Watch “#digitalnation” at #PBS & some ramblings about being digitally connected..

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.

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