Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Impact of Technology on Society

When you think about technology, do you think about its impact on society? Before you answer with what I call the "I'm Green response," think from another point of view. It's often discussed -- the impact new technology has on the environment but what about the moral and ethical impact? My questioning is simply a tool of awareness. Let's go further by reviewing a great example, the moral and ethical impact of TV technology on China.

The television technology has created ethical and moral dilemmas in China. China historically is a country keen on preserving its traditions and customs, but the boob tube is bringing in a wave of western civilization. Thus lies the problem. A long withstanding practice of censorship has impacted the media and Television viewing in China. The areas affected include politics, sexuality, violence and other subjects that are mainstays in the American Television entertainment (French). China’s intentions are to protect its people; but some in society are not buying into this plan. They are resulting to breaking the law to view American Television programs.

In his article, “Subtitle subculture brings U.S. TV to China, ” Howard French tells the story of outfits translating American Television shows for free to Chinese audiences, “dodging Chinese censors and American copyright lawyers” (French). Their goal is give Chinese audiences fine entertainment and a little bit of American culture. They realize their actions are unethical, but the translators feel their efforts are for the good of society. Therefore they continue on with the efforts.

Morally speaking, television technology has brought on a big issue with China and Chinese families: Sex. First let’s talk about the taboo of discussing sex in China. An article written by the Xinhua News Agency, paints a picture of “sex” and the Chinese family:

In the traditional Chinese culture, "sex" has long been considered a disgraceful, even dirty, word that few would discuss openly. A child would be scolded by his parents for questions about how he was brought into this world or what the differences are between males and females. (Chinese TV)

Western culture and television programming enamor many in the Chinese culture there are concerns that Chinese children will get their sex questions answered by way of television programs. Many youngsters have tried to get information from porn videos, said a teacher with the No. 1 Secondary School in Nanchang (Chinese TV). Parents should best answer questions concerning sexual ethics and behavior procreation and contraception, and AIDS prevention.

"Chinese TV series to promote sex education." Xinhua News Agency – CEIS. 24 February 2003.

French, Howard W., International Herald Tribune. Paris: Aug 9, 2006. pg. 1

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