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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY humans exist in today. However, culture dictates which applications of that technology will succeed and which ones will fail and for what amount of time (i.e. the popularity of Twitter versus Facebook versus MySpace versus AIM). Each technological advancement has an expiration of popularity and success in society, which is dictated by audience use and culture. Overall, medium theory helps to identify and explicate the ways in which media play a role in constructing and shaping the way in which individuals perceive reality. Through interaction with the media form individuals’ perceptions of reality are changed. However, this theory alone does not explain the construction of reality, generational differences between users or the dependency on media through interaction that occur when identifying a technological construction of reality. In conjunction with these other theories medium theory builds a theoretical support in determining the influence of technology in reality construction. The next theory will address user dependency on media and the influence it yields in result. Depending on Media: Media System Dependency Theory Another major theoretical construct that helps explain the phenomenon of technology dependency and its effect on ontological construction is media system dependency (MSD) theory. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur established this theory in 1976 and assert that media systems, audiences and societal systems have interdependent relationships with one another. Within these dependent relationships each component plays a role in which the more an individual relies on media to meet her individual needs, the more important the role of the media will play in her life, in turn increasing the amount of influence on that person and her conception of her environments. According to Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur (1976), “examination of the essential roles played by the media in periods of modernization suggests that the media clearly have such a role in the construction of social reality (Lerner, 1959, 1969)” (p. 10). Within this 11

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY
humans exist in today.  However, culture dictates which applications of that technology will 
succeed and which ones will fail and for what amount of time (i.e. the popularity of Twitter 
versus Facebook versus MySpace versus AIM).  Each technological advancement has an 
expiration of popularity and success in society, which is dictated by audience use and culture.
Overall, medium theory helps to identify and explicate the ways in which media play a 
role in constructing and shaping the way in which individuals perceive reality.  Through 
interaction with the media form individuals’ perceptions of reality are changed.  However, this 
theory alone does not explain the construction of reality, generational differences between users 
or the dependency on media through interaction that occur when identifying a technological 
construction of reality.  In conjunction with these other theories medium theory builds a 
theoretical support in determining the influence of technology in reality construction.  The next 
theory will address user dependency on media and the influence it yields in result.
Depending on Media: Media System Dependency Theory
Another major theoretical construct that helps explain the phenomenon of technology 
dependency and its effect on ontological construction is media system dependency (MSD) 
theory.  Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Melvin DeFleur established this theory in 1976 and assert that 
media systems, audiences and societal systems have interdependent relationships with one 
another.  Within these dependent relationships each component plays a role in which the more an 
individual relies on media to meet her individual needs, the more important the role of the media 
will play in her life, in turn increasing the amount of influence on that person and her conception 
of her environments.  According to Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur (1976), “examination of the 
essential roles played by the media in periods of modernization suggests that the media clearly 
have such a role in the construction of social reality (Lerner, 1959, 1969)” (p. 10).  Within this 
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