Manifesto: Katie Winand

My Manifesto

1.People ought to understand, that technology, while relevant and completely necessary, can never hope to replace the value of human interaction.

Human interactions are very different than human-technology interactions, on many levels. Having personally experienced a childhood almost completely devoid of technological distractions, I understand that technology has brought about many, many changes in our interactions with other people. We used to send paper letters, or call people, but now we send emails and texts, g-chats, Facebook messages, wall posts, tweets, and any number of other things that I am sure I have forgotten to include. This new technology allows a faster and more effective communication, but is it really better? We used to sit and talk with people, write out complete words, and now we have replaced those with “text lingo,” like “u” for “you,” and “r”, for “are.” An article from the NY Post describes the pain of interacting – and being rejected or hired by – a machine during the job interview process:

“…the hiring process is a critical business decision that often lacks rigor — which these software companies are attempting to compensate for with programs that assess a job applicant’s likelihood of success in that company. But humans are social beings, and there is no substitute for sitting face to face with someone and looking them in the eye.” (Giangrande)

The idea that a machine will decide if you are fit to work at a company seems appalling to me – should you not at least get the opportunity to argue your case to a panel of peers?

2.People should definitely realize that social networking sites have both great benefits and great consequences for our generation and the generations preceding us.

Social networking sites can definitely have some interesting benefits and consequences to every day life as a young adult growing up in this century with technology abound. Linked In is one of the best sites to exhibit this idea, because while it is a social networking site, is also an online meeting place in which field-specified professionals can come together and meet people hold different positions within their field. If you are graduating from college and looking for a job, Linked In is one of the best resources available to you. Having said that, social media sites can also have consequences, specifically if a company that you are applying with has access to your Facebook, Myspace, or other social accounts – most people find it detrimental to see party photos on the Facebook of someone that they are looking to employ. An interesting fact follows from socialnetworking.procon.org:

“47% of American adults used social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Classmates.com in 2011, up from 26% in 2008. [26] On social media sites like these, users may develop biographical profiles, communicate with friends and strangers, do research, and share thoughts, photos, music, links, and more.”(“Procon.org”)

3.People must understand that technology has brought thousands of articles, online books, and other types of information databases to people who may otherwise not have had access to that information.

When you walk into the library, you are able to search Addison for anything that you could ever hope to find. Underneath Addison there are collections of online articles and journals that can be downloaded for PDF use on any computer. The library also owns subscriptions to a variety of online article databases so that students have access to all of the information that they could ever need – for free. This type of information availability is absolutely incredible. I once remember driving 8 hours from my Georgia home to a Florida library simply to pick up a book for a science fair project in middle school. The same book is most likely now viewable in an electronic form. Not to mention that if you type a search criterion into Google, the results that you can end up with, specifically scientific journal articles, are completely mind boggling. There is really no limit to the amount of information that technology allows us to access.

“Social media allows for quick, easy dissemination of public health and safety information from reputable sources. The US military and Department of Veterans Affairs use social networking to help prevent suicide. [46]The World Health Organization (WHO) uses social media to "disseminate health information and counter rumours," which was especially helpful after the Mar. 2011 Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster when false information spread about ingesting salt to combat radiation. [47] The Boston Health Commission used social media to get information to its 4,500 Twitter followers about clinic locations and wait times for vaccines during the H1N1 outbreak. [48]”(“Procon.org”)

4.Society ought to realize that science and technology have become inseparable in the last decade, and have had a profound influence on each other.

When is the last time that someone has said, “this discovery, this conclusion has made great strides for the scientific world.” It has been a while. Everything these days is based on the marriage, albeit tenuous, between science and technology. The mapping of the human genome, a project that is currently ongoing, is being undertaken by some of the most intelligent and most powerful super computers of our time period – human beings could never hope to achieve the success that these computers have already seen. We use technology in science to make thing easier to accomplish, so my real question is, if they are aided by technology, are they really a standard of scientific achievement?

“Those concerned with technology education face an enormous challenge. First, they must clarify the relationships between science and technology, and clarify especially the place of both in the context of the economy and the political life of the country.” (Rustum )

5.People should understand that Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other networking sites are often times contributed to the increase of ADD and other attention related deficiencies, and I believe that this is a serious issue.

How many times have you gotten distracted from a phone call because of a text message, and gotten distracted from texting someone when you get a Facebook notification? Not to mention if you are writing a paper or reading a book, and your phone goes off. We talked in class about how most people may wait until the end of the sentence, the paragraph, or the page before looking at their phone, but let’s be honest; there are those of us who will drop that book like it’s on fire to answer even the most mundane of text messages. Is this a problem? Could this be a new form of technological ADD? In classes, more and more students on college campuses can be seen with computers, and of those students with computers, how many are taking notes, and how many are surfing the web?

“Opponents of social networking say that the sites prevent face-to-face communication; waste time on frivolous activity; alter children’s brains and behavior making them more prone to ADHD; expose users to predators like pedophiles and burglars; and spread false and potentially dangerous information.”(“Procon.org”)

6.Society must realize that technology has allowed Americans to become accustomed to “instant gratification,” specifically where video games and Google are concerned.

This is something that I have been thinking about since we discussed it in class a few days ago. Google is a good example of this because it is something that everyone will use at one point in time or another. We all agreed in class that Google is a good search engine because it’s algorithm comes up with results that we want, and FAST. I’m not talking a minute or two, I’m talking about a few seconds – that is fast. And when it doesn’t immediately report back with the results of your query, there is obviously something seriously wrong with the search engine, your computer, or the internet. Is this a problem? Are we becoming spoiled with search engines and computers that give us everything that we want as quickly as we can type it in a search bar? The idea of instant gratification is a concerning one for me, because with instant gratification that computers bring, there also comes the idea that human interaction does not have that same component. Are computers better at knowing what we want than other people? Are they better equipped to give it to us?

“Social networking sites harm employees' productivity. 51% of people aged 25-34 accessed social media while at work. [147] Two-thirds of US workers with Facebook accounts access the site during work hours[107] Even spending just 30 minutes a day on social media while at work would cost a 50-person company 6,500 hours of productivity a year. [108] 51% of American workers think work productivity suffers because of social media. [109]”(Procon.org”)

References:
1. Giangrande, Gregory. "Go to Greg." New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc., 23 2012. Web. 18 Dec 2012. <http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/jobs/go_to_greg_4XU6BfltuaTViU1Qsti3KO>.
2. . "Social Networking." ProCon.org. Procon.org, 12 2012. Web. 18 Dec 2012. <http://socialnetworking.procon.org/
3. Rustum, Roy. "The Relationship of Technology To Science and the Teaching of Technology." Journal of Technology Education. 1.2 (1990): n. page. Print. <http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v1n2/html/roy.html>.