For this project I chose to look deeper into the common thought that the use of technology and phones decreases our ability to communicate in face to face settings. Through my research I have found that this common thought is a misconception. Technology and the internet does affect our communication, but not in negative ways. Instead technology allows for people to expand on their pre-existing communication skills. This means that if you are normally a social person, you are highly likely to be a social person online as well, and if you are normally not a social person, then you will most likely not use technology for social purposes.
Technology allows for people to expand who they are and gives us another platform to receive gratification from our social needs. It allows for people to continue and maintain relationships when we are unable to communicate with people in person. In the cases of non-social people they use phones and technology to give off the perception that they are being social, however this is only a perception and in most cases non-social people are not using phones and technology for social reasons. Technology does not decrease our ability to communicate, but it increases it. It allows people the ability to grow relationships and communicate that had never previously been possible. Technology gives people the opportunity to grow their personalized social spheres to their liking and gives it the support it needs for these relationships to continue.
While technology may be changing the way that people are communicating, it is not changing our ability to communicate. People have their own personalities and technology allows for those personalities to be carried into an online word, providing those them with support and greater outlets to express themselves. Technology does not change who you are, but it may magnify who you are and if anything may increase peoples ability to communicate as they are doing it much more often.
After watching both the Turkle and Wesch talks there are some strong similarities and differences between the two. Turkle speaks about how technology is connecting us but also disconnecting us at the same time. She goes in to speak about how the need for technology is becoming over whelming and as the need grows people become more and more alone. The need for social interaction, and the ability to completely control that social interaction, is driving people away from each other and towards technology, which then drives this need even further. Turkle also goes into talk about how people are losing their ability to communicate with each other, because of the fact that online interactions are only very brief snippets of information and brief interactions that do not add up to one complete interaction. Due to the online monitoring and the ability to change, edit and reshape any interaction that is had online creates a false sense of person and eliminates the need for people to be able to think quickly and on their toes. It eliminates the ability for people to not know what they are going to say before they say it which is a vital component for people to be able to communicate.
On the other hand Wesch talks about how the internet provides us with the ability to have a voice and to represent ourselves. However, people are not taught to do this. People are taught to learn information and to accept that as how the world is. Wesch wants to change this. He wants to take the student from knowledgeable to knowledge-able. This means that he wants to create society where students are able to take what they know, and then use it in whatever way they see fit. Wesch speaks on how the student bodies are turning to technology and its uses, other than for seeking information and learning. He see the direction of the world and knows that the internet is a tool to communicate with the world and to have a voice within that world.
At this point the two conversations overlap. Turkle speaks about how the use of the internet is taking away people’s ability to communicate. On the other hand Wesch is speaking on how the internet is a prime too to be used in communicating. However the difference between the two is that way the communication takes place. Turkle is speaking about the uneducated population that uses technology for insignificant communication and for the need to be interacting in a controlled environment. Wesch admits that this is a problem now, but his future for the world is that people learn to use technology to have a voice in the world. He speaks on the way that technology should be used to reach extremely large amounts of people when one normally would have no say at all.
However, Turkle does know that technology is vital to our society and can be useful but she says that “if we don’t teach our children to be alone, they will only know how to be lonely”. I think this is a great quote and one that Wesch would agree with. It is teaching our society how to be alone and not need to run and shelter ourselves in the internet where we control everything. At the same time Wesch’s ideas come into play where if we teach people how to correctly use the technology we have at our disposal it would likely do wonders for the world and provide the world with the voices it needs.
In a sense both of these talks are about the same thing, education. In today’s society technology is everywhere around us and is intertwined deeply with our lives. However, when we are growing up and going through life never once are we actually educated about the tools that we are using and the abilities we have with using those tools. This is causing a divide in society where technology is always being created and pushed on the public, but the public does not know how to correctly use this technology for the most they can.. Instead they are getting lost within its many uses, for no other reasons than to please oneself at that instant. This technology is providing the public with a voice, as Wesch is arguing, however it is taking that same voice away from the public, as Turkle describes. The link between the two can only be made through educating people on not only how to use the technology that is at their disposal, but also to teach the public on how to not let that same technology use and control each of them. People need to find their voice within technology to have control, not give it up out of the need for control.
Creating a meme was something that I have never done but found very interesting. Memes express some type of emotion or thought without directly saying it, or through the use of a picture to lighten the mood. However, these memes are how people express their views in today’s world and do carry significant meaning behind them. I don’t think that memes are the correct way to show an opinion on a matter, but they do draw needed attention to many things in our society. Because of this I think that memes are great to draw attention to a topic and to spread the word about something, however they are not the correct way to fix a problem as many times they are funny or not serious in nature.
Media manipulation is prevalent throughout our society, and is only growing in size and nature. This is partly due to the fact that people are growing larger presences on social media, allowing for these manipulations of media to be spread rapidly. Not only do Facebook and Twitter allow for mass amounts of people to see these media posts, but they also allow for individual users to adjust and change these media points, and also create new media and share it so that it reflects that individual user, creating even more media manipulation.
While I was looking through my emails the other day I noticed that I got an email from an app I have on my phone. The email read that they was a breach in the system and usernames, passwords, and certain other personal information that the app collected and that the users of the app should take note and make changes if necessary.
I thought I would share this because it really shows that these are not isolated incidents and are happening all the time to all types of information. We are going to need to find a solution to these problems otherwise there will not be any information that is safe and private.
In the past two weeks there has been a lot that has been going on. From learning about the Cambridge Analytica story, and discussing it with friends and family to discovering more about domain and owning ones own information. After learning about the Cambridge Analytica story, I was not personally too surprised about what happened and knew it always could. However it was very interesting to hear what other people had to say and for the most part their answers were similar. Most of what I heard was that people were shocked to hear about what happened, but they did know that something about information sharing happened on the internet. Most people did not seem to want to get rid of their Facebook, however were going to use them in a much more careful manner as not to put sensitive information on it. After listening to some of my classmates dialogues, I found that people are willing to stand up for their privacy and would be willing to make measures to prevent this from happening again.
After reading articles by @audreywatters and Andrew Rikard I learned how important it is to have control of your information and how you use it and create it. I found it extremely interesting that colleges were giving their students their own domains to create how they wanted to fit their needs. I think that this is extremely important for the future as it will be extremely helpful in understanding the internet and how information is really shared. I think that learning about domains was a great follow up to the Cambridge Analytica story, as it this type of education that will help prevent these companies from having control over our information. It is our responsibility to make sure we maintain our privacy, which means it is on us to educate ourselves and it is great to see that colleges are beginning to take steps in this direction.
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