Thoughts 1/17

Last week, Professor Rheingold sent me a video about cyberspace. I found this extremely insightful, and I would love to start a discussion or hear your comments about some of the points Neil Postman made about the Internet:

  • “It always gives us something important, but it also takes away something important.” Postman gives the example of doing everything from home and wonders if “this doesn’t signify the end of any meaningful community life.” Or perhaps the question we should ask now is, what is community (an extremely fitting segway to next class)?
  • Because you can just “turn off” a person in cyberspace, Postman worries if that will “diminish the human sense of responsibility we have,” not to mention the social skills that we would practice in real life.
  • “The worst image… is people who are overloaded with information, which they don’t what to do with, have no sense of what is relevant what is irrelevant…” Is there such a thing as too much information? Postman goes as far as arguing that children are starving in Somalia not because we don’t have information, but because we have too much.
  • “What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?” I now wonder if the social media platforms, especially the newer ones, we have today are not really solving a problem of communication? Are we using technology, or is technology using us?