Week 3: Man vs Machine

Do we control technology or does technology control us?
In the modern world we are surrounded by smart phones, computers, televisions in multiple rooms and tablets in our beds.
We seem to be constantly attached and deny addiction to these devices. There is a theory called the Proteus theory that states our addiction to technology is influencing our psychology and as a result our decisions.
It is a phenomenon in which the behaviour of an individual, within online worlds, is changed by the characteristics of their avatar.
This change is due to the individual’s knowledge of other users who are part of the virtual world associating with those characteristics positively.
The Proteus effect was first introduced by researchers Nick Yee and Jeremy Bailenson at Stanford University in June 2007. The name of the concept comes from the Greed god Proteus, who had shape changing abilities.
My personal experience with technology has been similar to everyone else’s in the fact that I grew up with the introduction of the internet and the explosion of communication technology and social media.
But the question is can we live without it?
Well, probably not.
Technology seems to be so entrenched in what we do on a daily basis that it is almost impossible to separate ourselves from it.
I recently manually turned off all my notifications for social media on my phone (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat).
The only app I left on was email as it is a professional platform I need to keep in contact for job opportunities and university studies.
It has been an empowering habit to break because now I am finding I am becoming a proactive person rather than a reactive person.
It’s forces me to break habits, such as getting out my phone when I’m bored, feel uncomfortable or waiting for time to pass.
It allows me time to take notes instead, achieve my readings for university and work on my professional development.
I think inherently we are curious and social creatures and that means we always want to feel connected and social within our community, even if that community is online in “cyberspace.”
Technology can be a wonderful tool but I think it’s important to remember that it is just a tool and the tool should never distract you from the task.
Mark Weiser stated that we should, ‘focus on the task, not the tool.’


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