Who/What Is Behind Our Prized Electronics?

What does it mean to own a piece of technology? Nowadays everyone walks with their heads down: staring at their smartphone, replying to an email or text, perhaps even talking on a Bluetooth. We’ve become attached to these devices and evidence of this fact is all around us. Just today on Tumblr a gif of a dancing Kim Kardashian showed up on the news feed with a caption: When Kim Got Her Laptop Back After Two Days. And I can’t even begin to count the amount of times that I’ve felt like purposefully walking into a texter’s path as they send a message to someone else while they attempt to walk in a straight line.   Airing of grievances aside, what is important to note is that people seem to operate under the impression that these devices are solely their own. I certainly never stop to think about the production of the tools that I use. Seth Perlow’s work On Production for Digital Culture: iPhone Girl, Electronics Assembly, and the Material Forms of Aspiration, discusses the role of “iPhone Girl”, whose photos showed up in a consumer’s brand new iPhone, and how the story of this discovery led to further discussions of assembly line workers as the creators of our technology. As the author notes this aspect of new media is or at least was rarely studied up until this occurred. The interaction between user and tool is one worthy of study because it is ultimately what is coming to define our lives in this digital age.

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One thought on “Who/What Is Behind Our Prized Electronics?

  1. Pingback: Is “playbour” exploitative? | WIIH Fellows: New Media, New Knowledge

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