12 May 2008

Nothing happens in a vacuum

Nothing happens in a vacuum; specifically when we speak of socio-cultural phenomena. Societies, traditions and culture evolve over time, carrying with them values, lifestyles and practices that people adopt and adapt to according to their needs.

In other words, things that are happening today have antecedents going back many years – some going way back to our days as cavemen, or even earlier.

For those of you who are jumping with joy, claiming the iPhone as a creation of your generation alone, here’s the real story: there would be no iPhone without a mobilephone, and no mobilephone without a telephone before that.

In fact, the need for a telephone is connected to our primal need to communicate with each other. This means, even in the field of technology, what we experience today has been around for several/many years, in some form or the other.

Socio-culturally, what is likely to change quickly is the adoption of a product or service or an idea in new and/or specific applications. For instance, keeping within the field of mobile technology, the use of ‘sms’ for instant polling by media channels or for contests by consumer brands is a clever application.

What I mean to say is that the things that transform our society or culture (or economy, for that matter) are not entirely brand new as we sometimes perceive them to be. They are ideas which have been lying dormant for years before achieving prominence.

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