Team 2 Synthesis

In our discussion on Monday we touched on all four of the questions we asked as well as their responses. We were even able to tie in one of our keywords and ask a question inspired by it as well as the reading.

We decided to start with question 1 because it got the most responses. While we have touched on reading with distractions before in class, we thought it pertinent to include this question because chapter 4 focuses so much on how books developed. As a class we were able to narrow our answer to the question down. We decided that distractions are good in small amounts like music playing or having the TV on. It seemed like most people thought that having no distractions would be worse and would cause the mind to wander more.

The conversation just naturally progressed into question 2 and how we feel about new technology. Most people don’t think that we are scared of new technology like Carr suggested when citing the letterpress. It did seem however, that most people are resistant to changing some of their technologies but I could not really tell why. I got the sense that people are just used to a certain type of phone or computer and don’t really want to upgrade. Maybe because of an emotional attachment? I would have liked to figure out exactly why people were somewhat hesitant to change to a new technology.

Question 3 seemed pretty popular and the responses were very divided as to whether there was a strong correlation between TV and Internet use. Overall, it seemed like the majority of people did see a correlation, at least in their own use. Some people, like Amy and Rosalie, did not have much of a correlation, which we decided was because of their past TV use. Overall, as a class we decided that watching TV or using the Internet allow us to kill time, most likely with pointless shows or articles.

We did not get much feedback on question 4 in class or on the wiki. However, we did touch on it in class and focused more on the future of mediums rather than the changes that have taken place. There were some crazy ideas brought up about where technology is headed and that led to a discussion about personalization. I don’t think we really came to a decision on whether things are more personal now or not, but the idea was thrown out there.

The last thing we discussed was one of our keywords and a question that came out of it. I think we all agreed with Carr that the medium is almost as important as the message. As a class we seemed to be more open to ads from the Internet versus the TV. We said it is because ads on the Internet are more personal—more directed at us.

I was pleased we were able to cover all of our questions as well as one of keywords and get new input on the questions as well as the responses.

MC Hawes

I was happy to see people engaged in our discussion and adding their own experiences. I believe that sharing our experiences of technology not only outlines how we have adapted to new technological mediums, but how our society has adapted as well.

We attempted to provide questions that made the class think about how the ideas presented in Carr’s chapters related to their lives. What I did not expect, however, was that I would rethink this relation when listening to the responses in class. Several times during the discussion I was introduced to a new perspective on how to look at our situation with technology.

I learned the most when reading over the wiki answers. I found my classmate’s responses interesting, and getting a chance to hear it straight from them during the discussion was even better. There were many times while reading the responses to question 1 where I highlighted sections that I found note-worthy. I think the class got a good sense, whether personal or general, on what constitutes a “distraction”.

Question 2 and 4, though from separate chapters, all tied into what technology means to us in the past, present, and future. Obviously people had the most to say about the present (question 2), but I liked hearing about how we got to where we are now, and where we think we are going in the future. The class was unable to tell me what the future holds for technology (not that I expect anyone could), but they gave me a new sense on the goals of new technology.

Question 3 sparked a lot of discussion both on the wiki and in class. I think that the students gained a lot of insight on what the TV and Internet means to the public that uses them. Overall, it was great to get through all the questions and some keywords without straying too far away from the chapters. I do not believe I am alone is saying that in listening to the class, I have a much better idea of the significance of Carr’s points in chapters 4 and 5.

John Del Terzo

Our discussion on Monday covered all four discussion questions posted earlier on the Wiki as well as roped in the keywords we defined from our readings. Although there was a lot covered through classmates’ answers and discourse in class, I felt that our discussion revolved significantly around one medium of technology – the cell phone.

We started class with the most popular discussion question, 1, and it was here that our discussion turned heavily to cell phones. After being a part the discussion leading group, I have noticed that many of our discussions deter to the use and advancements of the cell phone, reflecting Carr’s work on our dependencies on technology and the level of our superficiality. It was, however, interesting to see that even though we relate many of our technological awareness to the cell phone, our age group is still quite “traditional” in other manners.

With our discussion referring to question two, we learnt that many of our classmates are still very avid “readers-for-fun” who value the print technologies and aren’t completely comfortable with ereaders, ebooks and other electronic forms of literature. Although we are a generation who has grown with the advancements in technology, I have a feeling that our dependencies on technology are selective and primarily recreational. Many of our classmates shared their struggles with holding on to older models of cell phones and their reliance on books and the library still as important sources of knowledge and entertainment.

When referring to Carr’s correlation between television watchers and internet users, we saw a strong divide in our classmates as some had absolutely no relevance to this point made by Carr while others strongly practice the same habits. It was interesting to see that people who grow up against the same technological background have been able to steer away from dependency on their advancements’ and still lived in a culture heavily engrossed in it in terms of education and socialization.

Another point that was brought up on Monday was the change in social norms with technological advancements that have connected, isolated and ultimately made us selective social beings now. With Facebook’s events page and “check-in” apps on Twitter and other mobile devices, it’s easy to know where people are, with whom they are with, and what they are doing but all from the comforts of your couch on your laptop. Overall, I think we concluded that as a generation of several advancements and creations, we have learnt to embrace (a key word of our discussion) it but also recognize the significance of living without them.

Minni Gupta