Technological Determinism

Technological determinism is a theory that talks about the impact of high technology to the people’s culture and values. People, according to this theory, are now living in a new era wherein technology is present and people experieEducationbnce the things that they have not experienced before. Moreover, technological determinism suggests that the society is being affected by these technological changes while the technology is not affected by the society. It means that the new age of technology has a one-way effect to the lives of the people today. Basically, technological determinism talks about the evolution of high technology gadgets and explains that people are being driven by these innovations.
In this theory, Marshall Mcluhan states that the present culture of people is being molded by the way they communicate and this shapes the existence of humans. Apparently, the inventions in the new age of technology change the culture of the people and the human lives are shaped by these changes. Mcluhan suggests that people shape the tools but they shape people in return.
As the world moves from one era to another, there is a significant change in the society caused by the new modes of communications. The invention of phonetic alphabet in the tribal age made people realize the importance of hearing in communication. Since then, people saw the necessity of using eyes and ears in the literate age in order to understand their surroundings. From the phonetic alphabet during the tribal age, the world gone to the literate age and slowly reached the print age wherein the printing press was developed and introduced. The printing press that was discovered by Gutenberg made people see that ideas are possible to be printed and realize that those ideas could influence the lives of people all over the world. The electronic age, on the other hand brought changes on the way people view toward communication. Global age suddenly entered and people were started to feel the changes in the society because of technology.
During the tribal age, people rely only on what they could hear until the print age came and people relied heavily only on what they could read. However, the words that are being said by people could have a different meaning when they are being read by them. The ideas that are being disseminated during the tribal age may be entirely the same but it could create a difference during the other ages. Moreover, the theory suggests that the past and present could be explained, however, the future may not be predicted because of the continuous innovations. In other words, there can be another “age” in the future.
Since, technological determinism talks about the social change; it explains the evolutionary progress of the technology as well as the culture (“High Beam Research”, 1998). It explains why the society changes from time to time while the people get used to the products of technological world. From telephone to cellular phones today, the society has been improving in the mode of communication.

This theory suggests that the culture and values of people nowadays are effects of the tools that had developed by people themselves. As the people become educated and knowledgeable, the demands for new gadgets and another mode of communication are being addressed. The tribal age made people learn how to listen and literate age made them learn how to read, and as the ages came, people realized that there are still many gadgets that can be innovated to make their lives more convenient. The knowledge about mathematics helped the people during the earlier centuries develop a mechanical calculator that led to the invention of computer. Since then, many other high technological gadgets were invented to satisfy the people’s needs. High technology gadgets keep on amazing people by their abilities to communicate easier and faster than the gadgets that they had been using before these new gadgets were introduced.

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Nowadays, people can send messages to their families regardless of their location through internet messaging, they can watch videos, listen to music, and take pictures using their latest cellular phones, they can get any information they needed from internet and learn all the latest news and events anywhere in the world. Those are just few of the things that technology can provide to people. It is a manifestation that people get countless advantages from these new gadgets.

Today, the new generation is living in the world where all the wants and needs are just one click away. However, there are many misconceptions about the innovations of these new gadgets. Oftentimes, people perceived the inventions of these gadgets as both cause and effect of the continuous changing of culture (“Blackwell Reference Online”, 2007). People view high technology gadgets as necessity because of the help that these gadgets can provide to them.

            Apparently, technology plays a very important part in humans’ lives today. The dependence of people all over the world to technology is evident. The presence of high technology today helps people to sustain the humans’ existence in the planet. The constant innovation of new gadgets made people become dependent to technology which puts them to new culture and gives them new perceptions toward their surroundings. Through technology, everything is possible, and the gadgets that can be invented and the picture of the society in the future are the only things that cannot be predicted by technology.


Blackwell Reference Online. (2007). Technological Determinism. Retrieved November

22, 2008 from


High Beam Research. (1998). Technological Determinism. Retrieved November 22, 2008          from

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Technological Determinism. (2017, Mar 01). Retrieved from