COM641 #1

So, I’m in grad school.  One of my classes, Emerging Telecommunication Technologies, aka COM641, includes several social media requirements, a blog post related to that week’s reading being one of them.  This is the first COM641 post.

We have been reading several authors so far, most conveying a quite negative outlook on technology and its effect on society.  It’s all good and well to be idealistic and depressed about technologies effects, I suppose, if that’s the sort of thing you like to spend your emotional and mental energy on, but, after a couple weeks of this reading, I’ve taken a different outlook.  Yes, technology is changing society in drastic ways, ways that we don’t stop long enough to even realize.  There are some good effects, and some not so good.  Regardless of the good or bad and which one outweighs the other, it is what it is, something real that is happening.  We don’t really know how it is going to play out, but it’s in our best interest to try to understand.  I, personally, would like to do this without falling into depression over the demise of culture as we know it.

A key point is the uncertainty of it all.  Postman gave a couple poignant examples in his book “Technopoly”.  The clock was invented in monasteries to better organize prayer.  It eventually became one of the most powerful tools in the business/capitalistic world.  The standardization of time was a form of technology, one that would go on to drastically alter how society functioned.  (although the basic concept of being “on time” is still up for interpretation to some… different topic)  Those monks had no clue.  Along the same line, Postman points out that it could be argued that the invention of the printing press is what eventually led to the Protestant Reformation….  Think about it.

We invent things at a break-neck speed to make things more efficient, more fun, more whatever.  Who knows how these technologies are going to play themselves out in a hundred years.  Sure, some will fizzle, others will have very real and concrete effects.  Lament the downfall of society?  Go with the flow?  How about I just try to stay aware.  I think that’s a good start.

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