Friday, October 1, 2010

Technology and the Missing Piece

While the concept of Facebook has intrigued me (and I will see the movie) and does provide certain advantages for keeping in touch with others on a momentary basis, I find blogging to be more authentic and a vehicle to allow a thought and discussion in a more conversational manner (mea culpa-haven't been a good blogger of late). I know many find twittering quite productive, but I don't twitter. There just aren't enough hours in a day ..

In the news today is a sad story of a first-year college student who took his life seemingly after having an intimate incident videoed live on a social network by two other students, one his roommate. Is the rampant use of technology somehow detaching the user from his moral and social obligations? In this case, a first-year college student is hardly too young to understand that one's actions have repercussions. Is it the sense of anonymity that technology provides the user to be quick with a thoughtless comment or film intimate events without the filter of judgment?

Working in a college setting, I know well that many students view the campus as an isolated cocoon. But we are all creatures of a society and hopefully have the values instilled us from many resources to care about fellow human beings. Technology has provided a tool to us to increase our knowledge, keep us in contact with others around the world, guided us and entertained us, but it is my hope that along with these benefits come a sense of obligation from the user.

Thanks, I feel better now ..


Trekcapri said...

Hi M, very well said. I also heard of that awful story on the news. I feel very sad for the family's loss.

I do love what technology has brought to the table but it does have a terrible downside to it when it is misused.

Thank you for writing this important post.

Anne said...

m - thanks for this very thought provoking post.

As a parent, I find it hard to know what to think about the social platforms and texting and other forms of technology. On the one hand, they can bring us closer together, shrink the boundaries of global community. On the other...I don't know, I wonder about the long term impact on social development. I know my 14 yr old daughter's mood can swing from sunshine to black hole in the blink of an eye because of a text or a post on someone's FB that gets misinterpreted. Otherwise innocuous comments take on whole new proportions when shared on a social network instead of with a friend or two. Not to mention how much more widespread and aggressive bullying behaviours can grow when one can simply post online and not have to look the target in the eyes, not have to face those who stand against bullying.

Have you seen the youtube clip of Ellen deG talking about bullying? Really moving, you can tell she is choked up in places.

Good to keep these issues in the spotlight.
Blessings, A

Annie said...

Excellent post. Very thought provoking. While I love aspects of all this new technology, I have some real reservations about it too....privacy for one and also the fact that things happen like that poor student.

I don't do Facebook or Twitter. I don't text either (I have a cell phone but I only use it for emergencies and no one knows the number!). I spend so much time on the computer for my job, and then there's blogging (which I love) and I also do a lot of on-line work for the cat sanctuary where I volunteer. Just feel like I've got to draw the line somewhere (and I don't particularly want to re-connect with people I went to middle school with, ha ha).

Anyway, it's a fine line. Yes it connects us but there are also a lot of sad "Eleanor Rigby" type people out there who have no life outside their online life and that worries me!