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Tech anxiety: how the printing press compares to internet porn

This week, CBC Radio’s Mainstreet is taking stock of the anxieties people have about digital technology, whether it’s concerns about privacy and surveillance, online bullying, porn consumption, or the internet making people more narrow minded.

This week, CBC Radio's Mainstreet looks at the anxiety surrounding technology

Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, talks about the new Apple MacBook during an Apple event on Monday, March 9, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (Eric Risberg/AP)

This week, CBC Radio’s Mainstreet is taking stock of the anxieties people have about digital technology, whether it’s concerns about privacy and surveillance, online bullying, porn consumption, or the internet making people more narrow minded.

Today in Tech & Consequences, Atlantic School of Theology professor David Deane talks about how the rise of the printing press 500 years ago reinforced social changes already underway within Christianity. 

“There is a symbiotic relationship between technology and cultural development,” Deane says.

But these days it’s not necessarily religious text that’s being reinterpreted in our own communication revolution.

“The American pornography business on the internet is bigger than the business the NFL, NHL, MLB and the NBA does combined on the internet," Deane says.

"What we’re talking about here is a massive, ubiquitous industry, bigger in the online environment then all major sports in North America put together.

"There is no question that this is shaping us. There is no question and therefore we need to pay significant attention to how it’s shaping us.

Deane talks about the impact of the printing press on Mainstreet at 5:15 p.m.

Also today on Mainstreet, Tim Caulfield talks about the selfie, and how it’s shaped a generation that’s grown up with smartphones and social media.

Caulfield, a University of Alberta law professor and Canada research chair in health and law policy,​ is the author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? He says we are biologically wired to compare ourselves to others, and that’s what a lot of selfies are about.

“There has been a lot of studies that say people do use [Likes] to compare themselves to others.” Caulfield says.

“There is some studies that have shown that people who are more vulnerable, people that perhaps have a lower self esteem, are more likely to compare themselves to others. Sort of then amplifying their self esteem problem.”

Caulfield’s interview airs at 5:40 p.m. today. And he’s doing a chat right here online on Wednesday, March 25, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacob Smith

Reporter

Jacob Smith has been working at CBC since he was 18 years old. He has worked on multiple live radio and television broadcasts and is now part of CBC's digital team.

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