Formerly SpringBlog

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Social Shackles

"The things that you own end up owning you." It's a great quote from a favorite movie of mine; Fight Club. While Tyler Durden might have been talking about the material possessions in your life such as clothing, furniture, and cars, I believe it perfectly describes the way technological devices influence your life. Freedom is a word thrown around a lot when discussing advancing technology. Many people would say things such as a cell phone and wireless internet have given them a greater amount of freedom than what they had before. According to the Encarta dictionary, freedom is: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restrictions. In regards to the first part of that definition, I would say that many people believe that these technological advances live up to that freedom. A person no longer has to sit at home to wait for important calls, rather they have a cell phone that allows them to go almost anywhere and still be connected. The internet used to be only accessible through wired connections that limited the locations where you could access vast amounts of information. Now with Wi-Fi capabilities and wireless data networks through your cell phone provider, restrictions to the web are now greatly reduced.

However, it must be noted that while these technologies empower us with a sense of freedom, it comes at a cost. Those devices capable of allowing information retrieval and instant communication whenever and wherever we want, also binds it to us. Have you ever lost your cell phone? Has your laptop or ipod ever been out of Wi-Fi range? For some people, this would cause a sense of anxiety. In our attempts to escape the undue restrictions of our phone lines and Ethernet cables, other more powerful restrictions have manifested in the social network. The need to be connected, and for us to connect at all times has led to social bonds that are hard to break free from. The question is whether this technology infringes on our freedoms, or simply is another step in the evolutionary process of human interaction.


  1. I would absolutely say that we are bound to things like our phones, computers, and GPS. Personally, when I am on a road trip and loose cell reception, all I am thinking about is "Oh no, what if I get lost?" or "Shoot, I was in the middle of a text conversation!" I am so dependent on technology, I'm lack a lot of practical skills. I've even noticed my handwriting getting worse as the years progress because I'm always typing my notes and papers rather than writing them. I think it's safe to say that society is very bound to technology. It's almost like a comfort blanket.

  2. I think that Kyle brings up an interestng binary. We are so attached to our technology that we find it more valuable than most other belongings. Then we turn around and complain that other people can find us due to the chips and fetures of these devices. I have not seen anyone throwing out thier phones becuase they have become findable. This pormps me to ask whether or not we have the right to be upset if stalkers or robbers find us after we have chosen to use trackable devices or worse anounce our location everytime it changes.