Manifesto: Astleigh Hobbs

Humans should understand the implications technology presents and ought to create boundaries accordingly.
• Today’s societal norms embrace technology to such an extent that there are rarely boundaries implemented to contain the use of technology. Because it is apparent that many people take technology for granted, it seems that most individuals do not fully understand nor take the time to understand what technology is about, affords, and constrains. If we are going to be a society that respects and utilizes technology in the most effective ways, it is important for us to first understand the possible consequences that accompany its benefits. Once we have familiarized ourselves with all positive and negative effects of any particular technology then we should create for ourselves personal or organizational boundaries to protect the use of technology, but more so to protect ourselves from technology. If people are collectively concerned in preserving human involvement in areas where technology is progressively replacing their presence, then humans should actively participate in setting limitations to how technology is employed. Technology, although beneficial can blur the margins of when and where technology is acceptable or not. Thus, if those using technology can come to terms on the consequences that result from any kind of technology, appropriate boundaries can be set to keep consequences at a low. Just because technology comes with implications, it doesn’t mean that they cannot be handled. Being smart and respectful of what technology is and does for us is the first step in setting up grounds for responsible use of technology. Boundaries can only be created once humans take the initiative to learn, recognize, and fully comprehend technologies’ abilities.
o http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/it-moral-values/

Humans should not solely rely on electronic technology when situations can arise where electronic technology is not usable.
• Situations are constantly arising where the ability to connect with electronic technology is not feasible. From the smallest instances where cellular phones cannot connect with their correlating towers to major power outages that put a seeming standstill to using practically all electronic technology. Adopting this idea would help the population to become less dependent upon the convenience that technology has created and instead learn different techniques for tasks and daily situations where technology has replaced what originally existed. More and more we are seeing instances where the ability to function seems impossible with the temporary or permanent loss of any electronic technological advancement. As a society we should not rely heavily on electronic technology because not always will it be available to use. Thus, if electronic technology becomes unavailable due to any reasoning, there is an alterative and people don’t feel at a loss while electronic technology is temporarily down. Society would no longer be at a standstill when it came to losing the once accessible electronic technology; they would instead be picking up a book for entertainment when the television isn’t working, schedule meeting times for dinner while in person and not waiting to do so through text. and other similar activities. It’s little instances such as these where electronic technology can fail us, but if we have another option at accomplishing the same task then we haven’t relied solely on this technology. At one time or another, we all find ourselves in a spot where technology is not at the ready to be used.
ohttp://www.northeastern.edu/edtech/teaching_learning/issues_online_teaching/technology_fails

Digital technology (e.g. cell phones, iPads, tablets, ect.) should not reshape or redefine norms that exclude basic humanistic morals and values.
• Societal norms are constantly being reshaped, redefined, and reexamined as time progresses and new technological entities are introduced. These new norms seamlessly replace what previously existed and after sufficient time has passed the new norm is standard and widely accepted. Our generation has experienced many new conceptual ideas, which have reestablished norms and created non-existing norms. Our group has seen the consequences and results of technology and the ways in which it is able to redefine human norms, important conversations taking place through text messages rather than face-to-face. The problem with this arises when humanistic morals and values are excluded as societal norms change due to the influence of technology. For instance, as our parents were growing up, there were no cell phones at a dinner table, much less anything besides the people and food. Today, we see a whole new construct of family dinners, including dinners in front of televisions or dinners interrupted by the ding of incoming text messages. Now not all people would believe that this new family dinner table norm is of concern, but for some the idea that technology is always present is a trepidation that should be limited so as to reduce the possibility of it completely infiltrating the norm or rather the values of what a family dinner is. This is one small example of where digital technology is coming into our lives and setting a new standard. There are many other activities that have been reshaped with technology’s presence and thus, the norms for what is now acceptable have changed. It is important for our generation to remember that we are responsible for digital technology’s future use and that it ultimately starts with us to control the defining of societal norms that will carry through to our children and eventually be reshaped as they pass along the same concepts and notions.
o http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/print/6753
o http://mbf-trendtalk.blogspot.com/2011/05/technology-redefines-norm.html

Virtual reality should never replace/take precedence over actual reality.
• With the advancement of social media sites and games it has become more common for individuals to lose themselves in the technological realms of virtual reality. It is not only more common, but more readily accessible. There seems to be no age limit to those that connect with these alternate realities and thus, there has been an increase of users. There is also the option for anonymity with users and as a result, more people are open to becoming a part of an evolving and ever-changing virtual reality. The draw to becoming an active part of such a world is possibly the outcome of people wanting feeling that their actual reality does not allow nor provide what an imaginary reality could. Because an option exists to escape the trials and tribulations of life, people are inclined to delve into the unknown of virtual reality. And more than not, people become captivated with their new found hobby; in some instances the novelty they are experiencing turns the new hobby into a replacement alternative for their current reality. It’s important for people to realize that virtual worlds cannot and should not replace the reality of life. It’s not a healthy habit to be sucked into, unless some control is put in place regarding use and amount of time spent on such a site or game. There should be more stipulation on people’s involvement in virtual reality (time limits in place, ect.), so that actual reality is not skewed for what it is not and is not replaced with artificial and fictitious ideas.
o http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/internet/virtual-reality-and-social-networks-will-be-a-powerful-combination/0
o http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-103862.html

Surgical technology (plastic surgery, specifically) should not make unattainable standards for human beings.
• Constant advancement of surgical technologies has created a plethora of options for humans to explore and adopt into their lifestyles. The opportunity and convenience that today’s surgical technologies have presented has far surpassed the previous alternative. With such new ideas and novelties becoming available to the population in multiple forms of plastic surgery, people are reshaping and reconstructing themselves with every minor imperfection (wrinkles, saggy skin, too much fat around the abdomen). There is no need for surgical technology to create unattainable standards when hundreds of years ago, what exists today wasn’t even conceptualized. People turn to plastic surgery, as a way to reverse time on their body and in most instances it doesn’t work like originally planned. With the aid of digital photography editing capabilities, people have redefined their idea of beauty and in turn look for ways to mimic aesthetic and physical qualities that are most popular. Today, plastic surgery isn’t performed for truly needed alterations, but instead for slight flaws that can be made better. People are interested in having a jaw like Jennifer Aniston or lips like Angelina Jolie and with the advancement of plastic surgery technologies; people can schedule these procedures and ultimately alter their appearance. Just because plastic surgery exists, it shouldn’t be promoted as a method to undergo in order to physically ‘better’ a person. And unless, it is a procedure that will help fix a birth defect or something critical to a patient, plastic surgery technology should not be furthered or advanced when concerned with superficial ideals.
o http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/genetic-engineering.shtml
o http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/dna-is-constantly-changing-through-the-process-6524898

Human authenticity should remain true through digital photography instead of being altered with advanced editing capabilities.
• More than ever people idealize what is put into the media (magazines, commercials, television shows, movies, ect.). The consumption of such material creates a fog between reality and the advanced editing capabilities of digital photography. It is easy to lose oneself amongst the clutter of edited faces, bodies, etc. that appear on every television commercial and print advertisement. The ideals that are replicated in such media create a false sense of self for the consumers. So much so, that people begin to believe that the people seen in magazines and on television are the best, and is what he or she should aim for as far as their own physical attributes and aesthetic qualities. If digital photography editing standards had limitations on what could be edited, the situation that it has generated would not be so widespread and problematic for the viewers. If people were not photoshopped, either entirely or so heavily, a more realistic perception would be shared instead of the fake and over-perfected version that we see now. Digital photography’s editing capabilities are outstanding and at times serve a good purpose to achieve desired effects. But when it is taken so far as to completely change the appearance of a person, the authenticity has been removed. I think that it is important to keep a firm reminder that people should be presented as naturally as possible without a fogged lens of misperception that ultimately confuses and twists the ideas of the consumer. Advanced editing capabilities should be kept to a minimum as to not skew reality. The effects of these kinds of alterations can be harmful to viewers.
o http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshopping-altering-images-and-our-minds/
o http://computersight.com/software/the-abuse-of-photoshop-creates-unattainable-standards-of-beauty/