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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY maintenance, specifically in dealing with disagreements and household duties. Chory and Banfield concluded that media dependence might have a harmful effect on interpersonal relationships. With the growing body of empirical research in support of MSD theory, theoretical strengths become apparent that include its attempt to address both microscopic and macroscopic media effects, its explanation of media dependency during times of crisis and social change (Baran & Davis, 2006), and its exploration of motivations for individual media dependency. However, it fails to address the context of the role of technology itself, which also is a determining factor for media use and dependency. This theory also lacks explanations for long- term media effects and how those shape audience behaviors and attitudes toward media dependency. Overall, media-system dependency theory does help to explain individual dependency of media and its repercussions on cognitive, affective and behavioral changes in individuals but fails to address the shifts in generational cohorts and the role of technology in constructing reality. Filling in the Gaps: A Technological Ontological Perspective The theories discussed here build a theoretical foundation to build the argument that interaction with and dependency on media help to shape our constructions of reality but do not specifically focus on the role of technology. Medium theory helps to explain the role of media and how the context of the medium shapes the message individuals perceive. On the other hand, MSD theory looks at how individuals come to rely on the messages the media convey in a perpetuating cycle of dependency on media. Social constructionism addresses both context and meaning of messages in shaping constructs of reality, but when applied to media solely focuses on the impact of meanings conveyed through mainstream media. Combined, these theories 14

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY
maintenance, specifically in dealing with disagreements and household duties.  Chory and 
Banfield concluded that media dependence might have a harmful effect on interpersonal 
relationships.
With the growing body of empirical research in support of MSD theory, theoretical 
strengths become apparent that include its attempt to address both microscopic and macroscopic 
media effects, its explanation of media dependency during times of crisis and social change 
(Baran & Davis, 2006), and its exploration of motivations for individual media dependency. 
However, it fails to address the context of the role of technology itself, which also is a 
determining factor for media use and dependency.  This theory also lacks explanations for long-
term media effects and how those shape audience behaviors and attitudes toward media 
dependency.  Overall, media-system dependency theory does help to explain individual 
dependency of media and its repercussions on cognitive, affective and behavioral changes in 
individuals but fails to address the shifts in generational cohorts and the role of technology in 
constructing reality.
Filling in the Gaps: A Technological Ontological Perspective
The theories discussed here build a theoretical foundation to build the argument that 
interaction with and dependency on media help to shape our constructions of reality but do not 
specifically focus on the role of technology.  Medium theory helps to explain the role of media 
and how the context of the medium shapes the message individuals perceive.  On the other hand, 
MSD theory looks at how individuals come to rely on the messages the media convey in a 
perpetuating cycle of dependency on media.  Social constructionism addresses both context and 
meaning of messages in shaping constructs of reality, but when applied to media solely focuses 
on the impact of meanings conveyed through mainstream media.  Combined, these theories 
14


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