Consider the following two passages, written in the wake of the enormous technological advances of the early 20th century:
“Technology is … no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If
we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of
technology will open itself up for us. It is the realm of revealing,
i.e., of truth.”
— Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, 1949-50.
“During long periods of history, the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of existence.”
— Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936
Here Benjamin’s quotation becomes significant, for the dynamic relation between the medium and the message transforms us, even to the point of changing how and what we perceive.
And it is this question with which I would like to end, namely, how, for better and worse, is human perception itself changing as we engage in the activity that is social media technology?