1. There’s no arguing that technology has helped make life easier. Americans use it every day to communicate, travel, build and entertain themselves, but is it all positive? Does technology replace that which makes us human? Is technology harmful to the preservation of cultural values? Think about these questions as the effects of technology and material on American culture are explored. In the first point, the production element of technology and material will be covered, how it’s thought up and how it’s made. Then in the second point, the adoption aspect of technology and material will be examined, with how it ends up in the hands of everyone and becomes a part of American culture. 2. To start off, how is new technology produced? To produce a new technology there first has to be a need, a need to do something faster or more efficiently. A surprising number of technologies in use in the United States have come from the research of defense contractors employed by the US military. A majority of American use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to get directions on how to get from point A to B. This started out as a military technology designed to guide troops, as well as ensure missiles and artillery hit their targets.
Not everyone may know that the internet, which is well known and used, started out in the 1960s as a military communication system. It was designed so the enemy couldn’t take out computer communication networks from a single point. The first computer was developed for the US military during World War II; it took up 2,000 square feet and was used for ballistics calculationsi. There have also been technological advances from civilians widely used today, such as the telephone. The telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, forever changed how Americans communicate as a society by providing instant communication without being face to face. 3. The motivations for the second element, adoption; are very different from production. When a new technology has been invented and produced, it is then up to private companies to sell the product to the public. This is how technology is adopted into American culture. Before a new technology is sold to the public, private companies must consider the perceived benefit, the ease of use, immediacy of benefits, price, riskiness and return on investmentii.
The motivations of private companies to make a profit are the primary factor considered in whether or not a new technology will be released, regardless of how much the technology is wanted or needed. There is no formal voting process that takes place for the public to decide what new technologies will be implemented into society. It all relies on private companies to sell them if they believe they can make money. The argument can be made though that the material and technology that consumers buy is them directly voting on what is adopted into American culture. 4. Arriving at the conclusion; It was explained how the production of technology and material has affected American culture.
There have been numerous advances in technology that promise to make life easier and change how Americans operate as a culture. It was also explained how technology and material is adopted into society. Private companies are the primary force and they are motivated only by the promise to make a profit. As technology continues to advance and make lives easier, society is increasingly faced with the growing dilemma that was posed in the beginning. Will technology erode away cultural values and take away from what makes humans who they are?