Tuesday, July 12, 2011
This is an interesting discussion of the moral panic that ensues whenever new technology is unveiled to the public. The fear is that women and children will be jeopardized by the invention. The article notes that this fear has been constant since the invention of the railroad when some thought the speed of a train would cause a woman's uterus to fly out and the arrival of electrical lighting when it was feared that predators could see into houses. The latest permutation of the fear was the California law banning violent video games, a law struck down by the Supreme Court. From a communicator's perspective, what this means is that technologists carry an extra burden in their messaging. They need to explain the safety of their products as well as their other benefits. This is easy to forget in marketing, but fear doesn't go away easily whenever a technology changes relationship to time, space and other people.