Technological amnesia and our absent identity.

Posted on July 6, 2012

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Have you ever said something like, “I don’t even remember how we operated without computers?” Or, “What did we ever do before the Internet?” Or, “I’d be a wreck without my smart phone.”

If you have said anything like this, then you have technological amnesia, the forgotten ways in which life use to operate before the development of specific forms of technology.

As with regular amnesia — a debilitating condition — those who forget who they were actually don’t know who they are. Central to understanding one’s current identity is remembering clearly a previous reality. This is why citizens tell stories of revolutions, parents tell their children stories of grandparents, and people of faith hold so dearly to sacred books, the stories of the ancestry of their faith. History is not about past events, it’s about present identities.

So, if you have technological amnesia — and technology is the main avenue of cultural experience — then I submit to you, you don’t know what the technology actually is, you don’t know who you are, you don’t understand what kind of people we have become

…and this is why we are isolated individualistic consumers.

Posted in: culture