The future culture?

There are many different people who flock to Silicon Valley to live and work. They come to this Mecca from different places, religions and cultures with one uniting ideal, they all "worship" technology. This influx of tech-savvy individuals setting their roots in a valley just 10 miles across has dramatically altered this region. These changes encompass many, if not all, aspects of life. In particular the way society interacts and functions.

A technologically saturated community is a society which is empowered by "Techno Lust". In other words the people of this society live breathe and work for technology. They fall into an endless cycle of developing and consuming digital devices. The main goal of these devices, and technology in general, is to make life easier (although not simpler) and more efficient.

But all of this comes at a price. Since technology evolves at an ever increasing rate, it creates a great demand for more and more man hours. To fulfill this void we see two phenomena, longer work days and the arrival of people from other areas both nationally and globally. It is from these two phenomena that enrichment and problems arise.

Silicone Valley is a society centered around work. Work, itself is not restricted to your cubicle and the regular office hours. To be able to keep up it is critical to be in touch with your customers and coworkers throughout the day, and on occasion at night. As a result of this devotion to work, we see an emerging struggle within families and relationships. But in Silicon Valley no problem is left unfazed; several methods for dealing with this issue have emerged. People try to minimize their "life-work" so that they have more time for both "work-work" and family life. This goal is achieved by hiring baby sitters and/or maids. Time management also becomes very important so people use technology to both keep track of meetings and events with the use of Palm Pilots, and utilize any fragmented time to communicate with family and partners on cell phones.

As a result of a constant influx of people from a range of cultures come to Silicon Valley a new culture is created. This culture has evolved into a diverse one; it is overall impossible to generalize and therefore best described as a mixed one. Mixed from Chinese, American, Japanese, Latino and many other cultures. As a result of all this diversity, people are forced to tolerate ideals and practices different from theirs. At work this is not a hard thing to do as one can always find a shared interest for a field in technology. It is outside of work where the cultural differences are more visible, and this is where a contradicting view of cultures emerges. While cultural diversity is generally praised, people generally prefer to interact with those who share their culture.

To deal with the pressures of this society people form networks. These forums for communication enable people to exchange information and experiences in order to help a fellow friend. These networks range from a whole set of fields of interest such as: helping recent immigrants to blend into the Silicon Valley culture to helping with solving problems at works, both social and technical. It is through these networks that the society of Silicon Valley is able to bond to gather.

Communication in the Valley stretches over all the frontiers from face-to-face to electronic-interface. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each medium and using them in combination becomes essential to maintain a link to your coworkers and family. For example to bridge time zones email would be the medium of choice while to send a signed document the fax would be your friend. But this is not what makes Silicon Valley unique. The amass of cultures and technology we see the emergence "mixed languages" such as Spanglish, or a fusion of English with tech-terms to create metaphorical meanings. An example of this: "I can't drive my daughter to day care everyday, it would burn too many cycles."

It is through the ideals of the Silicon Valley that we can get an idea of what a future society might be like. The interaction of technology and globalization creates a society which is generally tolerant of a different view and encourages interaction between groups with different interests.

  2004-10-19T10:10:32