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Blog Assignment : Digital Nation

Blog Assignment:
Please Watch this PBS FRONTLINE show Online
Digital Nation
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/

Watch the entire 90 minute show in segments online.
Make notes on each topic segment...
LIVING FASTER
RELATIONSHIPS
WAGING WAR
VIRTUAL WORLDS
LEARNING
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/
Make notes and write a short reflection on what you found most interesting or surprising about the show. (about 150 words)

Comments

Although I have thought about this generation and what it is like to turn around everywhere you are and see people on their smart phones, tablets, etc., I was shocked after watching the documentary Digital Nation. One of the things I found most interesting and shocking was when Rachael mentioned “we are all in the same house, but we are also in other worlds,” because all of her family were on different devices. I think to myself now with my family and friends… Even when we are all together, we are on our smart phones, and what not. For example, when dinner is ready, instead of our mom yelling, she’ll send us a text when we are in the same house. It is kind of like no one knows how to communicate other than through texting, chatting and emailing. Everyone is constantly online, because everyone is using it. It’s how we figure out information about news and friends.

I've seen this video before in another class. I did think it was really interesting, there were several things about the video that I didn't expect or haven't ever thought of before. I think it's a good thing that we can all be connected so much and so easily communicate with each other. I however don't think that the lack of actual human interaction is a good thing. I think it's still really important that we have actual face to face contact with people and there are times when I think that people eliminate that too much.
Also because of all the technology surrounding us it distracts and redirects our attention too much. I've noticed that unless I'm really interested in something I have a hard time focusing on one thing for more than a few minutes, reading a textbook has become an impossible feat for myself personally. I find it interesting though that multi-tasking with technology is the reason our attention span is shrinking so much and this becomes an issue with school, but school is the main thing I'm forced to multi-task at.

One of the biggest things I have noticed that is new in the Digital Culture is the concept of iPads and Smart Tablets as a replacement of computers. Apple has managed to come up with three sizes of iPads, in the hopes that majority of population will convert to tablets. Not only is Apple trying to increase the number of iPads people own but also incorporate them to everyday event. So far, hundreds of the gate areas at terminals in New York’s LaGuardia Airport have installed iPads.
According to Apple, iPads make the airports “Smarter”. Even Restaurants have started to incorporate iPads into their ordering process, to speed up the process and be more efficient. Plus it has been believed that iPads attract more people because it gives them something to do, rather than just sit there with a paper menu. Personally, I’ve noticed that more and more, people are carrying iPads everywhere with them because they are more convenient with fast access to WIFI, camera, and write down notes.

After watching the video, one of the first things that shocked me was how much of the information applies to younger and my generation. This idea that you need to be online because everyone is using it and that’s how everyone is communicating. Talking to one person while emailing or chatting with another person is considered a mutual understanding, which means that if your friend goes on the phone while you are talking, it’s ok because your bound to do the same thing to your friend. This idea shocked me because it is implying that it’s considered acceptable for your friend to be distracted because he will do the exact same thing to you. It leads to the idea of being in the same house but also in a different “virtual” world. The idea of multitasking; doing your work and using technology is shocking to me because it’s something that I do everyday. I found it interesting how the classic psychology says that “we can’t do two things at once”, and yet I don’t know a single person who doesn’t do one things at a time.

This topic about technology overcoming our lives is definitely something I have thought about and I do catch myself multitasking with my computer and phone etc..I have seen people pay more attention to their devices then their children or family which is really sad. The whole concept of virtual worlds and that people matter more online these days then is person is disturbing. I do understand how technology can make things easier and faster like for teachers and children but it is also bad to have children get hook on devices early. I know there are a lot of pressure without having technology because you have to deal with things manually instead of things being all automatically organized by computer. Its also shocking to see that there is pressure with not having devices and that we freak out when we don't have certain technology. Its all very addictive because we have to know whats new like constantly checking Facebook when nothing new really is happening, but we think of it as something to do and as a distraction for us. One thing I did find super interesting is that the people who think their good at multitasking are actually not as good and they are actually slower at certain things. I know I am going tone more aware of how I multitask and I know I will not have my kids be exposed of certain devices because I don't want this to become their whole life and I want to keep my relationships with people. I refuse to let technology destroy my privacy and relationships or start a war.

The clear disconnect that technology has created between human interaction and screens is astonishing. When talking about education and technology, it is very interesting to hear a teacher’s view. I understand when students say they are very successful when they multitask but it is a fair point when teachers say that multitasking isn’t effective. The studies prove that people produce slower answers while multitasking. The example they used is how it took us so many years to realize smoking was bad for us. The research can’t keep up with technology and that’s a huge problem when it comes to the rapid pace of our lives today. As I was watching the video I started to think that I would not be able to view this video without my computer. While the rapid pace of technology has been a distraction to our generation, it also is essential for the lifestyle we have created.

One of the first things that I noticed about this video was that even though it was made only three years ago, the majority of the electronic devices used were outdated and the visuals what we could now call 'poor quality'. This proves even more so how quickly technology changes, as stated in the beginning where they discussed research and time frames. All the students were using flip phones and bulky computers, where as now days we are using touchscreen smartphones, sleek computers and iPads. It's true that during the 2000's technology development began to skyrocket and many problems arose with that. The video touched on many of these issues, such as college students becoming distracted, people of all ages developing gaming addictions, and children not being challenged in schools. Although many of these problems do exist, as I have many things open at this moment, I think that now we are beginning to realize the impact that these different programs have on our everyday lives. I think that many of us are becoming nostalgic for the "old days" where you had to call someone at home to see how they were doing, meaning that we are more apt to set the phone aside and have conversations with people your are physically with. I can understand how people find connections with others online, though. Sometimes you're in a place where the people around you are limited and it is difficult to find things in common. Therefore, some people turn to gaming and online networking systems to meet people with similar interests. Although this can be helpful, I agree with the video that it can be dangerous. People do need to know how to have intelligent conversations and be able to speak eloquently with one another. A lot of points made and pieces shown in the video made me sad for the generation below me and those still to come, but I think that as the last generation before the technology craze begins to reproduce and have families of our own, we will be able to implement our childhood experiences on our future children. Just as it was stated in the end, finding a balance will take time and life will go on, and we will adapt to whatever situations arise.

After watching digital nation I found a lot of interesting things I didn’t even know were happening. I found myself noticing my own habits and seeing things I don’t agree with. Our world is definitely moving faster and it gets harder to keep up with the changes. Technology is constantly morphing leading to us having many things to do at once. This is where the issue of multitasking comes up. It does distract from what we are working on. When watching a video or reading something I have to put it down or turn it off in order to text or look at something else. If I don’t, I miss something in the video I was watching. To fully get something out of what I am doing, I need to focus. Others must be the same. The learning environment should have technology built in but should be limited. The games and class interactives are great learning tools but there needs to be a way to block out the distractions. Later in the video, with the games, the students were learning. However, in colleges and high school environments they are just doing other things. This also affects our relationships with people and I think it is crazy that people aren’t meeting up for real anymore. Something I cherish is being able to see people and be around my family. To curl up with my fiancé or get a hug from my parents can’t be replicated in a virtual environment where we are looking at a computer screen. I think that it is an interesting concept to wage war from a distance but I think it also leads to us not knowing the whole story. It is great to come home to your family at the end of the day but what is the cost to others lives you don’t even realize you are affecting. Overall, I think technology is great and helps us out in our lives, but we need to remember what else there is to life.

Although it is very exciting to be present during a cultural revolution, it leaves many questions unanswered and not enough time to think through the snowball we have created. I think it is important to remember that we are not biologically equipped to be immersed in a synthetic reality. Our brain more than often drags our body to whatever stimulus it perceives to be valuable and unfortunately in this age we have manufactured what seems to be an unlimited supply of isolated brain goodies. Its not uncommon for people to be dealing with addiction to sugar, games, or cigarettes, much so because our brain floods with serotonin (reward feel good chemical) after exposure to the stimulus. We are now facing these problems only because our biology is not keeping up with exponentially increasing technology. This is the case for the digital reality we are calling the internet. Addiction issues arise just as easily with the internet, but just like cigarettes we are being irresponsible with the implications. Korea recognizes that internet addiction is growing problem and has potential to become a more serious issue while the U.S has not gotten over it's infatuation with smartphones. I, as a member of the tech wave have noticed some pretty disturbing things regarding cell phones. Instead of a convenient calling device, the cellphone has mutated into something far more powerful than a device used to bring people together. Now we use our cell phones to do more separating then gathering. A family can be in the same room, but in completely different worlds on the internet. When put into the internet context the last sentence can sound disturbing, but the same thing could be said by a family who reads many books. With that in mind its important to recognize the fact that every paradigm has reluctant members along for the ride. Maybe we are seeing the horizon of a new age in which our wildest imagination takes form as "reality". "Everything you can imagine is real."-Pablo Picasso. It seems technology has been heading in that direction from the beginning and I am exited to see how far it takes us. From another perspective, the internet is harming those who do not use it responsibly, such as the MIT students who are convinced they possess superior multitasking skills. Unfortunately attending one of the top schools in the world doesn't include an ability to overcome the natural limitations of the brain. To me it seems like there is some sort of pattern that is occurring between technology and humans that is reminiscent of how cells operate to create an organ. I think we are heading towards some sort of merging between ourselves and technology. I mean, we as a society are already pretty dependent on it and I wouldn't be surprised if we integrated it in to our lives so much so that it became us. Reminds me of the futurist/ inventor Ray Kurzweil and his theory of the singularity planned 2045.

The thing I found most interesting about "Digital Nation" was the use of a chat room for jobs. I think that using it for business around the world is a good idea. It cuts cost down for the businesses which could help in the long run. I do find it different to use it for business even though they are all in the same building. The idea of not seeing someone face to face is very different for me. I do see some of the reason as to why they would want to do it but how far would this go. Would this just continue as a way to hang out with friends? I also found it interesting to think about the virtual world as a single being alone but together with someone. I think it is interesting to think that people would rather have a companion online and not actually know who they are. I don't see how it could be the same as to having someone in the room with you.

I didn't really find one part more interesting than another. The part that had the most impact on me though was the first quarter of it which was all about the cons of a multitasking view on tings and how this emerging digitally focused youth is being limited by that focus. I found it the most striking because it comes loaded with another question. Our youths are losing skills that would be very beneficial in todays setting and market. But what about the market they are going to enter into and define? Are they learning what they need that place? This is a distressing question for me because that world, only a decade or two away, will be drasticly different from our current one where it matters. The precedence is written all over the rapid technological advance we have seen since the industrial revolution. I look at the things I'm learning and the things that I don't and I have no clue as to how much impact any of it will have in my future because it will be different. It is a distressing thought to think that a student could bury themselves in debt to emerge with tools no longer or soon to be no longer relevant to the field. It is certainly food for thought and something to consider when gaging the value of how we spend our "free" time.

What I found most interesting about Digital Nation is how much people are still confused as to what to think about the use of digital technology. There are many good aspects, and yet bad ones as well. There were stories that show how the use of digital technology worked out for their lives, but also how we may be losing a part of our brain development. To keep up with technology, that also means that we have to spend money to do so. How important is digital technology really? Only the wealthier countries have access to this, whereas other poorer nations do not. For me, I would like to be able to keep up with technology, but I do not have the money. And yet, within one year, or maybe even less, new technology will develop whether I choose to follow up or not. Like Bubbe, from Digital Nation, she thinks that it is important to keep up with the technology. Although it is very useful in many ways, is it going a bit too fast?

I found re-watching "Digital Nation" for this assignment refreshing. This is because many of the bad trends that were the focus of the show have, for the most part, disappeared. Multi-tasking for example has been proven to be non-sense. Several years ago many employers, like mine, were giving out smart phones and electronic tokens so that employees could access the work network at any time and from, in theory, everywhere. With the aid of this access and new and expensive digital tools, it was expected that everyone would be able to accomplish more work, less expensively, and quicker. This of course wasn't true. I am surprised that the trend for people to use technology to spend virtual time together instead of actually being together has continued to expand. I think that experiences shared in the flesh are better but, maybe, I'm wrong. It may be possible that sharing time more frequently in a virtual fashion is better then less frequent social opportunities found in tech-free societies.

I found "Digital Nation" as a whole to be thoroughly interesting. Before watching I wasn't very informed about all the different digital technology being used in the school and the workplace. As a child of the digital age, I still find it interesting to watch my classmates constantly look at the screens of their computers, phones, ect...even while writing this I am surrounded completely by others enveloped by their screens. I find that every year my classes become more and more concentrated on digital aspects, to the point that my textbooks seem obsolete. It's becoming a norm of our age to be digitally involved in regards to school, but also in almost all aspects of our lives. I found it especially interesting that workplaces are beginning to conduct meetings via virtual worlds. In doing so, companies have found themselves creating a comfortable environment that encourages feedback while saving astonishing amounts of money on travel costs. I think it's a remarkable idea when it comes to international business in which communication across countries is necessary. I wasn't fond on inter-office meetings being held in this way because to me, this is almost as silly as my mom texting me while in the same house. I also found the movie to be interesting because of the technology used within it. Technology has advanced significantly even within the short period of time ago that the video was made. It just goes to show that we are moving towards a truly digital age with technology advancing at an unbelievable rate. On the contrary, I have noticed a slight push away from technology as it continues to advance. I find myself leaving my phone at home more and more as I do not wish to be as connected as my phone allows me to be. I try to designate more time to sit and enjoy a book or sketch because I wouldn't want to like in a world completely dominated by technology.

Changes in technology always come with their own pros and cons, and in the end there may not be a real answer to whether our digital world is changing for the better. I thought that this was a theme that "Digital Nation" really weaved throughout each segment of the documentary-showing the good and bad sides of this technological revolution. In the end, these changes are really just different. There is no outweighing good or bad that we will be able to see at this moment in time, and the best thing to do is to roll with the punches and adapt to change as it comes. The segment I found most interesting was the one centered in South Korea, and their addiction to the internet. Their country quickly pursued technology as a means to grow their society and economy, and it seems as if they did this successfully. However, the side effects on the younger generations seemed to show the negative changes the most. The way these kids are addicted to the internet look dangerous to our culture, while it's pretty normal for them. It really bummed me out to the see the ways that gaming created a relational divide between that mother and her son. However, seeing the ways that internet is incorporated into their schools was a little more reassuring, showing that there is a good way to use the internet and accepting that it is part of our new society. Incorporating things like "netiquette" into kids' schooling sounds bizarre to us, but it means that South Korea is doing a good job realizing some of the negative affects that technology can have and teaching kids the proper way to do things right at the beginnning

Upon watching the Digital Nation segment on PBS it has really opened up my perspective of virtual living and has showed me just how influential it is become on our lives. There is a couple interesting topics that I found especially compelling in this documentary. The first one is the virtual realm that we created and the lives that we vicariously live through on the Internet. The advances that we are making to find a balance between the two lives is an interesting challenge that majority of the world is going to have to tackle at one point in time. It is interesting to see how we make decisions in the virtual world compared to the physical one. There are obviously no “real” consequences with the virtual world so that is why we tend to be more open and careless with our doings online. But as that utopia between worlds comes along and starts to be implemented into everyone’s lives it will be interesting to see how well we mend with the happy medium. As they are learning now in the military that even though the soldiers are not physically deployed, they are still the one’s pulling the trigger on a weapon half way across the world, and they are dealing with real life consequences without being physically involved. Are we really ready to live two lives(virtual vs physical) taking into account the amount of stress we undergo living one, and the studies showing the decrease in concentration when multi-tasking?

I found "Digital Nation" very insightful. It has opened my mind as to how much digital technology is influencing today's society. It highlighted both negative and positive ways in which technology is doing this. I think it has a lot more positive benefits in the long run such as the unmanned drone aircrafts that are being used in war. I am not a supporter of war, but I believe that as long as people are on earth it will be inevitable. These drones will save a lot of lives in war. Maybe even someday no lives will be lost in battle. Despite this benefit of technology, there are also negative affects. Such as the world being way to easy to talk to someone. Everyone today is connected to total strangers in some way. Anyone can go on Facebook and send a message to anyone in the world. This in my opinion is causing social problems such as online bullying, as was stated with the boy who killed himself. As people become more closely connected by technology they are growing more distant at the same time. This is because it is becoming to easy to just send someone a message digitally without actually meeting the person face to face first.

I thought that the documentary was surprisingly negative. They seemed to say that new technologies were used too much and that the old ways were inherently better. Most of the technologies they showcased in the documentary were amazing. They didn't exist not too long ago. They would seem magical to someone in the fifties. The documentary expects you to be surprised that these technologies were so wildly used. It is no wonder people would use it so much. It would be silly to not use what was available to make your life easier or better. Clearly the future is brighter than the past. The movie was trying to present both sides of technology as if the negative was equal to the positive. They keep bringing up this idea that people were becoming addicted to technology. That it was replacing the old ways. People don't read as much. But people also don't write letters as much. People don't ride horseback as much. New technologies are always going to push out old technologies. Things will change. Things will continue to improve as they always have.

One thing I found interesting in the documentary was the multitasking study done on the M.I.T. students. Every body is guilty of multitasking we all believe we are amazing at it and get the same amount and quality work completed. After seeing the results from the study and how the student's score significantly decreased while multitasking, it opened my eyes to how much information people are not absorbing due the constant distractions of social media, cell phones, email etc. I am certainly guilty of showing up to class and instead of paying attention in lectures I am searching the web and checking email to the point where it would not have mattered if I were to have even showed up to class in the first place. However, as much as technology distracts us from obtaining information it was interesting to see technology enhance learning at the same time. For example in the school in the documentary their students math and reading scores significantly increased after being introduced to computers for learning purposes.

I thought the most interesting part about this documentary was watching in now (in 2014). It said it was made in 2010, so comparing what the documentary showed vs. what would have been showed present day was interesting to think about. It is obvious that a lot has changed and we are continuing to move forward in the technological realm.

I did not like the approach the documentary showed on internet and gaming addiction. I think most of the examples they showed about young people being addicted to these things was not accurate, and the one that particularly bothered me was the young boy who was around twelve years old and his mother only had bad things to say about technology because her son was addicted to it, I think the problem in this situation is more about poor parenting and less about technology. Like anything in life, technology should be used for recreation in moderation. I didn't appreciate how they acted like it was technology's fault that children are becoming addicted to it and that we should think about technology negatively because of this.

Overall, I found the documentary interesting and listening to other's opinions was enlightening to some extent, I think overall when it comes to technology people just need to be aware that it is a tool and should be treated as such and it is important to teach our children internet as an entertainment tool and recreation activity is okay, as long as it is used in moderation.

The thing I found most interesting about Digital Nation was their segment on Virtual Reality. Large-scale corporations are slowly changing from having employees go to work, to having them stay at home and use a computer-like game to do business. This surprises me simply because there is a huge difference between going to work and being surrounded by your boss, other employee’s, etc., compared to sitting at home with your family. I question if the workload is the same, if business is doing as well as if employees actually came into work or if it is going down. The other surprising thing to me, was that none of the teams had actually met each other in person and yet they all seem to be good friends and trust one another. Working at home and online is certainly becoming more and more popular, I do wonder if it is as productive as physically going into the business and working in person with your other colleagues.

Well the times are changing, and you never know what will be coming around the corner. But it might be coming to an extreme. Working from home can have great benefits like free childcare, never forgetting your lunch at home, and being in familiar surroundings. Yes, so far, its working out very well, but we might abuse this. We could lose connections with other humans. An example of this would be when on the Internet, people say things that they would not usually say in person. It is not as natural for us. Humans are social creatures that need to stay in contact.

Overall, technology has advanced so quickly over the years. I found the segment about the military to be the most fascinating part of the video. I believe that 10 years ago no one would have ever expected the advancements to be as they are today. The fact that someone who is still goes through training to be in the military and is considered to be a part of the military or someone who risks their life to defend our country isn't actually risking their life anymore. These people are now able to go home to their families after "fighting." Another comparably interesting topic in the video was the part about the teenage kids that would go to the recruiting center that had the war based games. Recruiting simply based on a hobby is not right. The attack simulator for the PTSD was an interesting concept that I had never heard of before. I feel that this helps past military personnel adjust back to normal living. This advancement in technology i find to be beneficial.

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