Technology in Society and House of Leaves

5_and_a_half_minute_hallway_by_weeyak

The whole of House of Leaves comes about due to the ever increasing availability of technology. The story that will end with the publication of The Navidson Record begins with a supposed simple documentary detailing the extraordinary events that occurred in the house purchased by Will and Karen. little did they know that their fateful decision to document this bizarre journey would set in motion a whole other set of events across the country. The use of recording equipment such as is used by the exploration teams, has been very pervasive in today’s society. These days almost everyone has access to a camera or video camera at all times due to the abundance of smartphones in recent years. this availability of the ability to record anything and everything that is going on around you has become both a benefit and harmful to today’s society. On page 16 in House of Leaves, Zampano describes the reactions that occurred due to the release of the documentary. “Following the release of The Navidson Record, neither Karen nor Navidson’s reputation escaped unscathed. Karen, in particular, was decimated by a vituperative stream of accusations from the tabloids, reputable reviewers, and even an estranged sister.” This virulent reaction is unsurprising given the nature of what they distributed, and most likely would have been even more intense were it to take place today. In the age of twitter and instant news coming at you constantly from all over the internet, if a documentary like The Navidson Record were to ever appear, there is almost no way to avoid it. Within minutes, the internet would be broadcasting the video from one side of the world to the other, with millions exclaiming that it was made up or a hoax, while still millions defend the creators. Int today’s society, we have become so used to the idea that we can simply take a picture of a fancy  meal that we have prepared, or what outfit we are wearing, that we lose the wonder that these technologies exist at all. Throughout the last 200 years, photography has become an integral part in our society, from the famous photos of Civil War battlefields to the rise of film and the invention of the television. We people who have grown up with this abundance of technology should take a few moments to pause and reflect on just what impact, good or bad, it has on our lives. For every video that appears of a cute cat, there is also a video of war, violence, or oppression in the world. Technology can do much good in today’s society, but we must be careful not to forget just what can happen when we ignore the rest of the world.

Bibliography

Danielewski, Mark Z. “House of Leaves.” New York: Pantheon Books. 2000. Print

WeeYak, “5 and a half minute hallway.” Deviantart. Deviantart. 23 June 2010.

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