Future of Communication Media

“Tomorrow’s world: A guide to the next 150 years,” is the title of the info graphic and it basically is a timeline for the next 150 years  and “predictions made by scientists, politicians, journalists, bloggers and other assorted pundits in recent years about the shape of the world from 2013 to 2150” (BBC). I think what is interesting though about this info graphic is how it is set up because it has different color coded predictions based on things like technology, business, science, computing and robotics, and, society. BBC FUTURE_non-editable-flat

It is about IBM’s vision for the future of technologies like computers or phones and how they will be able to use the five senses touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell.  In the article it goes through each of the five senses and how things like computers will be changed and what will be the benefits to us, the users. Which I know has been something that people have been talking about for quite some time on how to break the barriers of like a computer or phone screen to make these technologies interactive.

But I think the craziest thing is that IBM is predicting that these technologies that will have the interactive ability to be her by the year 2018, which is in just five years!!! Crazy to think that their is a possibility of some of these inventions etc. could potentially come true. I know some of the predictions or inventions may seem a little out there or not possible at all but I think that is part of the fun of making these predictions and why we do it. To see what is really going to come true, how far out there are we willing to think.

The predictions are put onto one of two sides based on either how likely or not likely the predictions are to come true. What I think really caught my eye though was how with certain predictions that are given they link to it either leading to a dystopia or a utopia. Mentions of a utopia made me think of the Langdon Winner piece “Mythinformation.” Some of the predictions made in the info graphic line up with the utopian promises in the new age that Winner talks about in the article such a interactive aspect of technology and things that make our lives easier like electronic banking.

-Stephanie Benner

Are new technologies promoting racism?

Racism in Technology 

 

As technology evolves so does everything (culturally) surrounding it. The way we communicate changes because the way we have interacted with our communication device has changed. We can now say what we please on the internet and have seemingly no consequences. People can be inspiring and cheerful, spread messages of love and joy, and promote philanthropy and kindness. People can also promote hate, bigotry, racism and other types of nasty beliefs openly. This rise of racism on the internet has increased dramatically with the new forums people can write on. Many people may read this and think, “oh well no one would actually say that”, and I would have agreed– until ten minutes ago. By simply typing in the word “racist” in to my unused Twitter account an alarming number of accounts popped up. “The Funny Racist” , “Not Racist, But…”, and “Racist Jokes” are some of the least offensive of the 50+ results. 

 

Why is this okay? I am all for supporting the First Amendment but at what point must a line be drawn? Or how can we make people more aware of the hate messages they are sending? These technologies we created have just created another forum for people to spread nasty messages. People would be alarmed and outraged if a racist message was plastered above the fold of a daily newspaper, yet on the internet it is the norm. There needs to be a set of standards (or at least consequences) for people spreading these beliefs. 

 

With every use of technology (or anything, really) there are going to be those who abuse it as well. It is unrealistic to say that any internet provider should be held responsible for everything opinion posted on their site. This consequently puts the responsibility in the hands of the readers. If there is something promoting racism on the internet, leave the site. If you are willing and able, a complaint could have an effect. 

 

Grace Marlette

Are We Being Driven Apart?

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There are some who believe that technology is driving us apart, instead of bringing us together as others might believe.  Although there is that constant feeling of being connected while online, for those not “plugged in” it can feel very lonely on the outside looking in.  In an article by Turkle “Alone Together” a 15 year-old girl was quoted as saying “My cell phone, is my only individual zone, just for me.”

Although there are many who would say that technology has brought us together by providing different means of communication that above quote kind of changes that.  How close can we be if a child’s cell phone is where she feels most comfortable?  The fact that she feels most comfortable with her cell phone instead of with a friend or family member goes to what  Dr Rowan Williams , discusses in “The Telegraph” when he speaks on the growing obsession with social media, and the fact that its is creating “transient relationships” as well as “dehumanising” community.

In an article written by Loretta LaRoche for Enterprise News she is quoted as saying “It also becomes difficult to have face-to-face communications. Much of the technology today isolates us rather than brings us together.”  We are isolated in our one-on-one time with the technology that we are interacting with.  We no longer focus on those around us when we are engaged in our technologies leaving us separated from one another.

Now the question comes: Are we being separated by technology or brought together by it?

-Allisha Hemingway

Rejecting Technology?

Here is an image taken in the Amazon of a local surfing the web. Embracing technology, instead of rejecting it.

Rejecting Technology

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Is rejecting technology achievable? In my world the use of the web, cell phones, apps, and iPads, seem to make rejecting technology impossible. I have always been curious to find out who in this technology-based culture just does not use it or is completely against it. Would it be people living on the Amazon or in Ghana that do not use any technology? Well I can answer those questions from personal observation: no. Having been on a riverboat down the Amazon in Manaus, Brazil, I have seen both of my tour guides using their iPads to get on facebook and surf the web. I am thinking how in the world did they get wifi?

In Ghana I thought I would not see any technology use, but boy was I wrong. In a tiny village called Senase, I happened to be asked multiple times for my name so that the Ghanaian people can find me on facebook on their tiny nokia phones. Thinking back to those tiny nokia phones, I wonder how strained their eyes must be from strolling through their FB homepages on the tiny screens.

Anyway, those are just cases of places that use technology that may not be as advanced as our country but are moving with the times. Cultures that reject technology have exceptions of course. Let’s take a look at the Amish Society. According to the article, Amish Studies, “The Amish do not consider technology evil in itself but they believe that technology, if left untamed, will undermine worthy traditions and accelerate assimilation into the surrounding society.” This balance of respecting traditions and beliefs combined with today’s fast-paced moving society creates a compromise that many religious groups need to find.

Overall rejection of technology seems severe, doesn’t it? Yes one has rules to unplug after work, focus on the family, and have “relaxing time”. But to wake up in the morning and go about your day without touching a piece of technology seems a bit unrealistic. Is it possible? I think it depends on the job and circumstances. Today, for example, the profession of a doctor, teacher, editor, and sports coach relies on using some sort of technology. Whether it is a computer to update a patient’s chart or a cell phone to call players about a cancelled practice, technology is used.

Rejection of a type of technology is not uncommon. Surveying coworkers, I have found out that many have at least one source of technology that they refuse to use based on many reasons. These consist of twitter, instagram, facebook, and personally for myself I do not use foursquare. In the future people will continue to reject technology, but by what amount continues to vary.

 

By: Loren Springsteen