Blog Response 4 – Laura Rojas

Although this speech was given 25 years ago at the advent of the Internet, many of Postman’s concerns and insights around technology and the role of the computer in defining contemporary life ring true today. If you were to give a speech about the state of computer technology today that would be read by someone 25 years from now, what issues would you address and what predictions for the future would you make?

One point that I think Neil makes a great job of addressing is the loss of community that comes with the internet. This is a point often debated- are social media conversations considered community? What about online groups and forums? In a sense, the world is more connected and people have been able to go as far as to maintain meaningful (“meaningful?”) relationships with people they’ve never met in real life. But a large part of community is lost when we remove in-person social interaction from the mix. If that’s something that we’re already starting to see now, in 2015, then I predict it will only have escalated in 25 years.

However, many people are becoming aware of this social shift towards individuality. Narcissism, short attention spans- all these are symptoms often discussed by critics about our generation. People are even a little freaked out by Google Glass and other types of wearable technology. Will things be any different in 25 years? Will people learn from our mistakes and put their devices down, disconnecting a little from the net? That’s what I’m hoping.

Although the internet has definitely brought upon a myriad of positive changes and shifts in the way we construct our societies, Neil is correct in saying that not everything can be positive. The future may bring forth recipes for an easier lifestyle, convenience at our fingertips- but none of it will be worth anything if community and real-life experiences dissipate.

 

 

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