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Technological Determinism

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By jking25
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A/P COMN 3750 Essay 1

Theorists such as Adorno, Williams and Dienst have multiple views on the effect, development, and influence that Television has upon our society. Its original purpose and vision has been altered towards us, as society has and is still forever developing. Television did just not begin; it was and still is a process of evolution (Dienst, 3-12 A). To many, television is just a form of entertainment, to the normal eye that is. Dienst describes television as more than that, he shows us that numerous factors are responsible for what television and communication really was, is and still may become. Using Economic, Social factors and course material, this essay will prove why these factors are important towards the development of what is now television.

If we compare and contrast the definitions of what television was upon its creation compared to what television is now, we will have two completely different answers. Television in the early stages was simply the transferring and receiving of moving images through telecommunications (Dienst, 3-12 A), now television has evolved in a multiplatform medium. The word “evolve” is being used heavily, for the reason that television equipped with technology is forever changing. In (Dienst, 3-12 A) Williams says TV is hard to describe because “ it never is, its always becoming”. Which has lead to its growth in our society at such a rapid pace. Television is responsible for numerous factors in the world, if not one of thee most important. Moving images were originated as three a communicative means which are Amplification, Durative and, Alternative which when understood have greating correlation to McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” (Dienst, 25-33 A). Williams theory on communicative means as a device was ground breaking because, it allowed Williams to understand how certain messages and forms of communication would be received, broken down and understood by the people the message was meant for (Dienst, 25-33 A). The radio being a prime example is just a better way of being heard, because it is an advanced form of the most popular communication tool, which is speech (language) and non verbal speech (body language) (Dienst, 25 A) it is just a mass way of communicating using signals. The radio is brought up because though it was once very powerful, and television derived from it, the television has now surpassed the radio leaving very popularly quote in its surpassing “TV killed the radio” (Dienst, 25-33). Most interestingly, its almost as if TV is a super gene, continuously growing and adapting to society no matter what challenge is put towards it. With that being said, it must be asked why is that possible? Is it because we have become so dependent as a society that it made itself a need in our lives? Yes. Socially our generation has been molded to need numerous forms of televisual communications (Dienst 25-33 A) Majority are confused thinking TV is just the “box that we watch stuff on” it is way beyond than that. It’s a medium that has created a new kind of power not only socially but also economically.

Williams takes a profound interest in the cause and effect of Television as a culture in our society. Television revolutionized society in terms of its development, institution & its forms of effect as a whole in society (Dienst, 3-12 A). Television/forms of television (movies) have now become one of the, if not thee most popular medium in society today. Numerous devices have derived from the creation of TV, which can be considered an effect because of a cause. Now we have numerous colossal TV stations, satellite companies, and business accountable for billions of dollars around the world that need some form of TV to survive (Dienst, 3-12A). Its invention was created for a purpose but evolved to have numerous purposes in society as a whole (Dienst 3-13 A). Now used for entertainment, media, news etc. those being just a view key uses for Television as a whole. If television was not invented, Williams still believes that we would be powerfully be controlled by some source of technology; but that shows that he believes the television could be one of the most mind controlling inventions ever created. Williams excessively talks about the development and history of technology, in correspondent he states a key opinion, he believed that through the television, century developments have occurred with it. Having a television in your home in the early 1900s wasn’t common, it was only popular amongst the people that could afford it. Now the television is as essential as a fridge, maybe even more essential because people have more televisions in their home than fridges now a days.

The biggest hold that television has on the real world is its economic effect and what it has done to our world. Television is responsible for the use of billions, if not trillions, worldwide (Dienst, 3-12 A). It is no secret, when billions of dollars can be generated through a medium such as television, politics and the government will definitely dip their hands into the financial powerhouse, that we call television. Economically television has emerged as one of the largest capitalistic systems (Dienst, 3-12). No matter how much it is argued that it is just a mere form of expression, everything such as shows, commercials, movies, ads are put on television for a purpose, and that is to communicate with its viewers (receivers) through what is being showed to benefit the companies, government, networks, and broadcast stations using TV as a means of technology to produce capital (senders). One of the most interesting things about television is the growth and connection it has with such systems as worldwide news, satellite systems, ppv, which not only generate vast amounts of money very quickly, but it creates needs in such ways that it makes us as humans require it (Dienst, 3-12 A). In western societies televisual flows have created such an extreme market that, home-shopping channels, music video television, movie channels, and televangelist are considered prime exports for the United States (Dienst, 3-12 A). With that being said, television has become the head of popular culture. It is mass produced, and industrialized to influence major change in society (T. W. Adorno, p.475). Which Adorno might say, it did exactly that and will continue to do so. His prediction of what type of hold television could possibly have on society was fascinatingly accurate, which is outstanding because, something that was created by man became its own creature, it grew and began to install itself in our once “regular” world (T.W. Adorno, p.474-476).
Will it ever stop? At the rate that television is growing its hard to believe so, it’s became a need and in our society when something is needed, the capitalistic demand for it becomes out of the world. Only time can tell whether the effects of television upon our cultural, political and economical society will ever settle or continue to grow.

Technology and television has placed its handprint upon mankind. Through leaving its mark it has created positive and negative issues in the world. Humans are responsible for what is created and the affect it has upon our families and us. With change and time, we can stabilize our immersive use of technology to be specific the television. Williams introduce numerous theories that tail the invention, the development and the future development of television and the effects it has on societies development as a technological based society. In conclusion these readings were informative as well as eye opening to the technological creation that we created

Reference List
Dienst 3-12 A, Reading
Dienst 25-33 A, Reading September 24
Television and the pattern of Mass Culture ( T.W. Adorno)

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