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I am quickly realizing that the question of technology's impact on communication is never going to go away; the conversation will sound the same. Of course, the specifics must change according to the newest technologies, but overall, I believe this question will be indefinitely here to stay. What is the impact of technology?

Technology has truly done great things for our communication. we have all heard at one point the expression "What a small world!", but now, it is a small world. China, Ireland, Austria...they are all at our fingertips. In this way, technology has changed and determined how we think and communicate. We go throughout our day knowing that we are not isolated to those we see in person, but we can communicate with literally a whole world of people. This has clearly changed how we think about our boundaries and abilities.

If the question of technology's relation to communication ended there, I could say that I believe technology does drive the way we think, read, and communication, but the question continues.

So often when this matter is discussed, we hear lots of speculation and personal experiences. I do not discount what others have experienced, but I do believe that their beliefs may be misguided. When reading the article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?",
I found the perfect example of the misguided concept that the many are beginning to believe.
When discussing the impact the internet has had on his reading, Bruce Friedman claimed, "I can't read War and Peace anymore...I've lost the ability to do that." I have read similar responses in other interviews concerning this topic, which makes me worry about this issue even more. The idea of "Digital Natives" losing the ability to read a book is very sad and does not reflect well on how technology has impacted us, but I am not fully convinced that we have "lost" our abilities. This is where I think this conversation often goes wrong. Early on in Carr's article, the idea is presented that we read differently due to the internet. We have become "skimmers." While there are aspects of this that may be true, the argument seems to be far to dramatic for me. How could we have lost the ability to read a book? How have we lost the ability to read three paragraphs? Clearly, the ability has not diminished. From the time that we learn to read, we are able. I think that we may be focusing our questions in the wrong direction, because the issues that I see are related to patience, diligence, and a hunger for knowledge.

1 Comment

I like how you take a stand here on the issue of technological determinism. Yes, there are many anecdotes out there and other personal stories that assert the influence of technology. But you make such a good point that these stories might state the case too strongly or not with enough evidence. I look forward to reading your paper!

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This page contains a single entry by gross451 published on February 7, 2010 12:14 AM.

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