It really is hard to picture a world without technological communication. A world with no other option but to physically make contact with another person. Something quite rare in today’s society as we rely on all forms of technology to communicate across the world in real time. However, this thirst for technology that contemporary humans so eagerly crave was not as natural as a physical conversation to begin.
Comparing the year 1837, when the first electric telegraph changed the way communication was transmitted and processed with today’s technological advancements such as the iPhone, we see there are some similarities. You see in both instances the consumer wants a faster, more accessible mode of communicating and the producer takes advantage of this. I mention the iPhone as a fundamental example of the way today’s society works. As we dutifully line up for the upgrade of the IPhone little do we know the marketer’s planned obsolesce to produce the item with an artificially limited, yet useful lifespan.
When Samuel Morse created the Morse code in 1838 his initial motivations were to make move forward in terms of accessible communication and that there is the difference with today’s commodity culture. Commodity culture is the idea of cultural industries ‘which created and packaged media objects to be sold in national, and later global, mass markets’ with the main motive being profit. I focus on this idea as it shows the changes over the decades made to the production of technology which is effecting us as the consumers.
As a consumer this idea scares me along with the idea of today’s elderly generation being the last to have experienced the world without the influx of technology that continues to surround us.
In the Youtube video below watch the generations of iPhones and their differences and similarities and reflect on this idea of commodity culture and how it has affected you.