the meaning behind it

What interests me about a technology is the meaning behind it. Actually, I’m more interested of the meaning of things in general than the things themselves. In my line of work I get to partner with instructors, students, and designers who approach educational technology from a wide array of perspectives and starting points. From a research perspective, I really get interested in things when they enter the mainstream. In my opinion, and from this context, the best things are discovered when we move pass the early adopters and into the general population.  They are also the things that have the greatest and most lasting impact on culture.

Don’t get me wrong, the technology itself is important but its importance is transitory. The primary importance of the introduction of a new technology is that it changes us. First it changes our behavior by allowing us to do something new or in a way we could not do before. Over time it can change how we view the world. If it touches us on a deeper level it may ultimately change the way  we think and feel. It is  that meaning we attach to and create from its introduction that lasts. It’s also what spurs further innovation. Because just as our lives are lived as a search for meaning we apply the same meaning-making standard to our technologies. So, in the future, the automobile may be looked upon as a quaint notion but, the sense of autonomy and spirit of freedom it provided will be alive and well in whatever mechanism we happen to be using to get around. The smartphone too will become obsolete but the sense of total connectivity it introduced will be alive and well.

Note, I am not attaching a moral value to this. That is a matter of perspective. What is good or bad, right or wrong, depends upon how an individual’s opinion or action is reflected back off the collected opinion of the culture in which they reside. I am not agnostic on the issue it is just not the point of this particular post.

I would argue that most everything we surround our self with we do because we attach some meaning to that object.  Some things are present because they are imposed on us or they are there out of necessity, but doesn’t that also confer some meaning behind it?

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  1. Thank you for this post, after searching google for definition site I found this useful site ” http://nicedefinition.com ” it free online site for English definitions,
    they try to collect all definitions and meanings from all world dictionaries and open sources,
    and everyday they try to add and update more and more, they planning to be the world largest free online definitions site.
    Thank you again for this post.

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