Wednesday, January 18, 2006

being a technophile

The reading I’ve been doing for my invention/design/mass culture class has me thinking about the way I interact with media and new technologies.  The first thing I realized is that I am a technophile.  But not a cutting-edge kind of technophile, more like a moderately early adapter.  For example, I jumped on the cell phone craze real late in the game (and the digital camera craze, and the text message craze… these things cost money) but once I decide to use a new technology or software or whatever, I develop ways to fit the new thing into my extant lifestyle pretty quickly.  I started using text messages seriously late this fall, and soon became a text message junkie.  I just had to find situations that make it useful.  I found a lot of times where making a phone call was impractical or unnecessary or rude, but sending a text was perfectly subtle and acceptable.  But not only do I adapt to new technologies, I get really enthusiastic about them.  I am not just a text message user, I’m a text junkie.  And the same is true for facebook, blogging, etc.

And, as my readers may notice, the ways people change their habits to adapt to new technologies is really interesting to me, maybe particularly because I do it so enthusiastically.  I suppose the fact that I’m posting these musings to a blog is another good example of this behavior.  Adorno, who I’ve been reading, might be skeptical of my enthusiasm to find uses for these new media.  He probably would see my sending text messages to decode his allusions ironic.  He sees enthusiasm for the “culture industry” as our following a mandatory cultural code that we don’t even enjoy but have to participate in to be a part of society.  And maybe he’s right.  But I wonder if the creative impulse behind new medias – blogs in particular – might change his theory.  Or maybe we are just all enacting and repeating the culture we’ve been absorbing since he wrote.  Regardless, I am going to continue to believe that I actually enjoy posting things on my blog, and using my cell phone, and watching the Gilmore Girls until the rest of the book convinces me otherwise.

1 comment:

Sonya said...

perhaps there are some that enjoy it and some that don't? Or that there are some that think they are 'winning' by being among the first while some think they're winning by stubbornly being the last to join the bandwagon until absolutely necessary?

My brother does not have a cellphone, and feels no need to get one because he lives at home, complete with a landline which he doesn't have to pay for. However, he's often out of the house, somewhere unknown, and his friends have the most frustrating time ever trying to get ahold of him. So they've been urging and ridiculing him for a while now, hoping he'll finally cave in. And so the story continues...