Friday, January 27, 2012

Everything in Moderation

To Nancy Baym,

     First off, I'd like to commend you on such a clever title for your book, "Alone Together". The concept of being alone together is one that obviously sounds contradicting, but is so true in terms of the way we function in the online world today. As mentioned, we'd rather text than talk, or make virtual avatars of ourselves in games like Second Life in order to either escape reality or simply avoid face-to-face human interaction. As indicated by the title of my blog post however, I believe this should all be practiced in moderation. I'm just as guilty as the rest of the internet-loving world when it comes to wasting too much of my life in the virtual world, but that's the type of society we've come to accept. Once again though, I stress moderation as the key to maintaining a healthy balance of both virtual and real world interactions.
     Many people love to argue how technology is making us stupid and lazy, and that we're much better off without any of it. Last year, I wrote a paper about the book, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains", discussing the impact of the internet on the way we learn and obtain information. One point I made was that without Google, I would honestly be so much dumber, and a lot less knowledgeable about so many different subjects, topics, and issues in this world. Whenever I get the urge to do a some quick research on any topic that comes to mind, I know that I can always go to Google to find any and all information needed to satisfy this desire to learn. Are all these technological advances beneficial overall? Simply, my answer is a definite yes.
     Now this is where my idea of moderation comes into play. Your description of how some people use Second Life was a perfect example: "On Second Life, a lot of people, as represented by their avatars, are richer than they are in first life and a lot younger, thinner, and better dressed." When moderation is used in terms of anything in the online world, people tend to get trapped in the mindset that this truly is their reality. When anything virtual becomes more important than your real life, that's when technology poses a threat to our society. The ability to text has made an immeasurable impact on our lives in terms of its benefits, but there's always going to be the people who abuse this. These would be the same people who can't do a single activity in their life without having their phone in their hand simultaneously. Using moderation for these types of technological abilities in our lives will allow for more efficiency and benefits to arise in all instances that we use them.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps it's moderation, but perhaps its use that is purposeful in certain ways.