Culture in the 80's was, in general, based on the concept of dehumanization. It's no coincidence that electronica and synth first really became popular during the 80's- it's also when the computer first started becoming at least somewhat commonplace. Machinery was becoming more of a factor in day-to-day lives and in some cases, like cell phones, changing the way people interacted. Neuromancer captures the moment and its fears with its black organ clinics and razors popping out under fingernails, but William Gibson didn't have to be that inventive to describe what was happening. The spectacle of hair metal, the androgyny of David Bowie and Prince, big shoulders- people were interested in looking and being more than, or at least different than, humans.
The 2000's have had a similar transformation. Rather than turn our bodies into machines, we've placed ourselves inside them. We've trusted our personalities to Facebook, clever hashtags and ironic avatar pictures. Our knowledge of people is increasingly becoming second-hand, told through online arbiters. It's not necessarily a bad thing, of course- a Facebook page can show off intelligence and humor in a non-threatening fashion, the same is true of Twitter or online comments. It's just that we're not deciding the parameters of our conversation- someone else is.
I think the cultural arguments are a bit overstated (we're not just ripping off 80s shows today, and it's not like the 80s were the first time we explored dehumanization and androgyny), but it's still a worthwhile read.
Meanwhile, has anyone else noticed that the new "V" series feels like an hour-long Apple commercial each week? It seems like every character has an iPhone. And even on the mothership, Anna uses these sliding touchscreens that work suspiciously like iPhone apps. Hell, the mothership looks like an Apple store.
The depiction of futuristic technology is inevitably one of the weak points in sci-fi and is usually the first thing to break down as a show ages. "2001" made it look like a trip to Earth orbit would be a pretty standard commute by now. Other films made it look like domed cities, hovercrafts, and robots would be big parts of our lives. Oh, and laser guns. And the videophones. Always with the videophones. Not only don't we have these things (well, we have videophones, but they pretty much suck), but sci-fi pretty much missed the rise of the personal computer, the cell phone, and the networking of them. We can, if we wish, always be in contact with each other and with a large percentage of all acquired human knowledge. That's pretty cool! Might've made a good sci-fi story a few years back.