August 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Digital Nation” is a follow-up documentary form the Frontline at PBS after the project “Growing up online”
I watched this to see if I can use it as a class material and it’s definitely recommended. A lot of critical issues on the Internet, including virtual life, addiction, medical use, and our cognitive change thanks to the digitally-all-connected life condition, are treated during 90 mins.
One of the most interesting parts to me was the topic dealt with in the first section., about the truth of “multi-tasking” capacity that our digital natives boast off. The cutting-edge researches are introduced and their conclusions are : ‘unknown’ at best, or, ‘worsening’ our brain down’ in a tragic perspective.
I’m studying comm technologies but to be honest, I’m one of the people who feel often choked whenever I realize that I’m hooked up in this all- connectedness. I feel pressured that I have to be on Facebook and follow and mind others’ business (although I recently stopped using for some period of time), I have to be connected to all the information flowing over twitter not to be lagged behind, and I have to be on the smartphone whenever I have brief free time to be “smarter”. Once aggregating trivial acitivites I do on the Web for a day, they are not trivial portions of daily activities any more.
Like my students were staggered at the amounts of time they consume everyday playing around the Internet after recording their daily media logs, I also feel a kind of vanity of my day when I find out that I actually haven’t THINK seriously about a thing or myself even for a few mins. I am disillusioned by my being busy online as if I became more insightful or smarter about this world. Without thinking, information out there do not have any meaning to me. To make it meaningful, time requires to focus on it, think about it, and reframe it into my cognitive pattern. Only after the processing, what I see or hear on the web becomes a part of my episteme.
As Sherry Turkle, one of the earliest virtual theorist who appears on the documentary, sighs during her interview, saying that she often spends a day without thinking at all yet fully busy checking out emails and what’s going on with others, I find myself wasting days without giving a serious thought on something steadily or even reflecting who am I.
In our time, it seems like it’s getting harder to find a serene moment even at the moment of sitting at my office ALONE!
We are social beings. We need to be connected with others out there. But, we are Homo at the same time. We need time to set stuffs away for a moment and to listen to what is in my own mind and heart, independently from others. Reflective self-appraisals are definitely parts of processes to define self-concept, but to complete a holistic self-concept… I don’t know, I feel like it is essential to remain in solitude for some time and try to engage in intra-communication, which might be more effective when Facebook and Twitter are turned off.
July 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
With prevalence of social collaboration tools, the power of collective intelligence, often mentioned as more effective than mere sum of individual decision-making, has been buzzed off. Is there it anyway? A publication in Science in 2010 confirms its exietence based on classical psychological experiments. Interesting to read.
May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m currently teaching a class titled ‘new tech in communication.’
The size is about 20+ students. As a newly beginning professor, I wanted to draw students participation in generating discourses about technologies at best. For this mission, what I did are two things. One, to let them update what is happening right now regarding media and technology culture from public information; second, to let them engage in group blogging to share their information and thoughts. Never expected to have all of my students to be active participants in this process, however, I am satisfied with the performance of my students so far.
One of the topics we learned important is the broadband-based digital divide across the world. As a reflection of what we learned, a student blogged about the rosy opportunity for Africa to be wired through West Africa Cable System (WACS), which is operated from Europe to it.
Then, a few days later, another student found a different article and speculated about the other student’s discussion.
I was excited not simply because that the news resources they shared are valuable and worth of attention but also that they actually engaged in reflective THINKING about what we learned during class. As either a social scientist or a liberal arts scholar, it is my the priority goal to have students engage in a critical discursive process when I offer a class. I felt good reading their posts as if I accomplished a small task.
April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
One of the most recent article about #NetNeutrality.
It has a good summary about it…
Net Neutrality – The New York Times