Friday, November 14, 2008

Questions I Wonder About

It has been 15 years since I wrote my Master's thesis on the implications of the Internet for media convergence and control. If I were back in journalism school today, I would be asking:

Is the written word more or less powerful today? Is the message being lost in the media?

Are people more or less manipulated by media and pop culture today? Has television and the Web made people more or less sensitive to design and aesthetics today?

From information and entertainment consumers to "prosumers." Will this trend last?
What has been lost because of this trend?

Does broader access to information mean more shallow understanding overall? Less critical thinking? Does having information at your fingertips mean more or less thought and inquiry?

Does anytime, anywhere communications detract from relationships with the people who are physically present? What are technologies like instant messaging and Twitter doing to reflection?

What percentage of Web sites really say anything vs. just creating a Web presence or projecting an image? Does this matter?

Is posting to an online forum "being heard" or just the illusion of an audience? How much real dialogue occurs? Why?

Was the letter that took a week to reach its recipient more valued than today's instant emails and messages?

Does the ability to find like-minded people through a global, online community reduce one's concern for reconciling, understanding, and dialoguing with those around us?

Is the culture splintering to the point that it will become atomized?

Of course, most of these questions could be argued either way.

1 comment:

Lois K. Feibus said...

As I read your questions, Deborah, I ask a few questions, myself.

Is this techno-thing a trend or is it in fact, an evolution?

Has the tool become more important than the message?

Has the concept of communication become completely devoid of humanity?

When calculators became the mainstay of mathematics classrooms, kids stopped having to think about addition, subtractiion, multiplication and division.

Today, my colleagues confront the issues, that kids cannot spell, they cannot write, and have not, in middle school mastered the keyboard.

Hence, is the entire aspect of communication being lost?

Will we ever get that back?

Must we buy and master every piece of technology that becomes available?

Must we accept or even entertain the idea, that technology may be becoming a synomym for pedogogy?