Lauryn Hobbs: Manifesto

Lauryn Hobbs
Professor Collier
Living Through Technology
Manifesto Part 1
16 April 2013
1. There ought to be more regulatory laws for the punishment of cyberbullying to help prevent harm.
Cyberbullying is a serious thing in this day and age. Although I’m not sure what the exact mentality is behind the bulliers there is definitely something about sitting behind a computer/phone that has made it easier for bullies to be more forward. Perhaps it’s the safety of no face-to-face contact. You can go online and see tons of cases and some have ended very tragically. Now while some states and countries have set up pretty good ways to help with prevention and stopping of cyberbullying some still haven’t leaving schools and parents with their hands tied and children vulnerable. Even adults are getting caught up in the epidemic and something needs to happen to prevent the hate being spread online. I have adopted this theory because of what I have personally experienced and what I’ve seen online. Although the form of cyberbullying that I went through was very minor and ended quickly it was scary. I’m left to only imagine what worse forms of cyberbullying can do to someone. The implications for adopting this theory into our society would be stricter regulations of social media sites and ways to prevent fake identities online and other measures to prevent rather than taking down after the fact. This should be taken seriously for the manifesto because it plays a major part in our technological lives. Think about how many times you get online and how many times you receive something or see something that is offensive or disconcerting. While we can’t stop people from having opinions we can find ways to make sure that our freedom of speech is being upheld, while not infringing on the experience other people have through technology.
2. Humans should be able to expand searches on technologies such as google from what the algorithm initially allows if they so choose.
Although the algorithm is a good system to get the most effective information to a person depending on their location and so forth sometimes people need an expanded search of the facts. It might be a romantic notion, but I like the idea of being able to have every possible piece of information pertaining to what I put in my search engine to pop up (it’s possible my computer would explode from information overload). The one thing that I dislike about search engines is that they take each word in the search separately and sometimes the results aren’t even close to what you were looking for. An improved search engine giving every little detail would make it extremely hard to wade through all the information, but a search engine that was modified so that the user could choose the way in which they receive search engine results could improve in the overall use of the search information. Search engines have become a major part of our education so making something that is molded not to a large audience, but to a specific category of people, similar to how we categorize learning techniques, would make overall quality better.
3. There should be a necessary device in vehicles to prevent texting and other technological distractions from being harmful.
Notice I say that there should be something to prevent technologies form being harmful inside a car rather than for technologies to not be active at all in a car. This is because technologies can be extremely helpful in a car if they are used properly and with caution. If you have ever almost been run off the road by someone texting or been in the car when someone started drifting while finding a song on their iPod you know that feeling when your stomach automatically drops. It’s hard when we’ve grown up practically with a cell phone glued to our palm, but texting is extremely dangerous and the researching surrounding the use of any type of technology while driving can be very dangerous. While we have made some advances on cars to prevent accidents not all models of cars have what they need. By using what we know to develop something that would work in different vehicles (older models included) we could help to further our safety and the safety of others on the road. It’s simple to pick up a phone and text, but if we create a cheap technology that would allow for something similar to blue tooth to help text through speech or something to connect and iPod so that switching a song is as easy as turning a radio station we can prevent accidents that could have been prevented by detaching ourselves from the technology in the first place.
4. To cut down on the amount of paper being used and to help preserve the environment we should take more advantage of the technologies we’ve developed.
We have the technology to send emails and digital copies and to cut down on the amount of paper that we waste and yet we still waste paper. If you look at the facts for how much paper that we waste everyday, we could save so many trees and keep things out of landfills. Yes recycling is great, but it’s not enough. We are destroying our environment by not regulating how much we use, and yet we have the technology to cut down on so much of our waste and yet we don’t use it. It would take a lot of work to get schools to switch to a system in which tests and homework and other things are put online, but wouldn’t it save money in the long run when the school doesn’t have to buy paper constantly. Are we saving money by not converting to digital technology or are we just being lazy about it. Think about how much paper you could save in a day if every school for one day used no paper at all. I look back at how much paper I used for school and I’m sure that alone I killed a small forest for what purpose other than to have something to hold in my hand. If we have these technologies why not use them to our advantage, rather than squandering them away. If we set up government regulations on how much paper can be used by each school in a school year and then set up our schools with the technology they need to go paperless we could not only take a hunk out of the environmental factor, but the switch to the digital age could actually help in the improvement of education. For a long time I was very set on pen and paper for everything, and in some ways I still have that romantic Jane Austen notion, but the fact is that as our society has progressed those romantic ideals have become indecent and to help make sure that we keep moving forward we need to make sure that we our preserving the planet we live on to help sustain the path that we are forging.
5. We should use technology to help human kind by taking advantage of social media and other technological forums to help social awareness.
This is something that we’ve already started doing in a lot of ways by taking to twitter and facebook to help promote causes and set up pages for people to get facts. But for those who don’t have social media it is almost impossible to access the things within the social media world without creating an account. By finding a way to make social media accessible without making an account so that people can look at fan pages and so on we can make it easier to get the word out. Social media has become such a huge part of what we are that it’s hard to believe that people don’t have some form or another of the social media. Even by expanding on social media to make a forum in which people can interact purely on the basis of gathering and sharing information about causes we can get people more involved in philanthropy. A lot of people look at philanthropy as something to do once in a blue moon, but the way I see it is that getting behind a cause is our way of doing something when we may not have another way to help. Philanthropy should be some that is celebrated and more widely spread than the occasional helping hand.
6. Technology should be used as a foundation in which we can enrich education.
Education is something that is very important to me. While we don’t really think of education that much on a wide scale looking at other countries education is a privilege that is not given to everyone. It amazes me how many young people don’t receive and education or receive a limited education due to the environment they were born into. That’s why taking advantage of what we are allowed is so important. Knowledge is power and therefore education is important. I’m luck enough to be able to afford college and to receive a proper education where some people don’t even get to learn how to read. It’s astonishing. What’s even more astonishing to me is the people and educators who have all the resources of technology laid at their fingertips and refuse to take advantage of it. Technology can be a powerful tool when it comes to education. Whether it be used for research or to show students how to use social media as a networking device and so on. There are endless possibilities when it comes to technology if we would just take the time to invest ourselves in the opportunities and teach our generation how to make technology work for them. If I had the opportunity to go back and really learn how to use technology in every possible facet I would. Being able to create something on a computer or look up things and have all of this at your fingertips is a privilege that we are wasting away. By setting it up so that students can further use technology during school we can set students up for greater success in the long haul. Making sure that students know how to use the basics when it comes to computer and other forms of technology we can endeavor to at some point show these students how to use higher forms of technology to market themselves for jobs and other organizations. Technology can be a powerful tool for success if used and taught properly. By using technology to our advantage in education we can make students less distracted and more focused.