Technology saves a lot of time to people and enables them to focus on such concepts as self-development, relationship, social contribution rather than do the chores. Technology has also made the planet really small as people can communicate with each other irrespective of distances or time. At the same time, researchers warn that people are becoming addictive to technology (Salehan and Negahban 2013, p. 2636). A mobile phone is one of examples of this impact of technology. The artwork in question reveals the essence of peoples concerns about technology and its impact on the society.
The artwork under discussion can be entitled “Mobile Imprisonment”. Now many people can panic if they leave their mobile at home. People are literally attached to their devices. Salehan and Negahban (2013, p. 2636) reveal this dependency and note that it is likely to become worse in future. Of course, mobile phones (as well as other devices) help people communicate. There are various useful applications that can be employed in numerous settings. For instance, there are mobile phones with stethoscopes and there is a “prototype of phone oximeter” (Sheraton, Wilkes & Hall 2012, p. 945). Apart from these almost ‘life-saving’ applications, there are many more that make people’s lives easier. Cameras, calculators, notepads and, of course, social networks help people (especially youth) make various things within seconds.
Social networks (which have become available in mobiles) have had a great impact on the society. Technology has shaped the way people communicate. However, it is necessary to add that technology and culture ae interconnected. Technology affects culture and culture, in its turn, has an impact on technology. Minsky (1997, p. 1121) stresses that “science-technology” and culture are two things that help people “make sense of things”. At the same time, Meikle and Young (2012, p. 175) note that technology is not shaping cultures but is a reflection of issues existing in the society.
However, both approaches are correct though somewhat limited. Culture and technology are closely connected and interrelated. Thus, people develop their cultures throughout decades and centuries. Beliefs and societal norms are being formed. Technology is aimed at solving issues existing in the society. Thus, people’s desire to work together and communicate led to creation of telegraph, telephone, a mobile phone and the Internet. At the same time, the technological advances also shape the societal norms. Thus, people used to be able to communicate irrespective of distances and now they have such an opportunity. However, extensive communication is leading to people’s need to communicate and remain in touch. Otherwise, they feel lonely and lost.
Art can reveal the interrelatedness between technology and culture. Thus, the artwork in question depicts a mobile phone that looks like a prison inside. There are convicts and their cells, there is barbed wire and sophisticated security system. The image reveals the idea of a highly technological and sophisticated prison people have built for themselves. Importantly, people understand that they are inside a prison and their freedom is highly restricted. However, like convicts they are unable to go out.
People have chosen comfort to freedom. They are choosing various applications and become addicted to them. For instance, young people find it easier to communicate via social networks than face-to-face. It is so easy to purchase an application and each new app seems to make a person’s life so easy and comfortable. Individuals are waiting for new apps without trying to solve some daily issues using old ways. People are becoming dependant on technology. People have carried out a variety of experiments and it turns out that a contemporary person needs devices and can hardly live without them. It is easy to check this argument by spending a day without a mobile phone.
Some may say that this dependency is disastrous. Nonetheless, the 21st century’s dependency on mobile phones (as a symbol of technology) can become a warning and make people wake up from the sweet dream. Art can contribute greatly to this process. Such artworks as the “Mobile Imprisonment” can help people understand that technology is a necessary and indispensable part of humanity development. However, technological development has to be controlled by people as it may create a society of convicts or slaves of technology. Humans have to draw the line between evolution and degradation, between technological advances and replacement of human activity by operations of various devices.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that culture and technology are two facets of the human society’s development. They are interconnected and interrelated. Technological advances help people evolve but they can also be hazardous. Art can help people notice the line they are about to cross. Reflecting on the trends existing in the society people can try to stop and think what they need and what is superfluous. Mobile imprisonment can be the first sign of people becoming too dependent on technology. At the same time, it is also a reminder that people are very responsible for their development and have to make right choices when it comes to technology.
Meikle, G & Young, S 2012, Media convergence: networked digital media in everyday life, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
Minsky, M 1997, ‘Technology and culture’, Social Research, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 1119-1126.
Salehan, M & Negahban, A 2013, ‘Social networking on smartphones: when mobile phones become addictive’, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 2632-2639.
Sheraton, TE, Wilkes, AR & Hall, JE 2012, ‘Mobile phones and the developing world’, Anaesthesia, vol. 67, p. 945-950.