Digital Nation- Virtual World Takeover

March 2, 2010 at 8:38 am (Uncategorized)

     I won’t lie; the new technology presented in the Digital nation Report by Rachael Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff greatly concerns me.  It seems like we are a society that is becoming entirely dependent on technology.  From virtual weapons to gaming to facebook, it feels like it has taken over how we think and hold relationships with other people.  Teaching kids about computers can start when they are being taught how to read.  Even though all of these advances are supposedly connecting the world together, I would much prefer to have a conversation face to face instead of talking to an inanimate screen. Life would be boring if I spent my life doing work and meeting coworkers in my living room in pajamas. 

     Even though I might be biased,  the writers of this special report are certainly not. They both do a great job of showing all possible sides of the argument from a number of different angles.  They address different aspects of technology, including its increase on multitasking, brain experiments, gaming, addiction, education and war.  For each of these aspects, the pros and the cons are weighed.  For example, having all students on laptops at the school in the South Bronx has decreased violence and drastically increased participation and grades.   However, there is a catch.  They get instant gratification from technology; every urge they have can be immediately answered.  Also, the fact that teachers have to spy on the students and find it entertaining is promotes an unhealthy relationship of mistrust.  Another aspect addressed was warfare.  Instead of having to fight on a plane, soldiers can simply control the aircraft like a video game.  The benefit here is that they do not get hurt, but the report also shows that there is a disconnect between them and their families when they come home after killing people to have dinner.  And, it seems as though gaming like World of War craft and Second Life  brings people together,  but as Douglas says, it might just make “being utterly alone more bearable”.   Both Rachel and Douglas present the facts, and let the viewer to decide their own opinion about it.

     The one thing that I had a problem with was the segment about how technology is making us become multitaskers, particularly college students.    I think that we are forced to become multitaskers because of the simple fact that we are so busy; we don’t choose to have to do five things at once.  There are other outside forces that lead us to use technology to get all of our work done, such as schoolwork, jobs, organizations, and other activities.  The professors shown were complaining that we would be better and smatter students if we focused on one thing.  However, this is not possible with our hectic schedules.  Trust me, I would love to read that book for my literature class that is due tomorrow instead of looking at sparknotes, but there is no way around it today.  What happened to actually reading books?

http://www.markstivers.com/cartoons/Cartoons%202006/Stivers-7-27-06-Plan-A,-Pla.gif

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