Assesment 2 – Interview based ethnography…

Revised 21 November 2016

“By conducting interviews, I will explore our relationship with technology. Participants were aged 52 and the other aged 23.Discourses around age and its implications on our technology use arose. Concerns expressed over a perceived ‘generation gap’ emerged; one stated, “…I’d say, the youngsters keep up with it more than the… the older generations.” (Noble, 2016). Another recalled… “I grew up without a mobile and I used to go out all the time. I would be out playing with my friends we’d call on each other by knocking on the door; not by texting! Whereas now I see my sisters grow up, and… all they do is sit on their phones all day, they sit with their friends on their phones, and I’m like… go climb a tree motherfucker! Haha!”. (Morton, 2016)

Age affects how we use technology, each had differing perceptions of what ‘technology’ was. Participants shared conflicting views on the technological impacts of the everyday, the younger participant expressed anxiety around the technological implications on younger generations.

Bernard Stiegler stated in ‘The Ister’, that “Man is nothing other than technical life” (2011; 4:57), our technological dependencies are a concerning for many. A post by Horvat, J. (2015) explored the negatives associated with technology use, stating “We should not serve technology and allow our gadgets to control our lives, social skills or decisions. When this happens, it can endanger the proper development of the personality and hamper the social relationships needed for life together in society”.

‘www.debate.org’ asked “is technology taking over our lives?”,of those who answered, 66% said ‘Yes’ and 34% said ‘No’.  As our relationship with automation intensifies, so does the anxiety regarding its impact on our lives. (Debate.org, 2016)

S, Turkel claims that “We are shaped by our tools. And now, the computer, a machine on the border of becoming a mind was changing and shaping us.” (2006: x). A participant stated that “I do believe, it’s taken over people’s lives. Which is a negative.” Another stated, “I think it’s clever, I think it’s very good, I just wish I could keep up, up with it”.  Both claimed to have a moderate to high exposure to technology, although, it is evident that this can create a barrier between generations.

A strong sense of anxiety regarding implications of our technology use is apparent. A Guardian article by Tim Lott titled “Technology is taking over my family” mentions personal concerns. Lott aged 60, discusses ‘the virtualisation of family life’ declaring “…my wife and I spent less and less time in face-to-face contact, even when under the same roof” and that “Technology is eating my family – myself included. Virtual space aces physical every time” (T. Lott. 2016). This personal account illustrates one of the many concerns resulting from technology use. Lott declares that “the web has made the world more interesting. Too interesting. Real life, real people, real members of the family are dull and problematic in comparison.”  Providing a possible explanation as to why we are so addicted virtual media.  Despite this ‘generation gap’ within technology use…it is evident that as automation embeds itself within the fabric of our existence, there is an emerging anxiety regarding the consequences of our media consumption; regardless of age. We are united in our distress and concern over the ramifications of our own media consumption.”

Word Count – 553


 References:

Almafarag (2011). man & technics: Bernard Stiegler (1). YouTube . 16 February. Available from:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymtnUDAOEWc [Accessed 11 October 2016]

Collins, T. (2016) Twitter’s outage reminds us social media is taking over our lives. CNET. Available from: https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/twitters-outage-reminds-us-social-media-is-taking-over-our-lives/ [Accessed 4 October 2016]

Debate.org (2016) Is technology taking over our lives?. Available from: http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-technology-taking-over-our-lives [Accessed 19 November 2016]

Horvat, J. (2015) The Blaze – Five Ways Technology Is Taking Over Your Life. Available from: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/five-ways-technology-is-taking-over-your-life/ [Accessed 4 October 2016]

Jorgensen; L. Phillips (2002) Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method(extract) London: Sage Books. p1-166

Lott, T. (2013) Technology is taking over my family. The Guardian [Online]. 19 January. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/19/tim-lott-too-much-technology [Accessed 19 November 2016]

Morton, F. (2016) Interview with Frances Morton, Interviewed by Charlotte Simpson. Discourse Analysis into Technology. 04 October [Skype interview]

Noble, T. (2016) Interview with Thomas Noble, Interviewed by Charlotte Simpson. Discourse Analysis into Technology. 04, October [In person].

Turkel, S. (2006) ‘Alone together : why we expect more from technology and less from eachother’. 1st Ed. New York : Basic Books. : x-138

2 thoughts on “Assesment 2 – Interview based ethnography…

  1. This is a good and thoughtful blog which shows that you have thought carefully about the material you have gathered from your interviews. Although you have deviated slightly from the brief (by also interviewing a younger person) there are some interesting insights here which you could perhaps by reading around the subject. In particular the anxiety about technology ‘taking over’ people’s lives is worth pursuing further.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I am aware of this although I wanted to try and obtain both ends of the spectrum in terms of our technological use in order to gain a stronger and more fair reflection in regards to discourses with age, I am also aware that I was a little light on the theoretical grounding. Thanks again! Will bear this in mind next time!

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