Book ReviewsCyberPsychology

Technopoly – Neil Postman

In this book, Neil Postman  suggests that we are surrendering our culture to technology. 

If you have an interest in studying CyberPsychology or any media studies, this book should be a foundational text. Although the book is published in 1993. This is before the mobile phone became ubiquitous and computers were desktop-based – connected to a landline. The internet was unheard of by the average person. 

The majority of his arguments were therefore based on the widespread consumption of television in the West. However, his points set in place the foundations of how society started the shift from a non-digital technology environment that paved the way to the compounded acceptance of all future digital tech. It helps us to understand (psychologically) how we got here. 

These two lectures give a taste into the essence of Neil Postman’s arguments within the book. 

His overall summary of the book is: 

“The tendency in American culture to turn over to technology, [the] sovereignty, command, control [of] all of our social institutions. In other words, the book is about how America has developed a new religion – as it were. And the religion is its faith that human progress and technological innovation are the same thing. And that paradise can be achieved through greater and greater commitment to technology”. 

Click on the image below to be redirected to the YouTube video. 

About Neil Postman:

The late Neil Postman was a professor in Media Ecology at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education.

Although some may refer to him as a ‘luddite’ as he comes across as being rather negative towards technology. However, it would be more accurate to say that he was an observer and commentator on the historical changes technology made to society and cultural identity – i.e. the ecology (and probably the anthropology) of new media.

What he would have made of smartphones, smartphones and social media would have been a rather interesting guess.