Analysis of Ihde’s Human-Technology Relationships and the Designer Fallacy Theory With the Case of WeChat

Xiaohang Liu
Keywords: Human-technology Relation ,China ,Wechat ,


Don Ihde classifies human-technology relations into four categories: embodied relations, hermeneutic relations, alterity relations, and background relations. This essay takes WeChat, a popular Chinese instant messaging and social media software, as a case study. To analyze these relations, I apply Ihde's theory to a few functions of WeChat: the video call and voice call functions, which belong to embodied relations; the instant messaging function, which belongs to hermeneutic relations; and the WeChat Payment, which belongs to alterity relations. In the study of WeChat Payment, Ihde's theory of designer fallacy is used to consider this electronic payment technology critically.