Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Castells, Manuel. The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society". New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Cotten, Sheila R. "Students' Technology Use and the Impacts on Well-Being" Wiley Periodicals 124 (2008). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Wiley InterScience. New Directions for Student Services. Winter 2008.

Dyson, Esther. "Curating Yourself Online" Technology Review 114.4 (2008): 12-13. EbscoHost. Academic Search Complete. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. July 2008.

Ellis, Ryan K. "Technology for Evil" Training & Development 54.11 (2000): 33. EbscoHost. Academic Search Complete. American Society for Training & Development. Nov 2008.

Tucker, Patrick. "Hooked Up or Just Hooked" The Futurist 43.2 (2009): 16-17. EbscoHost. Academic Search Complete. Consumer Electronics Association. Mar/Apr 2009.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Freedom of Technology

Technology has created many ways for people to be free. For instance, long after it had been emerged in society, the phonograph gave peolpe the freedom of recording whatever they liked whether it was a love message or a song. Technology has given society access to a large range of things giving them an infinite possibility of creating new ideas. It has also open doors to many innovative ideas and creations.

The freedom that Internet has offered to society has its advantages and disadvantages. Internet is limitless, infinite, and provides endless possibilities. People are capable of doing practically anything, and they are also capable of writing anything they wanted. In result of this, people tend to give misleading informatoin. In an academic perspective, it is very disadvantageous considering the Internet and technology is growing in exponential times. Today, students are likely to search up their information on the Internet rather than going to the school library. Unless if a student was searching through an academic-certified article search database, they wouldn't know whether their information was adequate or accurate. Therefore, the Internet becomes an unreliable source.

The Internet basically allows on to do anything they want to do. The greatest example is piracy. Once an information or data enters the computer system, anyone is able to defer or share that data and spread it across the world. For example, if one imported their Spice Girls album onto the computer without realizing that he/she kept their music player (i.e. iTunes) sharing options "on", anyone around can easily download that previously imported Spice Girls music without notifying the initial user. Therefore, the user wouldn't even know that their music data is being taken/downloaded by someone else.

The major consequence of all this drama is the fact that technology makes people believe there is always a way to get through things 10 times easier, faster, and simpler.

Overall, technology has not only given a bad influence upon our society, but it has also given the potential to destroy our humanity. In other terms, it has the capabilities of turning our world into something like Orwell's world, if technology was to invade every part of our life. There are several lessons to be learned about the effects of technology, however scientists are highly passionate about how the world works with a simple click that they do not see the dangers and risks it puts on our society and future. The world is shaping through technology and is, in most areas, getting worse.

A Growing Invasion of our Privacy

Internet has created several ways for information to spread out all over the world. In areas such as a global crisis (economics or simply news), this ability is highly useful and practical. In other areas such as online activities, it is unfortunate. One's privacy is invaded. For webpages where you can post your profile along with your pictures, anyone is able to access them, take control of them, or even keep a copy of it by simply right-clicking and selecting "Copy".

When one's information is put into the Internet, it is spread out into the network and it becomes hard to keep things secret.

Social Networks such as Facebook is an easy access for anyone random to search your information unless one's profile is set to private. However, there's always a way to get around. People somehow still manage to find their way through the system. In other terms, it becomes easy to stalk someone you saw at the grocery store by the sole informatoin of his/her full name.

Internet has given the world easy access to anything possible. In other words, anything is possible.

In Georges Orwell's 1984, he forecasts the future. The novel is simply Orwell's imaginative consequence of a world working its way up in technology, such as our world today. In his novel, technology has found a way to control society and dominate it. Privacy is no longer a virtue in Orwell's novel.

In addition, today, web companies are able to pick up our activities, interests, and online searches through surveillance on our browsing sites. For instance, if someone often checks up on fashion clothing, many of the subsequent advertisements that appear on their computer will be of fashion clothes.

The Network/Internet Age

Internet is a virtual reality. Practically, anything is possible. When the Internet had just emerged, people were taking advantage of the E-Mail. It was easy for a person to send a virtual mail to their friend across the world in two seconds. The Internet and the telephone are two of the many technology machines that have provoked the biggest impacts.

As mentioned in a previous entry, people, mostly teenagers, tend to fake their identities in the network. Teenagers are more likely to do so because they are at the age where they are constantly trying to find their true identity based on communities, friends, and social life. "Moreover, a great deal of attention has been focused on social exchanges based on fake identities and role playing"(Castells, 2001).

The Internet has created many online activities such as online gaming, instant messaging, emailing, and Facebook, that it is slowly creating a loss in the social environment. It is eliminating outdoor social activities (i.e. biking, swimming, going out to the movies). It is also creating a downfall in the communication in the household. For instance, my weeknights after dinner used to consist of watching TV with my family. However, today, it consists of surfing on the Internet pointlessly or instant-messaging with a friend. People are finding social communication from out of their normal range. Instead of creating strong commmunication ties with their close family and friends, they tend to find social networks beyond their location and reach. Manual Castells, writer of the book The Internet Galaxy, mentions about the Internet and identity: "Reality seems to be that many, probably most social users of computer mediated communication create on-line selves consistent with their off-line identities" (Castells, 2001).

Psychologically, over the years, studies have shown that Internet or computer users have influenced an higher depression and loneliness; and therefore, a social breakdown. It has also created a new stereotype; computer nerd. This stereotype is identifiable by a person who spends an enormous amount of hours in front of the computer screen either playing video games or figuring ways to hack the system. They are also identified as having "no life"; in other words, having no social life because they are often home in their room for long periods of hours. The highest Internet activity that has the greatest impact on people's well-being is considered to be games (i.e. Starcraft, World of Warcraft) with a decline of social contact; often remaining in their room, constantly playing game for several hours.

Children today are growing up in a society that is forming a gap between people's social interaction. It's dangerous because all the little children are growing up to do what we do; less outings, more indoor computer activities. Therefore, the later generations will live in a world unsaturated of social interaction. For instance, instead of going out with friends to play soccer at the nearest park, children will rather choose to play online games with their friends because it simplifies things, and in addition, it equally satisfies their need or want. Many people believe playing online interactive games and instant-messaging is a social activity; however, it is only an artificial social life that people are creating and mistaking for.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Artificial "Self"

Online activites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo have made a drastic influence on people's social lives. Not only does technology weaken communication ties, but online activities have provoked a confusion of one's "self". According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the "self" is defined as "the union of elements (as body, emotions, thought, and sensations) that constitutes the individuality and identity of a person". Ideologies, thoughts, emotions, personality is what an identity consists of. Without the previously named aspects, a person wouldn't be identifiable and would have no identity of their own. With the unfortunate help of the Internet, people, especially teenagers growing in our technology-concentrated society, tend to create another "self" online. In simpler terms, when people create a profile for themselves, sometimes they will write information that might seem presentable or attractive to others. They would also pretend to be someone who they are NOT; in order to be someone who they WANT to be. In addition, those who are normally quiet in class, at work, or at home, can easily look like a party person on the computer according to their profile and pictures they've uploaded for the public to see. In result, people create an artificial identity, and this also creates a confusion for people today. The more we are prone to writing fake information about ourselves, the more we become distanced from our own self. We start to lose our identity and we start to question ourselves "Who are we?", "Who am I?".

The Internet is a world where people can create themselves. They can get away with anything. Also, it is a world where people can escape to. To go in further details, people today can easily get access to songs for free by simply downloading it illegally. Also, they can get any other computer applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word by again simply hacking a full version online. This has affected many companies (Apple, Adobe, Microsoft) and also many artists.

Technology's Social Impact and Forecasting the Future

Technology has created many conflicts. Its impacts are numerous. It ranges from psychological to social problems. People tend to rely on technology and it has given people access to an easier alternative to their difficult problems. People who has a hard time getting a job done, technology will help by creating simpler ways to get to it. In consequence, society rely more on technology than they will trust humans. There is too much dependency on machines that it can possibly make people become idle and their physicality would have a chance of decreasing. In addition, all sorts of technologies, ranging from an MP3 player to a computer, have become essential items for teenagers in our society today. Many teenagers today are faced with problems such as a lack of self-confidence, a lack of privacy, a decrease in academic standings, and many more. Although several students find that technology is essential and useful in a scholarly life, some may be affected by online applications such as instant-messaging. Students claim that it has given a negative affect on their reading and writing skills. Moreover, with the power of instant-messaging, people are creating new words that are quickly integrating in society. Even if these words were invented through technology, the majority of society today will recognize it. For instance, "lol" is an expression to imply "laughing out loud". In the novel 1984, Georges Orwell explains how the world has turned into a technological society and how it has invaded people's lives. Also, he creates in the story a language called "Newspeak", in which the citizens are forced to employ in their everyday conversations. The language simply eliminates all verbs and creates shorter sentences leaving only the necessary words and combining them to create simpler means. The world is more simplified, even in thought.

Furthermore, due to the number of machines multiplying in factories, people are thrown back into the streets and are left with no jobs. Therefore, technology can provoke a increase in unemployment. In addition, there are dangers to the development of technology. Online activities such as Lavalife, Facebook, and MySpace can induce dangerous consequences such as stalkers, rape, harassment, and others. These online activities can cause dangerous problems because of the lack of privacy in the Internet world.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

History of technology and its shift in purpose

The advancement of technology has always helped humans live better lives. Every year, scientists come up with new machines and new ideas that will open doors to many opportunities. Although technology creates great inventions such as factory machines or a cure for illnesses, technology has its bad aspects. Over the years, it has slowly been creating a decrease in social interaction; and the faster technology improves, the greater the gap between people's social lives among others. Technology has been seen in different ways throughout history. In the beginning, it was seen as a great innovation that would advance life to a better world. People did not forecast any bad consequences. It was astonishing to them, after the invention of the phonograph, that people were actually able to materialize their voices and have them in their hands. Today, technology can be seen as the devil in people's social life. Not only is it creating a gap, but it is also creating psychological problems (loneliness, stress, lack of self-confidence, etc)

In the nineteenth century, Thomas Edison built the phonograph. It was one of the greatest inventions in history because people were finally able to record their voices and it would be the predecessor of telegraphs, telephones, and recorders. However, today, technology is seen as a way of distancing people's social lives. When the telephone was first invented, its main purpose was for people to contact their loved ones or for long-distance calls. Years later, the telephone would be used for various purposes. Over time, it created larger problems such as creating an isolated society. For instance, Thomas Edison proposed to his wife Mina over the telegraph. He once mentioned that one day, people would be able to stay at their locations and give business conference meetings by sending out a recorded message to each business person. Already, there is a hunt that the society would distance itself.