Technology has now become ubiquitous in our everyday lives. In fact, looking at the well-documented history of technology itself, we realize that most of technology in human history, when it has found for applicability society and the various other modern aspects of culture, would immediately transformed society that it is in technology, as the definition of applicability of science, was in the 1st Pl. meant to do so. However, no time in human history has observed the way modern technology has evolved today.
Because of the computer and digital age, technology has now taken a form not only as an application of various scientific theories, but then evolution of itself. From computers, to microprocessors, and even today in the large integration of the various services and features that the Internet has introduced in everyday standards of society, the ubiquity of technology is not anymore noticed by individuals exactly because of the fact that it is not anymore considered as a detached reality the charter integrated into the way we live today (Selwyn, Gorard, Furlong, & Madden, 2003).
In fact, this trend is so much a part of culture and society that scientists — from anthropologists, to behavioral scientists, psychologists and sociologists, and even to modern economists — have come up with a totally new research and disciplines attacking and understanding the various significant human consequences of integrating technology in our daily lives.
Such disciplines and studies, then, has now resulted into a large body of research which we shall consider in this paper. Here, with the literature and references available, together with a comic strip that has been provided for us, we shall be analyzing how technology has affected a person’s morality, behavior, and character traits. In the comic strip that was provided, an adolescent, Jeremy, was asked by an adult — perhaps his father — if he could be able to speak to him.
Upon hearing this, there were boxes and parts of the comic strip where in Jeremy frantically typed or updated the various details in his computer and cell phone — his laptop what we could safely assumed to be a MacBook because the design — before telling adults speaking in that he should make quick because being outside and not being connected in his realm of perpetual connectivity where he is most comfortable.
Interpretation of the comics, taking into consideration that we need to discuss are the effects of modern technology to everyday life — is fairly straightforward. Today, connectivity has become ubiquitous and has even transcended to become the need for society. The character of Jeremy in the comic strip is not a character that we rarely see but is in fact a character we could associate with many individuals in today’s society even including ourselves.
From cell phones, to the Internet, and some other and other derivatives of modern technology like gaming device portable computers, our need for connectivity has become exactly that — something which we could not live without (Hallnas & Redstrom, 2002). In fact, in many cartoons and comics, what is the norm is that various everyday details and conversations are exaggerated in order to bring a heavy point on the concept that the comic strip artist is trying to deliver.
However, in this instance, it is actually much more closer to real world scenarios that in artistic exaggeration. In fact, following with the traditional styles of comics or commentary, where in a teenager is idealized to be the one who is reflecting a different cultural framework from the cultural framework of adults, the reality is the need for connectivity — and eventual effects of such technology to everyday human behavior — transcends a certain age group.
Such integration of technology now belongs to individuals much younger than the age bracket that is represented by Jeremy as well as does much older than him. The adult in the comic strip indeed showed a surpassed its face upon the comment of Jeremy, but even individuals in his age group are observed by research should be as much integrated into the use of technology in everyday life as the age group of Jeremy himself. As we have earlier claimed, researchers in behavioral sciences have indicated that technology has in fact significantly affected human behavior.
For example, recent studies, behavioral analysts have shown that individuals who are able to access various types of modern technology such as constant connectivity to the Internet, mobile computing, smartphones, and those classified under this category of technology have showed significantly lower rates of patience as compared to generations who did not have access to this kind of technology (Druin & Laboratory, 2002).
However, the researchers had admitted that such studies need further validation and proof because there could be many other variables that could influence the quality of patience from one generation to the next and there is a danger of correlating technology with such changes without first considering the other variables and giving them specific weights.
However, in preliminary investigations, the same research has identified even if technology was not the most significant factor, the statistics and correlation tables that resulted in the studies show that such modern technology does indeed have an effect. Other researchers had also indicated that technology affects human behavior on information. There is a specific field and research subject in behavioral psychology that tries to capture human traits with regard to their need for constantly fed information (Manning, 2001).
Here, researchers had indicated that individuals who did not have access to modern connectivity, the Internet, and various other recent derivatives if information technology are more able to stand information asymmetry and rely on traditional experts and reference materials in order to get such information — if indeed the time comes that they do collect such information (E. J. Johnson, Moe, Fader, Bellman, & Lohse, 2004).
Comparing these individuals with another sample group who have wide access to the Internet and connectivity, these researchers had discovered that the latter group of individuals, when asked the question that would eventually lead to those individuals making use of want to or another in order to facilitate search, immediately think and prefer having Internet access in order to retrieve such information rather than rely on opinions and information from experts, traditional knowledge libraries, and even academic institutions (Peterson & Merino, 2003).
Search is a continuously popular market especially in the Internet era, and what evidence of this is the popularity and large profits that are derived by the search giant Google as an industry leader in today’s information technology market (Holscher & Strube, 2000). The ability of individuals to search the Internet to various devices such as mobile phones and laptop computers is a deviating behavior from the traditional means that experts have associated with human need for this information and knowledge.
Another commentary on how technology has significantly changed the behavior of individuals in today’s modern society, perhaps one of the best examples is the use of twitter — a micro-blogging platform where he individuals may be able to perform social network interactions and publish real-time in the Internet what they are currently doing. In fact, Facebook and twitter, two popular social network sites, are considered to be the leaders in modern communication technology and is gaining foothold in the market share Internet time use of individuals (Preece, 2000).
Here, behavioral research is also indicating that individuals today are more keen on being able to constantly update to a specified for a specified audience what they are currently doing and therefore also be able to follow other people — be it their friends or people they do not know but wish to follow — which only reflects theoretical behavioral characteristics of human beings which claim they need to be able to receive information about other individuals in a society (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007).
In fact, in the recent presidential elections, and even today after Barack Obama had won the United States presidential election, the president is one of the top individuals who have the most number of followers — and she in turn constantly updates as twitter feed for individuals that follow his micro-blogging platform to know what he is doing, thinking, or considering as head of state of the most powerful country in the world. Yet another real and documented effect of the Internet and modern technology on today’s culture is its way affecting morality.
Morality, defined, are various social norms that are claimed in society to have positive and beneficial effects especially with respect to individual and collective welfare. One of the most popular uses of the modern Internet and communication technology is its ability to publish opinions — in the forms of blogs, websites, or even social networks and commentary posts — without any real censorship except of course for some cases and countries like China (Chase & Mulvenon, 2002).
It has often been claimed by moral philosophers that morality and conventional behavior is a faith by popular theories that are spread by social philosophers. In order to do this, usually, the main tools that are used are books and other documents. In modern times, such moral values have been facilitated and distribution with the help of the three main tools for mass communication — radio, print, and television.
In all these fast scenarios and methods, the commonality is that individuals — and more recently organizations and corporations — are able to control the flow of information and are therefore also able to impose a moral structure and convention through their own perspectives (Yang, 2003). In the popularity of blogs and the Internet, however, information and conventional publishing has transcended from the controls of these individuals and organizations towards anyone who is able to access the Internet and has the ability to control such technology.
In this age of the Internet, because of decreasing costs both of hardware and Internet access, that includes a significant large population. Therefore, as a result, and has been documented by research about the effects of Internet weblogs and social networks on perception and conventional welfare opinions, the Internet and technology has become a tool in order for such moral values to be shaped not anymore by the organizations we have indicated above but by the opinions of collective weblogs (T.
J. Johnson & Kaye, 2004). However, as is the logical succession of the effects of weblogs to moral values, the next question in difficulty that were faced by the researchers is that weblogs, although a perfect avenue for the discussions and distribution of welfare discussions and morality, have the problem of large numbers. Although the numbers are fast-growing, as of the last estimate, if there are 500,000 active weblogs in the Internet today.
However, a more surprising number is the estimated number of individuals who read those blogs which amounts to in around 50 million individuals. However, even among the difficulties that are faced by measuring moral standards and how the Internet and technology affects it, one avenue for research that has attracted attention is that political opinion and policy analysis by the lecture all body is getting more critical. Now, the electoral body has the ability to be informed from all perspectives from the political arena and public policy formulation.
Before, the electoral were most significantly affected by advertising campaigns and television media. In research that has recently been made, during election times, the page hits of weblogs that focus on political opinion and policy formulation increase up to 12 times, with nonpartisan weblogs that just try to deliver the information in use as it is about public policy and candidate qualifications to be the most popular among readers according to analytics.
Here, we see that the significant effects of how we shaped moral values and moral opinions have been deeply changed by the Internet and its ability for mass public information distribution without organizational or partisan influence — at least most of it. Recently, mass collaboration trends have also significantly affected the corrector respects of individuals. Today, the Internet is not anymore and having you for static information gathering but rather a place in order for individuals from across borders, nations, and even race and religion to be able to mass collaborate on projects and information.
In fact, racism, one of the most powerful character traits that has stuck itself in human convention for over 500 years has been significantly changed by the Internet because interaction and social media — as well as mass collaboration — allows for individuals to understand different races without the lens of hypocrisy and discrimination. Racism, being a very powerful character trait of human history and contextual experience, is surprisingly weak as compared to the great durability of modern Internet technology and online collaboration for individuals to work with one another (Beckles, 2001).
Although of course there are loopholes — such as the fact that one significant reason for the decrease in racism in collaboration is that individuals do not know the race of people they are working with — the Internet and technology is well on its way in order to, if not eliminate, then significantly lessen racial discrimination. Highlighted in indicated in this paper are just some of the significant changes that the Internet and modern technology has made to behavior, moral values, and character traits of human beings.