This week's reading, You Are Not a Gadget, seemed very cynical to me. Though I did not do the actual reading, the research I did and the conversation we had on Big Blue Button lead me to understand that Jaron Lanier's book was somewhat of a rant on the negative effects of technology in today's culture. Personally, I never like to look at just the negative side of everything. For example, Lanier believes that technology leads to a lack of creativity in today's youth. I disagree with this. Those who have access to and understand how to use technology have so many more outlets for creativity. A child interested in writing poetry or in journalism can create blogs or websites where they can show their work to true audiences. Students interested in film, photography, art, music all can use technology to their advantage. Perhaps it is the lack of access to technology that inhibits creativity, but by no means is technology itself to blame. Lanier also mentions "collectivism" referring websites such as Wikipedia, where information can be edited by anyone and is accepted as fact. I think it is a benefit that any person who can connect to the internet can have access to knowledge and information from people all over the world. Rather than simply point out how technology is ruining society, we should be thinking of ways to engage the positive aspects of technology. Students should be learning how to verify online sources and be sure they are credible. There are far more sources available online, than in a student's local library.
Discussion Question # 8
Despite all of the negativity surrounding technology, do you think that it's actually a testament to our society's creativity and advancement progression?
I completely agree that technology is a testament to human creativity and progress. Not less than 10 years it would have been impossible to whip out an iphone and video chat with your friend who lives across the ocean on another continent. While Lanier believe technology takes away individualism and makes relationships less "human" I believe technology has the ability to do the opposite. Sure, maybe I don't actually talk to most of my Facebook "friends" but when a close friend moves to another country, or when I make connections while traveling, I have the ability to remain in close contact with these people. I'm not the most technologically savvy person, however I do know that technology has brought huge progress to civilization worldwide and allowed a globalized society that could not exist without modern technology. Everything comes with pros and cons, but as far as I'm concerned, the pros of technology far outweigh the cons.