We Should View Our Interactions Through Technology As Intera

We should view our interactions through technology as interactions with each other, rather than as interactions with technology itself.

A favorite scenario recurrs in the picture of a date with each person’s cell phones at the ready. We may either view that as our technology occupying a seat beside us, alongside our date, or we may view it as a simple conduit for potential friend-interaction. For one thing, on a date, that’s considered rude, but for another, that idea that the cell-phone has a spot at the dinner table is a little skewed.

If we viewed the presence of the cell-phone not as a cell-phone, but as the conduit of person-to-person interaction, it distorts the dominance of technology. Why must we be considered to be engaging with our cell-phones when we text or talk on it? Why can we not see it as enlarging our time spent within the mass human interaction that rests on the Web? Shirky argues in Cognitive Surplus that humans intrinsically desire communication and networking. What technology does is provide a tremendous outlet for it—therefore, we take advantage of it.

If we keep this in mind, we keep ourselves from fearing technology and its dominating presence in our lives. We maintain our own preeminence while remembering that it is human interaction we crave. We crave reminders of our existence, validation, and we ought to remember that technology simply acts as the conduit, not the replacement.