Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Increasing concerns about the consequences of excessive technology use

In recent years, some people have become skeptical about the role of technology like Facebook orTwitter and in some cases, the role of private companies and their influence on our lives and our digital identity.

  • Here is a TEDtalk on the concern of "overcustomization" of information that we see, not under our control though, but from the decisions of some companies (e.g., Google, Facebook) to select only the information that they think we like to see. For example, people who have affinity for travel are more likely to receive results related to resorts, travel destinations when type in a country name in Google. On the other hand, people whseems o are more politically inclined may see results related to a recent unrest in that country. Essentially, the overcustomization makes us become narrower and narrower to just a bubble that is full of ourselves. This does not sound like a good thing and to defeat the original purpose of the Internet.

  • Here is an article in the New York Times on the concern of an overuse of social media like Facebook and Twitter. The obvious drawback is "distractions". However, there are more grave concerns when it comes to young adults' over-reliance of Tweets (140 characters) for news. The concern is "We may raise a generation that has information but no context ... Craving but no longing." Indeed, this is a very serious concern.

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