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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY perpetually reminded younger generations for decades during modernity. Transitions in thought evolved societies from magical mindsets to science-oriented, rational mindsets in the Enlightenment Era (Gottlieb, 2000). These mindsets then progressed working cultures from handcrafted, time-consuming processes to automated, industrialized processes through the Industrial Revolution (Marx & Engels, 1888/2002). And not much later after that these industrialized societies began to embark on a journey of new technology that would question the formats and restrictions for how families, friends and even strangers could communicate across the globe. Suddenly it seemed one no longer needed to wait months, days or even hours to contact someone at long distance; she merely needed to dial her phone, turn on her Internet or type up a text message to get her point across. But at what point does this convenience of technology transcend from a convenience or even strictly a communication forum to a constitution of reality? To what extent can the impact of this technological revolution alter the way in which people view their relationship with one another as well as their relationship with the medium that is allowing them to communicate? A vast amount of research has been conducted regarding youth and technology usage (Chen, 1987; Bonfadelli, 1993; Buckingham, 2000; Facer & Furlong, 2001; Holloway & Valentine, 2001; Livingstone, 2002; Thurlow & McKay, 2003; McKay et al., 2005; Thurlow, 2007) that address impact to sociability, consumerism effects, the perils of online predators, and the legitimacy of other research regarding youth and new media to list a few. However, there appears to be a gap in research addressing the impact of technology usage on youth construction of reality, technological adult construction of reality and generational differences between hypermediated technology users. The concept of generations is important to this research to delineate variations between 3

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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perpetually reminded younger generations for decades during modernity.  Transitions in thought 
evolved societies from magical mindsets to science-oriented, rational mindsets in the 
Enlightenment Era (Gottlieb, 2000).  These mindsets then progressed working cultures from 
handcrafted, time-consuming processes to automated, industrialized processes through the 
Industrial Revolution (Marx & Engels, 1888/2002).  And not much later after that these 
industrialized societies began to embark on a journey of new technology that would question the 
formats and restrictions for how families, friends and even strangers could communicate across 
the globe.  Suddenly it seemed one no longer needed to wait months, days or even hours to 
contact someone at long distance; she merely needed to dial her phone, turn on her Internet or 
type up a text message to get her point across.  But at what point does this convenience of 
technology transcend from a convenience or even strictly a communication forum to a 
constitution of reality?  To what extent can the impact of this technological revolution alter the 
way in which people view their relationship with one another as well as their relationship with 
the medium that is allowing them to communicate? 
A vast amount of research has been conducted regarding youth and technology usage 
(Chen, 1987; Bonfadelli, 1993; Buckingham, 2000; Facer & Furlong, 2001; Holloway & 
Valentine, 2001; Livingstone, 2002; Thurlow & McKay, 2003; McKay et al., 2005; Thurlow, 
2007) that address impact to sociability, consumerism effects, the perils of online predators, and 
the legitimacy of other research regarding youth and new media to list a few.  However, there 
appears to be a gap in research addressing the impact of technology usage on youth construction 
of reality, technological adult construction of reality and generational differences between 
hypermediated technology users. 
The concept of generations is important to this research to delineate variations between 

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