Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dear Nancy Baym,

I couldn't agree more with the statement you referenced in Chapter 1 by Kenneth Gergen that "describes us as struggling with the 'challenge of absent presence,' worrying that too often we inhabit a 'floating world' in which we engage primarily with non-present partners despite the presence of flesh-and-blood people in our physical location" (3). Basically, because of the technologically dependent society we live in, there is a fear that even the physical presence of a person may only be physical but not mental. The best example of this is the AT&T commercial I posted below. I find it completely hilarious, but in a lot of ways this is a scenario that has happened in reality on many occasions. All these advancements are making it easier for people to immerse themselves into different places, and also making it difficult for one person to keep the other's attention. With a culture that is constantly multitasking, I think we've become even more ADD than before.
Another point that you made, that I found very interesting was in chapter 2 about technological determinism. The definition presented for this term is the idea that "technology is conceptualized as an external agent that acts upon and changes society"(25). From my interpretation, this term is saying that technology is a significant factor that shapes culture. I agree with your analysis of this statement. In some ways this is very true, but it should be taken lightly. The example you mentioned with the concern that communication technology makes us dumber is very valid. People tend to forget that language is always changing and it may not be that it is making us less intelligent or that it is the driving force at all. It could be evolving, as it has done for years historically, into a new form with communication technology as a factor rather than a sole driving force of its change.

No comments:

Post a Comment