Question Responses: Yeaman, Postman, Borgman

1. Critical Theory – a way of looking at and analyzing society through various lenses, such as technology and history, to develop a perspective way of interpreting it [society].

1) society,  2) subjective,  3) analysis,  4) interpretation,  5) new

2. I think that both Yeaman and Postman’s statements can be true, but that it is a very subjective statement to make.  I think that you could find people who wholly agreed or disagreed with these statements.  Unfortunately, we find that those who are least adept to using technology assume the first statement that all technology is guilty until proven innocent and would assume that most technology will end up being a burden for them.  Those who are technically savvy think that most new technologies will be a blessing, even if they take a little getting used to.

To many, Google is a blessing and allows us to access a great deal of information.  However, if you asked my school’s librarian she might look at Google as a burden because it’s not the way that students should be researching or finding information.  Our access to information as a whole and how technology has impacted that is certainly a blessing and a curse.  In 2007 my mom went into the hospital with very odd symptoms that the doctors couldn’t put together to come up with a diagnosis.  My sister went home and did some research and found a few possibilities based on the symptoms.  Since the hospital couldn’t diagnose my mom they sent her to University of Maryland Medical Center up here in Baltimore where they diagnosed her with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a very rare neurological disorder that affects only 1 in 100,000 people.  GBS was at the top of my sister’s list of possible diagnoses.  Once the diagnosis was final at UM, I spent much of my time researching the disease and possible ways of treating it, scaring myself because death was very possible based on my mom’s condition at the time and reading that there is no cure.  In this particular situation I felt that technology and my access to information was a blessing because I was able to find out more information about the disease and what to expect, but it was also a curse because I was reading about the terrible prognosis that could be in my mom’s future.  There was information that I was able to access that I wished I hadn’t read…

3. Like I said in my earlier post, Borgman was confusing to me.  I’ll be reacting to this statement the way I interpret it, if it’s wrong – sorry!  I think that technology has made us a society that is less inclined to face-to-face interaction.  I much prefer to email someone that talk to them face to face or call them.  I have friends that I only text, never call.  However, if text wasn’t available I might never talk to these friends.  We often put machinery in place of physical interactions with one another, though I think many of us understand the difference between these types of interactions and how much more meaningful things can be in person.  How many of us get to experience receiving a hand written letter sent through the post office anymore.  In comparison to years past, these types of interactions have become much less.  On the other hand, it also makes these interactions more memorable.  (Most of us could probably recall the last piece of mail we got that was hand addressed and hand written and not just filled out on the inside of a greeting card, however, I would guess that few of us could recall the last email we read or even who it was from).  So while devices decrease these pretechnological actions, they tend to increase how significant they are to us.

I do think it is a goal of those who create new technologies to have their audience enamored with them and to allow them to take over their lives as many of us often let technology do.  We lose contact with those who are not up to date with emailing and texting, but the invention of email or the like was not intended to break those friendships, but to make them span across more miles than previously allowed.

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2 responses to “Question Responses: Yeaman, Postman, Borgman

  1. (Sorry. I posted this to the wrong entry. I am now posting it to the correct entry…)

    Hi, Erin,

    Very interesting what you wrote about texting your friends. I have a colleague who keeps in touch with other professors in her field through Facebook. She says she would otherwise talk to these folks about every few years at a conference or something of that nature. We think of Facebook as a social networking site. It’s almost a professional networking site for her.

    Best,

    Andy

  2. I am in the same boat with regard to communicating with various individuals via email versus phone, face-to-face communication, etc. There is no way I could stay in touch with the number of friends I have without being able to email or IM them. If these technologies did not exist, I would probably be out of touch with anyone outside of a 10-mile radius from me. I suppose written correspondence would still exist, but considering that delivery and response adds at least a week or two, it would be improbable to know what’s going on at the present time with your friend.

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