our office and study desks.

    Without any doubt, from the last century to the current one, the major and most apparent change that one can notice, (that has no doubt been driven by technology), is the pace with which we live our lives and carry out our daily tasks. It is today entirely irrelevant where someone lives on the planet, which nook or corner they exist in, and how many thousands of miles stretch from them to us; technological progress has given the potential to reach them on the phone or over the Internet in a few short seconds.

    We have now what is called the always on, immediately connected society. We have information on our fingertips, news from anywhere in the world reaches us in a flash; and this is taken for granted and has ceased to be a privilege. This constant craze that has become a permanent entity in our lives has had far-reaching societal and cultural effects. We have been turned into a generation that has no patience to explore and develop long term solutions. Like the instantaneous comforts that technology has sent our way, we look for instant, temporary fixes to our problems, be it at home or at work.

    The supremacy of technology has had a colossal affect on how we as people communicate with each other. The importance of one-to-one, highly personal and individual meetings, small but culturally relevant gestures, common and expected courtesies, the importance of appearance and body language have all gone on a downward spiral. Person to person real interaction has started to take a back seat to mobile phone conversations, SMS messaging and Internet-based chatting sessions. These highly impersonal modes of communication are eroding our interpersonal skills; we prefer isolation to interaction with people, as we have started feeling uncomfortable in situations that require direct human interaction.

    Even the written form of language has undergone a sea-change with the advent of technology; short forms of words, abbreviations and various other short cuts rule the roost while any semblance of grammar and structure is fighting a losing battle.

    Actually Internet technology culture has brought this world to a state where interpersonal skills are dying and so is grammar and spelling. For instance, instead of saying ‘we’, we use the letter ‘V’, instead of ‘you’ we use ‘U’, before is represented as ‘b4’ and so on. If this goes on I feel that our children will forget the spelling of ‘you’ or ‘before’ or countless other words.

    It is frightening to think of a situation where this technology stops working for us, doing what we take for granted at will. We would all be lost children in an endless ocean of confusion. It is a sad situation where we are driven by technology, rather than being the drivers behind it. All is not lost; although a life without the influence of technology is impossible to imagine. But what is the need of the hour is the ability in each of us to balance the changes that technology thrusts upon us, with the age-old cultural beliefs and practices that have always driven human society.

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