April 15, 2013 by Ozgur Ozden
Technology can be defined as scientific knowledge transformed into a device or a tool for public use such as airplanes, computers, automobiles, cell phones etc. All these advancements are reshaped the way we think, talk, react, learn or work. As a result of this newly molded Human being, let us label as version 2.0, social norms and standards accepted by the society changed and stretched as well.
Bicchieri et al. (2011) describes social norms as “Social norms, like many other social phenomena, are the unplanned, unexpected result of individuals’ interactions, a system of norms specifies what is acceptable and what is not in a society or group”. Rapidly changing technology creates new norms for our society and stretch the old ones almost everyday. Let us take a look at some of these norms.
Social media, networks, and internet connects people more than ever. People started to share more information about themselves, what they like, eat, share real-time pictures, even where they go minute by minute. By Facebook and Twitter rumors started to spread may be faster than the speed of light. So privacy becomes no longer a social norm.
People started to meet on social networks and different friendship options arose like “Twitter friend” that we haven’t met yet. Dating sites becomes very popular and people started to have relationships by using these sites. So old rules or norms for dating are evaporating.
With the changing technology, we have invented different marketing strategies such as vertical integration. By means of B2B, B2C or C2C websites technology brought consumers and manufacturers into direct contact.
Cell Phones become inseparable part of our everyday life. Using your phone in public such as bus/subway or a restaurant table while having a dinner with your friends becoming a norm. But talking on the phone during lunch or dinner used to be accepted as very rude.
We used to have limited text space on some communication devices because of this restrictions new language is developed among the Z generation using abbreviations and became a norm such as:
2G2B4G To Good To Be Forgotten
2G2BT Too Good To Be True
2XB Too Big
IT professionals should play a crucial role in reshaping or creating these new norms because these people are in charge of developing the technology and software.
They have to guide society about use and ethical norms of these new technologies. Even Though social norm depends person and culture professionals need to take necessary precautions during the design stage. Such as Facebook created “Facebook Principles” to guide its users. One example is given below.
“Social Value: People should have the freedom to build trust and reputation through their identity and connections, and should not have their presence on the Facebook Service removed for reasons other than those described in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. (“Facebook Principles”)” (https://www.facebook.com/principles.php) These principles and declarations may be helpful to protect and enhance the social norms that we have and create a clear path to the new ones.
1-Bicchieri, Cristina and Muldoon, Ryan,
“Social Norms”, TheStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Available
2 -Andrew A. Adams, Rachel McCrindle  Pandora’s Box:
Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age. England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
3- Image [online] Available from: http://digital-examples.blogspot.com/2010/08/people-change.html [Accessed 08 March 2013]