Team 2 Synthesis

Angela Kim:
During class, we went over chapters 10-12 of Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants. We first discussed Question 4, which talked about our addiction with technology/the technium. Most people agreed that we were addicted the technology, although it does depend on personal choice in the end. We seem to have more control over what we buy personally, which then gives us more freedom - or does it? We discussed our personal addictions and tried to figure out why exactly we are so addicted to technology. I think that because the world around us (of course not every country or area) is so fast-paced and always progressing, we feel the need to keep up - for the most part. Many people said that they didn't really care too much about the next best thing as long as they were content. Reasons may be because they are already satisfied or cost issues or others. We brought up the recent iOS7 and how people didn't want to upgrade as well as the new iPhone 5s/5c. It's interesting to think that we may be getting over the hype of shiny new technology, especially if the upgrades and gadgets aren't too different or attention-grabbing.

This discussion seemed to tie into the topic of freedom, which was discussed in Question 2. We didn't strictly stick to the question; we veered off into a discussion about other areas of freedom. We did begin the topic with the differences between the Amish and non-Amish. There are two different forms of "freedom" and those were discussed as well (we are free to use technology, but within that freedom, we are confined by the very technology we choose). We spent a good amount of time talking about the X-box One and how the government would be able to basically monitor us and see what we did. I think that this is a good example of how our technology restricts our freedom. It was also an interesting topic to me because it also relates to the issue of privacy - how we enable others to know everything about us (which is essentially what the Internet does), but we become paranoid and angry when our 'privacy' is breached. It's interesting to see how willing we are to continue to develop new technology that may be foreign to us, yet still be wary of it at the same time.

Jonathan Lutton

I thought our discussion concerning technological addiction was one of the more interesting segments from this past Tuesday’s class. We can become addicted to technology for any number of reasons: a desire for that wondrous biological boost of dopamine; the belief that new technology is a symbol of status; and even a desire to remain “connected” to everyone so that you never have to feel alone. The fact of the matter is that in one way or another everyone who engages in the technium becomes addicted in some way to something it has to offer—whether it comes in the form of tweeting 100+ times a day to all your “friends” or simply the excitement of refreshing the webpage.

I would agree that I’m addicted to technology just like everyone else. I have been known to spend hours out of my day “plugged in” to social media, forums, and image boards (refresh, refresh, etc…) sometimes even simultaneously. I know that these things are basically useless to me and yet I’m drawn back—like everyone else—to check in almost compulsorily. There comes a time when I draw a line in the sand, however. I give in to my need for information consumption on an almost daily basis, but there are different ways of thinking about it. Wasting time for the sake of wasting time is just that, a useless conscious effort. (Ah yes, procrastination, I know thee well.) On the other hand, you can try to waste time efficiently by consciously attempting to place your time towards something you actually enjoy. The total amount of time that you spend a week online doing nothing of redeeming value for a dopamine boost could be spent learning a new skill or organizing your music (both things which will provide the same dopamine boost, though not immediately). I guess that is really what we want from our addiction: immediacy. Why place our efforts towards improvement or efficiency when we could immediately gain it from a useless means online? This is an issue that plagues many people on a daily basis, and hopefully we'll be able to overcome it for good in the near future, as the alternative to productively using our time seems rather dismal.