Shift from communication through technology to behaviour through technology

We hear a lot about technology being responsible for hooking us in bad and addictive time spent, preventing us from having time well spent with others or just for ourselves. Ok, but can we define better what does ‘technology’ stand for here? Technology is a very generic concept about objects we built to change our life, in one way or another. I don’t think we must pick up technology when we want to understand why we spend our time in a bad or poor way. According to me, the real point is the difference between using technology to communicate (since telegraph on) and using technology to behave. Behaviour is how we relate to others, expressing feelings and reacting to others behaviour. If we do this through technology (sending likes to hug, posting selfies to make others see us, writing chats with feelings and emotions attached) we have a problem. There is not one possible way to do it correctly. We simply cannot do it. We are shifting the context of our behaviour from real life to digital one, exchanging data (made possible by technology). There will be no perfect emoji or sentence to express a feeling, even if we look for it for 20 minutes. We need to be face to face with the other person.
So I think we must narrow down the domain of technology use, very efficient to send data or communicate facts (‘I’m coming tomorrow with the morning flight’) and a disaster when it comes to share feelings or ‘behave’ in general.
What do you think?

Hi Michel,
this was one of the research questions of my last ‘project’:

As we surrounded ourselves with screens and our lives now seem to fit in half a dozen of inches, what was once directly lived has now become just a mere representation! How does it impact our human experience? What is lost when we mediate our experiences through objects?

You can find more about the research here, or the complete text here.

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I think you are over-generalising by saying all use to communicate is good, all use as behaviour modifiers is bad, then being too restrictive by considering a very small subset of uses of technology. If you think of the technology used for heart pacemakers, artificial limbs, eyes, etc., targeted drugs and AI used to aid diagnosis, traffic management, administration of justice, etc. etc. these are nothing to do with communication, many are arguably modifying behaviour but we would nearly all accept them as being wholly beneficial. Claiming that face to face is always better is common, but tell that someone who is disabled and housebound; tell them they should not be using email, skype, facebook to keep in touch with their friends and families, not just factual text but emotions as well. My family and friends are scattered all over the globe and I would be very lonely if restricted to face to face contact; some I only met by means of the technology.
It is wrong to try and say that technology is good in one area and bad in another. In every field technology can be used and misused, and we can also distinguish between outright misuse and experimental modes of use as people find their way with something that is very new and unfamiliar.
We also have to be very careful about how we use the term “addiction.” Someone with an artificial limb will be using the technology all the time and would suffer physically if it were taken away. That disabled, housebound person will also use technology all the time and would suffer psychologically if it were taken away. If we are concerned about addiction we must be sure that people are actually suffering through what they are doing, and not just being different.

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