Mario J. Peia
Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2009—2010 Forum on Connections
Mario J. Peia
Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Psychology
Integrating the Old with the New; Understanding the Social Construction of Cell Phone Technology
The rapid development of information technologies in the modern world has expanded two extreme and dichotomous schools of thought in society. The first faces this technological development with immense fear. For this group, technology threatens our way of life and humanity. The second school of thought understands technology development to be the panacea to all of the world’s problems, and welcomes innovation with open arms and elevated expectations. This paper will argue that neither school of thought is, in fact, correct. Both perspectives see technology’s influence on society as deterministic, when in reality, sociological and technical aspects combine to integrate technology in a balanced, socio-technic manner. To achieve this goal, the paper will demonstrate how the social aspects of technology help to integrate new developments into society, alongside various other technical factors. When combined, the influences of integration provide the features of adaptation necessary to prevent technology from taking on the extreme roles that are so commonly believed in society. These forces will be exemplified by a case study of the modern cell phone in conjunction with an analysis of the future of the cell phone.