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Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1952
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1960



A major part of our lives is now entangled with new media devices – mobile phones, laptops, iPods, blogs, twitters, SMS, e-mails, TV screens, etc. Our daily life happens in a cultural context where television, video, advertisement and computer images are more real to us than the non-media physical reality that surrounds us. In this article, within an ontological setting marked by Heidegger’s notions of being-inthe- world and Ge-stell, we argue that information and communication technologies (ICT) would only essentially show up as what they are as long as they are experienced in-the-world where they are what they already have been for us. In this light, we submit that new media are essentially and paradoxically linked to instrumentality. On the one hand, within Ge-stell, the essence of ICT is shown to be far removed from its obvious toolness; yet, on the other, we submit that it is this very instrumentality that bounds new media that cannot be stripped out of what they most essentially are. At this point our article brings together earlier and later Heidegger, in a manner not done up to now, and that we claim is epistemologically consistent. The in-the-worldness of ICT, of its many devices but fundamentally of its revealing, that is, of the conditions of possibility for contemporary life for being what it is – is achieved in the decisive entering of Ge-stell into language. Thus, we aim to show that new media essentially unfold as a background of action. We conclude the article by pointing out that this ontologically background is in full swing, letting beings be in accordance to what might be its deepest ontological hallmark, a human being capable of substituting backgrounds.


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