While the current normative of Snapchatting one’s meal in vainglory jollity remains an integral part of societal pretension, for an image of a person’s symmetrically sliced, gourmet raspberry cheesecake next to a chalice of cerise mascato holds no marketable value to their snap-follower, possibly miles away, noshing at the carb-induced folds of their McDonald’s cheeseburger (or even those not eating at all and therefore coveting a taste of it), these acts of instantaneously publishing moments of ostentation were not always the way of normalcy in western society.
Yet, what has remain a constant of human behaviour is one’s susceptibility to the “technological imperative” noted by Johnathan Gurdin, writer of Technological Determinism, which marks that despite the modest allure of the early personal computer, an archaic, space-consuming and cumbersome thing-a-ma-jig, to the current popular society, that could not begin to up hold the standards of the average smartphone, humanity adamantly required an expeditious means to delving into the digital age. Now, although a technocratic advent of the early 90s could hardly comprehend the necessity of instantly posting their nightly collations, the omnipresence of digital technology has solidified a perversion unseen by the benighted hosts of these cybernetic apparatuses.
Wherefore, developed civilisations have left themselves at the mercy of synthetic advancements, which are progressively encroaching on elements that were once obvious to the human mind (e.g securing one’s seat belt). According to Latour’s chaptered piece, ‘‘Where Are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts,’’ when the average motorist, perched upon a soothing plush throne reclined to their optimal setting, starts the ignition to their the prized automobile, they are greeted by the noisome blaring of the safety alarm. “Oh no,” thinks the driver who impulsively neglected to fasten his seat belt, despite the fact that the X-gen motorists before the driver markedly secured themselves without technological intervention, and subsequent to putting on the safety net the driver is gratified by the now muted atmosphere. Deplorably, it was not the severe regulations of the state or the desire to conserve one’s life in the event of a tragic collision, but solely to appease their psyche from the audible nuisance of their dashboard. One could note father time banging his head against the grandfather clock, for the driver’s predecessors might not have fathom the need for such a device in light of the aforementioned reasons to harness oneself.
And while many of these factors present themselves as social aspects in modern society, the social norms displayed are merely a symptom of the catalyst that is technological determinism. For example, before the innovation of Snapchat, one was affably overwrought at the thought of instantly expounding through Twitter’s 140-character-limit posts of each moment n their day, and now many social media users have grown complacent with a quirky screenshot and 25-characters to convey the same message. Notably, it is the technology that one’s society is exposed to that determines the extent to how it socially evolves.