The positive and negative technology world

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In the PBS program "Frontline," I learned many new things about technology -- both positive and negative aspects.

For me, technology has always seemed like a positive thing. Even on a simple Web search site, like Google, I know I'll be able to find things like directions, a specific passage from a book, the summary of a novel, others' opinions, and information on virtually anything. Basically, I know I can rely on the Web to give me the information I'm looking for.

However, the way that Asia's digital culture used media, I see it more as a negative. I had no idea that such large problems of "gaming" existed, with people literally letting gaming take over their entire time and life. As Doug Rushkoff states, "The net has changed from what one does, to what one is." To the people who cannot control their technology, this may be true. But to me, the media are not who I am; I am who I am -- with the help of technology to make life easier.

I feel that in some aspects this PBS program represents my generation of digital media, but not to the extent that they make it out to be.

For example, I totally agree that I multi-task. I feel that I have to, in order to get everything done. In my opinion, as society advances and expects each generation to be able to do more things, technology is simply developing in order to keep up with these demands that our professors, parents and the competition around the world bring on us. We are expected to take "X" number of credits, have a job, volunteer and be well-rounded in athletics or the arts, and somehow still have time for fun?
However, critics argue that Web sites like Google are actually bad for children. By being able to find information like book reviews (to save time), it decreases the level of reading and writing. Multi-tasking results in a decrease in writing, so that students tend to only write in "paragraphs of thought," not connecting each paragraph's meaning (due to outside world distractions).

Overall, although the Internet is a large part of my life, I disagree that most students are as "high-tech" as this movie shows. I may be glued to my cell phone, but I am definitely not attached to the computer or other media devices so that I can't put them down. I agree completely with Sherry Turkle that "technology isn't good or bad, it's powerful and complicated."

1 Comment

Ali has a really great way of shedding light on both sides of the issue, if it really is an "issue." The great thing about technology is it does allow us to multi-task. We can become super humans! However, does multi-tasking decrease the quality of our work? She provides a great example from the documentary about the decrease in writing and how students tend to only write in "paragraphs of thought," not connecting each paragraph's meaning due to distractions.

I find this to be extremely relevant in the lives of almost every student. It's almost an accomplishment within itself to write a paragraph instead of writing a full paper. There's kind of an idea of "Wow, I accomplished something now I should reward myself."

The fact that one can find a whole novel summarized on the Internet can be a gift and a curse! I find that people constantly pull the, "I have no time for that," card. However, I'll find these people, myself included, making time for other things such as You Tube, catching up on seasons of TV shows on the Internet, blogging and of course Facebook. I would ask the question, is technology making us smarter individuals or decreasing our attention span therefore compromising the amount of information we can take in? It's obvious those who created the technologies are extremely intelligent people. The question lies in the effect of the technology.

What does sitting in a room playing a video game with dozens of others for hours on end do to the human mind? We're not using social skills. Perhaps we're using some strategical skills. Yet, are we being productive? Are we really allowing ourselves to reach our full potential? I believe technology is hindering our ability to reach this potential. I was also amazing about these problems of gaming existing as a medical condition in South Korea.

I really enjoyed reading Ali's blog, and I felt she did a really thorough job and provided a lot of factual evidence to support her claims.

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This page contains a single entry by Minelli-news blog published on March 11, 2010 3:56 PM.

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