“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”

February 13th, 2018

Sometimes I think about what it was like for our parents when we were in school. Can you believe that they actually had to research what they were doing? There was no Google that led them to an answer in under one second. There was no way of quickly finding information in general. But here we are. Living in a world where we can find an answer as quickly as we can type it. Isn’t that something?

This quickness, this knowing information right away, seems like it’s a good thing. But it has already made me question whether or not I am smarter because of it. I think that in general, I have more knowledge than my parents did, because I can find information right away. But because it’s so easy to find, does that make me less smart? I don’t have to put much effort in, and I find the most convenient way to do it, which seems smart. But this information is almost as quickly lost, which begs the question, “Is Google making us stupid?”

This article did not really solve the answer to the question. In ways it does, in ways it doesn’t. Some also argue that the internet makes you smarter. I really do see it from both ways, and I think that the more we find ourselves face deep in these glowing screens, the more research will be done, and the more answers we will have. Until then, I hope that I am not getting any dumber!

“Why I Just Asked my Students to put their Laptops Away”

February 12th, 2018

I found Clay Shirky’s article to be utterly refreshing. As college students, we really are asked to be able to complete this and that all by a certain date. Most of us have a job or two, so finding the time to do something and do it will is not always possible. As he said, “multi-tasking is bad for the quality of cognitive work, and is especially punishing of the kind of cognitive work we ask of college students,” which proves my point.

With this technologically advanced world we live in, I understand that we have to use our technology. I also know that my generation learns better when professors don’t require us to sit down and read fifty pages of a textbook. Most of us can’t do it because our attention spans are nothing compared to what our parents possess. We are used to immediate satisfaction and keeping things short, so long lectures and readings don’t allow us to learn in the way that we need.

Something that is better will always come along, I know that whenever I feel my phone vibrate, or think that it did, I have to look at it right away. It almost eats at me until I do it. I can guarantee that any student that has a Macbook sits in a lecture and texts for half of the time, because it goes unnoticed. Most of us with PC’s know it’s obvious to have a phone out, so we don’t do it, out of respect I hope. My favorite quote of the whole article is, “It’s me and them working to create a classroom where the students who want to focus have the best shot at it, in a world increasingly hostile to that goal,” because if we are willing to put in the effort (which some students are not), we will be able to learn, and to learn well.

Facebook is Making us Lonely

February 7th, 2018

As someone that believes that social media is isolating us more and more every year, I found this article very interesting. We have gotten so used to turning to our computers for conversation, rather than calling or seeing others face to face. As the article said, we are living in isolation, although most cannot go without having a phone in hand for more than a few hours. This need for connectivity is ultimately driving us toward loneliness. We have more and more socialization, but yet we have less of a society. Are we really connected with others if it’s digitally and not physically?

As we wait for contact, rather, some form of virtual contact, we wait and wait, “transfixed by the glare of a screen, hungering for response.” This anticipation is what drives people crazy. As humans, we need to socialize and to find acceptance. But when our crush doesn’t respond, or we don’t get the likes that we were hoping for, we are driven further and further from that interaction, because we just want to be accepted, and we can’t always find that. “We should recognize that it is not just isolation that is rising sharply. It’s loneliness, too. And loneliness makes us miserable.”

I believe that now, more than ever before, social media and new communication technologies give people a false sense of acceptance. People don’t know how to make themselves happy anymore. They think that because they move somewhere new, or start a different job that they will automatically become happy, but that’s not true. “According to a major study by a leading scholar of the subject, roughly 20 percent of Americans—about 60 million people—are unhappy with their lives because of loneliness.” Loneliness has become an epidemic, and until “real life” can be distinguished from the one that people create online, this problem won’t change.

“Twitter and Tear Gas”

January 31st, 2018

What I got out of this article was the power that technology possesses. You can be the smartest person you know, but without technology, your knowledge is virtually useless. The example of the young girl from Turkey proves that point. When she went to Istanbul to continue her education on a scholarship, most of the girls were similar to her. They were some of the best and the brightest girls, but none of them could speak their native language, Turkish, to the standard that the school had set. Different dialects had developed in each of their areas, making their languages different than what the standard was supposed to be. Because there was virtually no communication from place to place, these smart young people were disadvantaged due to that lack of technology.

The article continues to speak of young people, students, etc. that lived through a lifetime of constant technological advances. What our grandparents have had to adapt to is unimaginable. Their social circle was once so confined, but now some people’s stretch out across the world. It used to take weeks to wait for correspondence from a friend, but that can now be done in a matter of seconds. Like-minded people are able to rally together for movements across the globe. They have taken over Twitter, and really all of cyberspace to do so. Without the movements that are so readily available online, the world would not be the same. People are able to show their passions, their interests, and really are able to do some good for this world from a computer screen.

This article touches on the technological advances that have been made, and how new communication technologies have been able to benefit from it. Without technology, this world would be a completely different place. Humans need each other to communicate, without communication, there may not be any survival. From these advancements, a movement has been made that for once, cannot be ignored by anyone.

“Future of Reputation”

January 30th, 2018
  • Will we enslave ourselves by making it impossible to escape from the shackles of our past and from the stain of gossip and false rumors?
    • I think that the more you are active on the internet, such as posting, tweeting, etc. the more likely you are to be enslaved by it. Those that aren’t as active are less inclined to be “stained” by what they see. I think that teenagers, and even some college students are the most susceptible to what they are reading. Especially when they see such negative things about themselves. Reputations can be ruined over one wrongdoing, and young people can’t always move on from it. There is definitely a correlation between cyber bullying and the increased amount of adolescent suicides.
  • How much information should we know about each other?
    • Because of the internet, “everybody knows everybody.” Unfortunately, I don’t think that there’s a way of controlling what information is shared, because we aren’t in control of our friends. If you do something that a friend doesn’t like, they’ll “subtweet” you, and everyone knows who they’re talking about.
  • How do we allow people to control their personal information without curtailing free speech or stifling freedom on the Internet?
    • Everyone should have the right to know what is on the internet that directly effects them. It’s unfortunate that things can go so viral, but yet you have no say to it. Is it even possible to get something permanently deleted from the internet, no matter how hard you try?
  • Should people’s social transgressions follow them on a digital rap sheet that can never be expunged?
    • Although I don’t think that people should have to suffer from constantly viewing themselves in a negative light on the internet, I think that it is impossible to avoid it. As long as someone is not engaging in “bad” behavior, they should be fine for the most part. But now with the Snapchat, friends post silly videos of another friend on a daily basis. People that you may not know can even see where you are, which I think is completely unsafe
  • Will the ease in inciting moral outrage create a mob driven police state?
    • There’s always a possibility of that happening, but to get to a mob level, there has to be some sort of uprising, or at least many like-minded individuals that can try to start something big. Anything is possible in this day and age.
  • What ethical questions do you think new communication technologies are raising?
    • I think that privacy and the invasion of it are the biggest ethical questions that are coming to light. Years ago, there was no way of tracking your friend’s location, you didn’t need to. But now, if you don’t share your location, that friend questions why they can’t see where you’re at. I think that it’s a big mess to be completely honest.

“Village Phone” and “Love Online”

January 29th, 2018

Response to Village Phone

I thought that this was a really cool article to read. During this day and age, it is so easy to “go viral,” and that’s just what happened. It’s interesting what gets people interested, such as the lost phone and the online confrontations that occurred between the owner and the girl that took it. I think that stories are able to get picked up by people when there is some kind of argument, and one person is clearly right and the other is doing something that is clearly wrong. On page six it says, “It wasn’t the phone that caused so many problems… It was the people at the other end of the phone.” In our society, it is so easy to hide behind a screen without thinking about the consequences that we may face.

I liked that the article went into Sasha’s perspective. She was a teenager, that didn’t do a very ethical thing, but many teenagers don’t. There’s a good chance that she comes from a poor family, so to have a phone like that must have been very tempting. As the text said, we live in a media-saturated world, so if you don’t have the latest phone, or even remotely the latest technology, a lot of children and teenagers fall victims to bullies, even though it’s not their fault. I am very interested to learn more about why people do what they do when it comes to new communication technologies in this class.


Response to Love Online

When I was reading this article, all I could think about was, “Why would a dad let his son fly halfway across the country to meet the girl he’s been dating online?” To me, I don’t understand the interest of going online and talking to strangers. That’s the one thing that we remember our parents telling us not to do, right? When it comes to teenagers, I think that a lot of them are awkward now because they’re so glued to their screens, more than the rest of us. So to them, it’s easier to talk online. The article said, “Their daily lives require constant decisions about what to say on the phone, what to write by hand, what to communicate in chat rooms, what to send by e-mail. They juggle multiple identities-the fictional personas of electronic wrestling, the constructed ideals of romantic love, and the realities of real bodies and real emotions,” and I think that that is exactly what the problem is — they form multiple identities and can hide behind a screen without showing their true self.

As for adults, I can see why they are more drawn to online chat rooms or matchmaking websites; they’re older and ready to settle down. They’re looking for love! So it makes sense for them to go online and try to find someone since so far, they haven’t been able to do so. I think that most sites are relatively safe, and being an adult, precautions are already made before meeting with someone that they don’t know. As for teenagers, they don’t necessarily have the maturity to make those decisions wisely, which is why I don’t see myself trusting my children online in the future.


As a Whole…

As far as both articles are concerned, the audience, whether it’s those speaking in an online chat room or participating on the lost phone man hunt, people want to feel like they are being included. I think that this is especially true for those that are shy or introverted in “real life.” Those people don’t know how to communicate well in a person-to-person format, so on the internet, they can reinvent themselves into whoever they want to be. This is both the scariest and most inviting part when it comes to participating on the internet in my opinion.

“When we change the way we communicate, we change society.” Our society is constantly trying to find the most efficient ways to accomplish tasks. When we are able to do that, our society will continue to rapidly change. The lost phone would have never been able to be found if it wasn’t for the website that was created, and those that followed because they kept crashing. Two people that meet online would never be able to meet in person if it wasn’t for society accepting people that do that, and for the capabilities that the internet holds. Society will always be changing around our innovations and interests, and it all starts with communication.