Discussion Activity 01

In Topic 1, The Information Society, there is a lot made of the ever-growing pervasive nature of technology in our culture and cultures around the World. If you spend some time reading through the course readings you’ll notice how quickly we have changed from a farming society, to an industrial one, and now to an information-driven society … as those shifts have happened, we’ve seen a crazy amount of technologies emerge that are so tightly tied to our everyday existance its actually impossible to seperate it all.

Everything — and I mean everything — is so tightly integrated with technology at one level or another we are using it at all times. From email, to eCommerce, to networks, to cell phones it is just a part of who we are … as a matter of fact our whole “iPod in Education” thread from the last several days is a powerful example of what this topic is getting at — we have changed and our expectations center on instant access and total, pervasive connectivity. Take a look at the readings and post your response here and if someone upsets you with their ideas, tell us (and them) why … make sure you tell us who you are … remember these are graded. Take a look at the rubric here before you post so you understand my expectations.

Discussion Activity

How do you think this increased connectedness is going to impact us as a society? Consider and discuss both the positive and negative aspects of this change.

48 thoughts on “Discussion Activity 01

  1. I think as a society, we have already begun to see the makings of what we will become and, to some extent, have already become. In my opinion, the United States is the world leader in procrastinating and impatience.

    Really these two ideas go hand-in-hand. I mean, think about it, if it weren’t for our dependence on “up-to-the-minute” technology, we wouldn’t be able to procrastinate.

    America, as a whole, is infecting the world with the help of globalization. Since the “ground-breaking” work of CNN in the first Gulf War, Americans can’t even wait for war stories to be telephoned back to our homeland. Even when we declare war on a country, we come after them with our troops, but ask for motel and hotel rooms for OUR reporters to stay. Yet, we get upset when reporters are held hostage and in some cases even killed: it’s the society’s fault as a whole.

    But yet, this technology has a tremendous upside. It is supposed to make our lives easier and give us answers when we want them. No longer do I have to wait to see how much PSU is losing by…or how many interceptions or Championship games McNabb has throw/lost, when I’m working. I’ll simply call my cell and ask the “person” on the line what is the score.

    Finally, the internet is becoming the educationally tool that most dreamed of and Al Gore “invented”. In my first years at PSU, we were encouraged to not use the internet for our research, but I don’t hear that so much anymore.

    To wrap this up: technology isn’t bad or good, but it is a powerful tool. If used in the “right” way (education, medicine, times of war, etc.), the Information Society will mean more than the Industrial Society in the history books and we will become the Jetsons. However, if Information Policy makes its way to the back burner and we throw caution to the wind, technology will become the weapon in a world based on “the survival of the fittest”.

  2. Without a doubt the vast changes in technology in recent history have molded and will continue to change our society in immense ways. It wasn’t so long ago that cell phones were more of a rarety for people in our age group. Now they are so common place, every third person you pass on the way to class is talking on one. The increasing availability of technology and the versatility that technology allows us is placing great amounts of information right at our fingertips, but with such connectivity, there are inevitable drawbacks as well.

    The internet is clearly one of the most profound advances in technology in terms of communication and information flow. If I have a question about something, or am looking for information on a topic for class, all I have to do is run a search on Google. Technology like this is extremely advantageous for educational purposes, but if Information policy isn’t constantly being revised and regulated, this technology can quickly become a double-edged sword. Privacy threats such as spyware, viruses and scams are commonplace, not to mention bills such as the U.S. Patriot Act which if not carefully applied could lead to privacy violations as well.

    It’s hard to predict how exactly our society will be affected by all this advancement, but with technology bridging the gaps between continents and global trade and cultural awareness increasing, there are sure to be big changes. Maybe this will help countries to work together more often and more efficiently.

    I agree with Mike’s post above in that Information Policy is the key to technology improving our society. As long as we are aware of it’s importance and remain vigilant in adapting it to keep up with the high speed that technology is changing, there are few limitations to what we can accomplish.

  3. Like everything else, technology has a flip side to it. I believe that all our technical advancements are great. With the way it’s evolving we may find ways to help the poor, sick, change war forever, and even cure some of our most feared diseases. The bad thing is that human beings will always use what’s around them for their own personal gain. So I fear that there will eventually be a race between countries to develop the most powerful technilogical weapons, worst than nuclear and chemical weapons.

    With our new technology we will eventually have the world literally at our feet. We may one day be able to travel without the use of planes,cars, trains etc. and if we don’t reach the Star Trek version of “beem me up Scotty” then our vehicles will be much faster and a person or family could travel anywhere in the world in there own personal vehicle in a matter of hours.

    I think technology is very fascinating and I can’t wait to see what is developed next but I also don’t want to see what else we do or create that will end up ending the world literally.

  4. Society already depends heavily on the use of technology. It is impossible for anyone, whether they like it or not, to go a day without coming in contact with some type of computer generated device.

    We all know, most from experience, that computers tend to crash. With these frequent advances and society depending so heavily on them, all it will take is for a single operating system to go down, and we will be back in the times of “The Great Depression.”

    On the positive side, these advances in technology could help society in the long run. Like Isiah stated, it could possibly help the poor and the sick, which will be a great benefit to society. These advances will help us to better our education and make life more of a breeze as long as people do not try to abuse them.

  5. In 1969 when Arpanet, the first “internet” of our time, was created, it was being developed for one purpose: military use. After years of expansion and development, the internet, personal computers and technology has changed drastically into the most depended upon tool in our society. Business meetings are held with video conference instead of flying employees around the world, purchases are made online, and the world has become a single market. Without the technology that we have today, we could not function at the speed at which we now “need to”. However, we must remember that technological growth does not only mean the development of such instruments as palm pilots and computer software.

    Most people with a computer know how great they can be. The games, the online activities, the ability to talk with friends the list can go on and on. However, with every technological growth that we see and are able to purchase, there must be so much more that is still unavailable. Remember, the internet was created for military reasons. This may be a stretch of an example, but consider a stealth bomber. At the time, the bomber was said to, “Bring massive firepower to bear, in a short time, anywhere on the globe through previously impenetrable defenses.” (The Stealth Bomber http://www.bangalorenet.com/system1/chungw/sbpage.html).Since then new technology has been created, that was for military use only, to be able to detect and stop stealth bombers. So I am sure that technology is being developed now that will improve this weapon. Now I know that most of you are wondering what a stealth bomber has to do with how you use your computer for research and why firing a missile can have anything to do with playing solitaire. The thing is, we don’t know. The internet was first created so that military bases could communicate with each other across a large span in a very short amount of time in case a base could not be reached by radio. Now that same technology is used to so that a person can chat with their friend on services such as AIM. Advanced technology of the past is today’s toy. Also, most of the weapons the world has created, including nuclear and chemical, have come from pushing science and technology to its limit. I can only imagine the possibilities of war with the rapid growth of technology over the last decade.

    Although it may seem that I am against the growth of technology I assure you that I am not. I believe that in today’s age we need it. Technology has done wonders for medicine, research, business and education. I believe that we all know the benefits of technological growth and advancement and I embrace them. The more we develop technology the more people can be helped and or saved. My only question is what technology do we not know about?

    PS – I apologize for the length of this response.

  6. Nowadays people expect new gadgets that are cheaper, better, and faster than the last. Society is changing and they want to see how many new “toys” they can accumulate to stay connected 24/7. You can’t even sit through a lecture without someone’s cell phone ringing in the background. Tell me that doesn’t irritate you. When will a certain amount of technology be enough? I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point where someone will say, “stop that’s enough”.

    On the other hand, we have to keep up with the times. If we don’t we’ll be left behind and that’s something we just can’t afford to do.

  7. I think the increased connectedness, specifically communication, has detracted from the past generations of societal relationships going out to meet people face to face, when we have various forms of communication already in use of most households. I agree with what Mike said about procrastinating and impatience. Rarely do I walk to my neighbor’s to ask him something, when he’s on AIM and I’m sitting in front of my computer to begin with.
    The effect of being “wired” allows more people to stay at home while still communicating to the outside world. Information is available at fingertips to whoever needs it whenever they need it. I am all for improving the quality of life through IT. While the increased communication is very welcome in society, losing interconnectedness on a physical and personal level altogether would be tragic.

  8. I believe that the connectedness in our society will continue to flourish thorugh time. There are many things in the information age that we have made advances on such as: talking trough email and instant messaging, working online, purchasing, and even taking classes through the web. After lookng at all of these astounding new innovations it is kind of hard to see a down side. I believe every new innovation in the information technology world, over the years, is for the better. I believe the people that see downsides to the changing over from farming to industrial to information driven societies are mostly older people. They usually respond to me with the comment, “they sure don’t make them like they used to to”. Technology in this world will always continue to change in this world, and I believe it will be for the better.

  9. I have always been split on the issue of our rapid growth and dependency on technology. I think that the positives are countless, but that the negatives are also great in number and impact. I don’t believe that you can say it is good or bad, but that it has many aspects of each. Also you can only control the growth to a limited degree, so it is going to take us where it takes us.
    Some of the infinite upsides are: all the information of the world at the click of a button, instant money access, international communication verbally or through computers instantaneously, excellent educational tool, large increase in business efficiency and productivity, increased speed for almost every facet of life, and much more.
    However, there are very big downsides. First of all not everybody is able to have access to this great information technology such as third world countries and even many poorer people in the US. Also I feel that we are so connected that we are actually disconnected. Many conversations are no longer face to face, which I believe are much more personal. There is now a much easier way to commit crime and steal peoples’ money. Technology can also fail you by losing your work and not working at the right time. Technology is also ruining businesses like the music industry.
    In conclusion there are many upsides and downsides to this new age and I think that we will get many of both the positives and the negatives. I do believe personally that the overall effect will be a good one and the information society will evolve.

  10. In todays society technology plays a huge role. Today as I walked to class I took a look around and saw almost every other person on their cell phone. Just a few years ago you had to be pretty weathly to own a (mobile phone).
    Technology has always played a roll on society. First think back to the wheel, before that they dragged everything around, then all of a sudden they could move bigger loads much faster. Skipping ahead a bit there was the industrial revolution, by machine instead of by hand. Now I can be on AIM on be instanly talking with a friend on the other side of the world. Not only is the world smaller than it used to be it is only going to get smaller.
    There is the internet that I can go to for anything that I want to know. I agree with Mike, when I first got to PSU I had papers and things to do where we could not use the internet, now I do not hear that anymore.
    There are upsides and downsides to technology. If the wrong people get hold of powerful technology like nuclear bombs or anything of the sort, that is going to be the downside. I don’t really like the idea that with the push of a few buttons somewhere the world could come to a nuclear end. Then there is the upsides, new medicens, more education, the quality of life that technology provides. I am sure no one would want to live without all the comforts that technology provides, electricity for example.
    Technology is not good or bad, not matter what we do people will always find a way to advance technology. It is hard to say how it will futher change our socitety, but I can guarentee that it will.

  11. While technology and more specific, information technology have come a long way, did they really do it that fast?

    Only very few inventions have experienced the rapid development of the personal computer and the internet. Those two tools opened up entire worlds and ways of thinking, but they took so long to institute.

    For instance, the telephone was invented in the 1870s, yet it took a full one hundred years to even comprehend the idea of the internet, let alone cell phones. It took another twenty years before either became widespread. Another example is the automobile. The automobile is practically the same thing it was as when it was invented. Sure they have made strides in gas mileage, safety, electronics, and other things, but weren’t we promised flying cars by the year 2000, or at least alternative fuels? Maybe that was just in the cartoons.

    My point is, this surge of technology and connectivity we’re seeing is realitively unimpressive because we’ve had so long to come up with it. Only in the past ten years has this “digital age” existed. This new connectivity is only such a big deal and such an impact because it’s late coming. Hence, it’s going to drastically change everything from business, agriculture, communications, sports, medicine, engineering, and leisure only because the technology is playing catch up. This new age in information is going to obviously impact society drastically, only because the technology is was lagging behind whereas society has been yearning for the improvements for decades now. The final point I’m trying to make is where was all this rapid development in technology from the 1950s to the late 1980s. It seems like virtually no progress was made in that period.

    This may be a different type of post, but I just wanted to throw something different out there for discussion and see what people think.

  12. The question is “Do you think this increased connectedness is going to impact us as a society?”, but a more appropriate one may be, “How do you think this increased connectedness has effected society already?” When considering either question it is hard to determine whether this connectedness is overall positive or negative. It can easily be said that all sorts of new information technology is increasing communication and is helping us advance as humans technologically, but is this a good thing? Because of this advancement, person to person communication is deteriorating, slowly but surely. Is that a bad thing? I do not know, but I can only imagine that it is. Back to the question at hand though, of course this increased connectivity is going to impact us as a society. A sad but specific example is the lack of communication between me and my family. The only people I speak with from my family are the ones who can use instant messaging. As terrible as that is I haven’t spoke with my grandmother in almost a year. So in turn this is directly affecting my communication and with multiple cases of this in varying circumstances, society is being affected as a whole, of course not just because of my grandma.

  13. The pervasiveness of information technology has created increased connectedness in virtually all areas of society. There is no doubt that this information revolution will have far reaching effects. Some of these changes will be clear and immediate, offering instant gratification, while others will be negative and not immediately apparent.
    The advances in technology will continue to provide a faster, easier and more efficient means of transporting information and communicating with others. Distance, location and time will be less and less of an impediment to the flow of information.
    The information society will bring increased social and economic opportunities to people in remote regions and lower economic areas. Public services will be more accessible and responsive to peoples’ needs, perhaps improving their quality of life. Technology will allow strides in healthcare and health promotion which will give people information needs to make informed decisions about their lives.
    Work will become less location-dependent thanks to telecommunication technology. A large part of the work force will be self-employed. More people will be working in the service and information industry. Companies will be faced with the choice of introducing computers and technology or going out of business.
    The increased connectedness that technology has created will have some negative aspects on us as a society as well. Computers affect the way that we interact with other people. While computer use increases interaction with people with who it would be otherwise hard to communicate with, it also decreases face to face interaction.
    Computer use in general is inherently solitary. Its increased use will mean decreased communication with family and friends and perhaps an increase in loneliness and depression. Changes will be seen in family dynamics as less “real” communication will occur.
    Computers and the internet will continue to affect the way we entertain ourselves. If a computer can allow us to play the piano with a click of a button, why would we invest in a real one? People can watch movies, gamble, create and virtually travel through the use of a computer.
    In the field of education, there is the possibility of replacing people as teachers, taking away from social interaction. As education is both an individual process as well as a social one, children will be ill-prepared to function as a social being. If computers become more and more a part of education, they will encourage sedentary and solitary activities. This poses a threat to physical health in terms of stress, eye disorders, obesity and general well being.
    Another aspect of increased connectedness involves the right to privacy. Advancing telecommunication technology will threaten a large degree of privacy from the American public since laws can’t keep pace with it. This will have a direct impact on our mental health and well-being.
    Social gaps will also be created splitting the people who are computer illiterate from those who aren’t. An even bigger gap will be created between nations who are technology oriented and those who aren’t.
    In conclusion, the needs of society change with increased use of and progress in technology. Communication continues to reach new heights in an information based society. This brings new and challenging issues that need to be faced and resolved.

  14. I couldn’t imagine going to college without being familiar with computers, MP3 players, cell phones, etc. Technology has definitely changed the way we communicate and has grown exponentially in the last five, ten years! We are going to school in a completely different way than how our parents, relatives, or even older siblings went to school.

    What interests me about the IST major is we are dealing with some of the most advanced technology in the industry and it is very exciting. With technology getting better, in return, the costs for all of this have gone down dramatically for computers and their digital accessories! The digital divide is lessening and more and more families are getting computers, access to the internet, and staying connected! Just think back 5 years, it seemed like if you had a 56K modem, you were ahead of the game and now, with that 56K modem, you are just too slow. We as a society want technology that is fast…and that is what we are getting!

    One of the most impressive networks that can be accessed through our modem is the World Wide Web. It truly is a global resource at our fingertips! Through our computers now, we can manage our bills, shop for anything, and have a digital library full of information waiting to be accessed. It used to be tedious to go to the library, look up a book in the card catalogue, and then go searching through the stacks until I located it. Now, it is just downright hard to find a book because I am just not familiar with the system and that is because I use the internet as my starting point for research. Even though the internet can be a great resource, users must be careful because there is a lot of personal information stored on the web that could be dangerous if the wrong people get their hands on it. No network is 100% secure so you must be careful about what sites you visit and who you give your information to.

    Lastly, technology companies are now working together so their products are compatible with most computers and are enticing for that reason. I think people used to be scared of computers because of all the gadgets that had to be plugged in and loaded onto the hard drive and whatnot. Now for instance, with a USB port, you can connect any digital camera right to your hard drive and you don’t even have to think. Simplicity with technology is one reason why the industry is booming and with more advances to come, who knows how class could be conducted in 5 years. We may all be able to wake up in our dorm room, 2 minutes before class…connect to our professor through a web cam and listen in digitally as they give their lecture! How cool would that be!

    It is an exciting time to be working with computers and I am glad to be apart of it!

  15. I love technology. I’m always wondering what will come next. I think it’s amazing how people can come up with things that will change our everyday lives. Take cells phones for example, when I was in middle school cell phones weren’t big and that wasn’t too long ago. I got my first cell phone my junior year of high school and now there are kids in 6th and 7th grade with cell phones. There are few people in this world without one and they have grown so quickly over the past couple of years. My mind wanders day to day to think of what will come next. However I’m reading a book called Digital fortress by Dan Brown, and it is really kinda scary to think about the things that are made that we don’t really have any idea about. Even though this is a fiction novel they have created a huge computer to look at everyone in the worlds emails and such. To think that the government can read everything that I’m saying at this very moment scares me a little. Also to think that there is technology out there that the world doesn’t know about is scary as well. Weapons for example, how do we know that someone isn’t making the ultimate machine to control or destroy the entire world and has the power to do so. A mind boggling thought is that in this world there is technology that can make the world better and have the potential to end wars and hate and yet there is the opposite.

    Even so, I love the idea of new things coming out everyday. (expecpt for the part of if you buy the best computer out there within months a better one will come and yours will be out dated) Sometimes i also wonder what if no one in the world thought of any of the ideas of technology and we were still living in the times when all there were was rocks and trees and animals? If that happened then we would not be able to discuss issue like this and be able to post a comment on Blogger!

  16. It is very clear that our society is entering a new age in history, centering around new information technology. Everyday life for just about everyone has been changed or at least effected by this new technology. The new technology being introduced to society has been created for positive purposes, and even though it has had positive effects on society, it has also had it’s negative sides as well.

    New technology allows people to talk to anyone in the world that they want to talk to. Technology like email and instant messenger programs allow family members to keep in touch over long distances, business people to contact their workplace from home computers, and people who don’t even know each other to communicate without even being face-to-face. Although very positive, this technology has is down-sides. Instant messenger programs may actually be causing people to be less “social” by taking away the face-to-face communication abilities of some people.

    Information technology has also changed the way most businesses advertise and sell products to consumers. Consumers can now buy merchandise through the use of the internet, and businesses are producing new products at a much higher rate than ever before. Business offices are also able to transfer information to and from one another in seconds, even if the offices are on opposite sides of the country.

    One major problem with the new technology is that because it’s so new, regulations have to be added to keep up with new ways that people have found to committ crimes with these information systems. With new technology being added all the time, it’s hard to monitor what everyone is doing with it, whether it may be legal or not.

    Overall, I think that all of society will benefit from the use of information technology. I believe that the positive effects of having this technology will greatly outweigh the negative effects that could possibly come from this technology.

  17. The pervasive connectivity that defines the world we live in today has a tremendous amount of pros and cons. I think the pros certainly outweigh the cons, but unfortunately we as a society need to become savvier with this technology in order to completely feel safe with these new tools.
    After analyzing the topic and critically thinking about some of my own experiences, I have concluded that the many pros of this new information society far outweigh any negative ones ONLY if you are careful. Having all of this information at your fingertips gives us the opportunity to be more knowledgeable if we choose to be, while also training us to be able to recognize what is accurate partial information and what is not. Being constantly connected also allows us to be connected with many more people from our past who we always hoped we could stay in touch with, but never got the opportunity to maintain those ties. Now with this just a simple click of a mouse button, I can talk to a high school friend of mine who has since moved to the opposite side of the country. Pre-internet, if I did not make a special effort to keep in touch, the connection would die and we would both be at a loss because of it. Building on this concept of keeping in touch, as the article states, there are many new concepts, like telecommuting, that enable business to run more efficiently on a global scale. Never before have global organizations and governments been able to operate with such fluidity.
    Unfortunately, there are also a number of cons. The two cons that stick in my mind most are security and privacy. Since we are always connected and are doing an increasing amount of work via networks, our vulnerability to be compromised increases. Whether this be through our own physical safety like with little kids in chat rooms or our bank accounts, we need to be increasingly vigilant since we are tackling an endless frontier that is new to almost everyone. Second is privacy, it seems that with this connectivity, the internet more specifically, we now prefer the ability to remain without a face, than the ability to remain without a location. In other words, rather than show our face out in public and have no one know who we are, we now shop online anonymously with the exception of our address and phone number floating out to some person on the other end of a web transaction. Another con that often slips under the radar is what the reading discusses as embedded ness. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, but I think that since all of this technology is so pervasive nowadays, we have come to rely so heavily on it that if it were to ever fail on us, we would be lost like a chicken without a head. This is a serious issue because this type of technology will only grow in importance and with each passing day, our ability to live without it decreases. It’s not only our interpersonal skills that are deteriorating.
    It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the coming years, but I think that it is extremely important that we not put all of our eggs in one basket, no matter how easy it may seem sometimes. Maybe librarians and professors aren’t just trying to piss us off when they insist on a max of 2 internet sources (like anyone listens to that crap anyway). All of this being said, I think that we should be cautiously optimistic about what the future will bring because it can quickly turn sour if we aren’t prepared for it.

  18. Where can you go that technology will not affect you in some way? The answer is nowhere. You cannot escape it because it is everywhere. There is always something new that is coming out and it is hard to even keep up with all the emerging technologies out there. Just imagine how much as a society we have transformed in the past 20 years? Technology is created to help bring a positive connectedness as a society but sometimes it can have a negative effect in the world.

    The internet has become one of those groundbreaking technologies that helped the society stay connected in many ways. Just look at all the resources students have to help them with schoolwork and the library is barely even used anymore. People stay connected through instant messaging, email, and websites. I mean come on just log onto your cell phone and you get news instantly. You can’t watch your Eagles play on Sunday just check your cell phone and you can get play by play. We can also use our technology to help protect our country. Spy satellites are put up into space to be able to zoom in on anyone in the world. There are now even computer flown airplanes that are used which can saves lives in war. Any advantage we have in technology in a war can save lives. There is also a tremendous amount of technology being put into cars such as dvd players and even the BMW is connecting an iPod player to their car which can luxerize a vehicle. OnStar is also another feature in many cars that can help people in emergencies by pressing one button to get the police or an ambulance. New technology can always help and improve society as a whole.

    With all the new innovation in a society it can also create new crimes and sometimes bring up privacy issues. Anyone with a camera phone nowadays can take a picture of you without you even knowing which is an invasion of privacy. Also the internet has its own laws with privacy and copywrite protection. Just look how much the music industy has lost due to illegal downloads and music playing. Also when other countries create new technologies in weapons that puts us in harms way. These negative technologies will always exist but we have to contain them and not let them get out of hand.

    As we keep getting deeper into the technology age we must know how to keep the positive effects of technology on top of the negative. We need this technology for so many things such as medicine, education, business, and a hundred other things.

  19. I belive that the increased connectedness is greatly impacting us as a society. More and more in today’s world, it’s considered absurd to not have an e-mail address or AIM screen name. Soon, everyone will be expected to have a computer just as almost everyone is expected to have a cell phone. With the increase in online shopping, banking, communicating, etc., if you’re not in some way connected online, you’re probably very lost. For example, my dad is technologically challenged. He owns his own business, but has no idea how to send/receive e-mail or even turn a computer on. He has a cell phone, but often asks someone else to check his missed calls or store a number in his phone book for him. I think this really hurts him in today’s world because he is quickly falling behind in the technological uprising of today. If the person that he has hired to do the computer work for him called in sick, my dad would probably shut down shop cause he wouldn’t know how to do a thing on the computer. In today’s society, you must have some technological knowledge to get by.

    A positive of this increased connectedness is that many companies are able to move quicker and more sufficiently. By doing business online, their production and distribution processes can be done a lot quicker. Also, it makes communication between businesses, friends, and family a lot easier. Although, there are also some negatives. As Prince stated in an earlier post, with today’s society being more dependent on computers, if a major computer containing vital information were to crash, it would cause a very significant problem. Also, the increase of online communication and available information could be slowly taking away from the personal and physical aspect of our society as Evan pointed out.

    Personally, I think the increased connectedness has more positives than negatives. At this point, it can’t be stopped. The advances in technology being discovered are never-ending. So, I believe that it’s better to embrace this advancement and learn as much as you can as quickly as possibly rather than avoid it and act as if it doesn’t exsist.

  20. Having connections to the entire world at the tip of your fingers is so incredibly powerful, but as well all know, power can be a dangerous thing. It’s wonderful to be able to do all of my daily tasks from the comfort of my swiveling leather chair at my computer desk. I can pay my phone bill, catch up with my correspondence, and even watch movie trailers to see what I’ll check out in theatres this weekend. Pretty soon I’m sure I’ll easily be able to just buy the movie and send it to my TV downstairs so I won’t have to deal with the theatre at all if I don’t want.

    But it seems like the more connected we get digitally, the less connected we end up personally. I believe that humans can survive with less personal interaction than most of us currently have, but I’m afraid in the very near future, no face to face communication will even be necessary to achieve the same tasks we perform right now. Personally, I don’t see how this could be an effective way of living. I don’t think even web cams and instant messaging can replace the interaction you get when you’re in the same room with somebody. I know personally, that I think I’ve gotten to know somebody through talking to them online, and when I meet them in person, they are entirely different than what I thought.

    Also, while paying bills online is super convenient and much more efficient, there is a huge security risk involved with sending your financial information across a server. As more and more companies allow you to buy things online with credit cards, the security risks grow even more so. Even as secure as these companies assure their lines are, there are most definitely capable hackers out there that could steal your information if they ever chose to. The more connected we get, the more we expose ourselves to the dangers of being so connected.

    It is a necessary risk in my mind however, because I believe being completely connected to the rest of the world through the internet has a very good place in our near future. I believe that there are enough hard working people putting all these pieces together to find ways to protect us all from the dangers that will always be out there, and I believe there is a happy-middle ground to be had in the form of communicating with the rest of the world. So while the risks are great for all of this, the good certainly appears to outweigh the bad in the near future of the digital world.

  21. Anytime you meet someone new, whether its in class or at a party, one of the two questions comes up, whats your cell phone number or whats your screen name? Both of these giving way for the two individuals to stay connected. We did it in our class and already people are using the information we have posted about ourselves to get ahold of eachother to check on homework.
    I think that technology is providing individuals with so many advantages of staying connected and helping out social relationships like the article mentioned. Coming into college, students have bought all sorts of items to stay in touch with their significant other, whether its the cell phones that capture movies to the program you can get that enables you to see eachother. Technology is keeping them together. It also keeps our school together. 6 out of my 7 classes rely heavily on Angel, and the only class that isnt on Angel, has its own website. None of my classes printed out a syllabus, its all online. Technology is simplifying classes and work for teachers. Not only is it keeping people united but countries united. Technology holds one of the largest impacts on our society.
    However, a problem with technology being so popular and used so much, is that we are relying heavily on it. If we base everything our job or school work has on it, theres no guarentee its going to work when you need it too. There is also the identity and security issues that follow along with technology. Peoples cell phone numbers are all over the place now, telemarketers call mine all the time, as well as peoples email addresses and even our blog information is almost all out there.
    I think technology though is benefiting our society in more positive ways then negative. I couldnt imagine not having a cell phone or computer in college, compared to back in the day when people didnt think twice about it. I think it brings us together in so many different ways the pros out way the cons.

  22. The increased connectedness is going to impact our society by making everything an open market. People are complaining that jobs are being exported to other countries and that companies in the US should only keep jobs in the US. As an economist I find this idea ludicrous, because you always try to maximize your profits. And if you have to go to another country to get cheap labor, then by all means do so.

    As Prof. Cole was saying we’ve gone through an agricultural, industrial, and technological revolution. Each time we have adjusted in some way. With the new information age, communications are going to be more efficient, orders are going to come quicker, and our lives in general are going to be easier.

    I remember seeing ads for US automakers and how US citizens should only buy an American car. I scoff at that promo. Today a GM car is comprised of thousands of parts from Asia, Mexico, and even Europe. Even the design and layout may have come from a different country. Communication through the net has helped broaden the market for a good. And with the new and emerging technology, why wouldn’t you want to share the knowledge about the most up to date air bag or security lock. Look back in the last depression of 89’. Gas prices sky rocketed and Japan built more efficient cars to compensate for the lack of fuel. And what did we do? We sat and complained. Think if we could’ve share our knowledge back then and how much we could’ve saved.

    The main point is we’re turning into a global market. We are no longer independent on closed trade. We have to open our markets to other countries throw out these tariffs and let the information age take over our economy. There is always an adjustment period, but history dictates that with each transition a new economy emerges, and for the better.

  23. Increased connectedness only refers to increasing our technological advancements even further, because that is exactly what has and is happening. When people hear the word connectedness/communication they think of the Internet, email, the telephone or some other device originated form technological innovation. Information technology can connect us to virtually anyone or anywhere.

    Societal reconstruction is on a never-ending mission. As a civilization we are going to move forward in the world of technology and the links that brought us together will be the same links that break us apart. Yes we are more “connected” than ever before. But realize how man became this way. We had to detach ourselves from the sociological world and become more independent and cutthroat than ever before. Technological advancements will control human social behavior. Scientists talk of a computer that makes critical decisions and conducting scientific research (http://www.tecsoc.org/innovate/innovate.htm). At the same time it will never cease to amaze us. Through Biotechnology there was a man that had his vein replaced by a cows vein, which healed him of painful symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/02/23/bovine.transplant/index.html). On the other side U.S. military officials are frantic over the uses of the Internet (http://www.tecsoc.org/natsec/whatsnatsec.htm). We’ve got Russian and Ukrainian hackers stealing credit card numbers from commercial web sites (http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/8063.html). How serious will this get? However, doctors will soon be sending prescriptions electronically to your pharmacy (http://www.tecsoc.org/biotech/biotech.htm). It seems to me that we are more willing to connect with technology rather than the human itself. We will and have already adjusted and that’s the fact.

    There are positive and negative aspects beside the plain point that we will rarely communicate person to person as we used to and sometimes do today. Considering these aspects is irrelevant because this phenomenon is inevitable and it is inescapable. We can expect to advance on a national level and progress (even further) on an international level. But, are we ready for this increased connectedness? I believe we have no other choice but to prepare for it.

  24. Everyday new technology is being invented, altered, and advanced. To me I couldn’t live in a world without the technology we have today,cellphones,computers,cars, etc… because I have become dependent on it and to be honest it makes my life really easy by using it. Due to these advancements in technology both positive and negative aspects have been created by the manner in which technology is used and for what purpose.
    Technology has been very benefical to ourselves over the years. We use it to contact people within seconds, to get from place to place, and to find
    information on just about anything. Technology has also allowed advancments in the medical world and has helped us greatly during times of war. When used properly technology can be very useful becasue we basically have it in the palm of our hands, it’s there whenever we need it and it doesn’t take much effort to
    use it.
    On the downside we as a society have become very reliant on what technology we have. Could you imagine going without it (cars, cellphones, telephones,
    televisions, etc…) for a day…I bet you can’t. Many people tend to take advantage of what technology we do have, by not using it for its intended purpose and instead using it for personal gain. Like the study at Duke and giving all incoming freshman an iPod. You
    really think they’re going to use it for school purposes only…I don’t think so!
    Overall technology can be very powerful when used correctly or could be very damaging when taken advantage of. Technology can only be determined good or bad by the purpose it’s being used for.

  25. Your comments so far are thoughtful, insightful, and impressive. I want to add to the perceived dichotomy (good vs. bad) of technology by quoting Melvin Kranzberg, who was a professor emeritus at Georgia Tech. He helped to found the systematic study of the history of technology. He adds another dimension …

    “Technology is not good. Technology is not bad. But Technology is not neutral.”

    Think about what this quote means while reading and posting your response to this week’s discussion activity.

  26. Without a doubt, technology has increased our connectedness as a society. It is impossible not to use technology everyday. We have become a society that revolves around and depends on technology. Businesses, schools, families expect this technology to keep them up to date and in the know in every aspect. The big problem with this dependence is what do you do when it fails or not working?

    Technology is a great tool, when it works. Computers crash, cell phones are never getting great reception, and sometimes it’s just difficult to figure out how to work. Growing up using technology, my generation has come to deeply rely on all of these technologies to do homework, keep in contact with family and friends and just about everything else. I wake up in the morning and check my e-mail and im for any new messages. Instructors rely heavily on technology to teach their classes. PowerPoint has become the new blackboard and chalk. I am not saying that technology is bad, but our dependence on it does cause some concern when it fails. When computers crash and don’t work, how are we supposed to know our class assignments or when cell phones aren’t in the right area, how are we supposed to keep in contact with family and friends? We used to use phones in our homes and everything we needed to know for classes was written down on something tangible, paper. Being connected in this day and age relies on the technology working.

    All of these innovative tools are exciting to use and keep us all connected. My parents call my cell phone to check up on me, I use e-mail to keep in contact with friends and class work. Without this technology, where would we be as a society? I think we would be lost. We all feel the need to be connected with others. The technology we have available helps us do that. As a society, we will keep being dependent and consider it as common practice to use it.

    Even though technology has a negative side, the world depends on it to survive. In ten or fifteen years, will anyone deal in face to face conversations? We will see. Being connected to another person doesn’t mean personal contact or face to face anymore, it means are you connected using technology, cell phones, im, e-mail, and video conferencing.

  27. To follow up on the comment I made earlier, the tale telling factor that technology has lagged behind the advancements in society is that there is an entire generation that is not skilled in the technology. A large portion of the baby boom generation cannot use personal computers effectively.

    This is primarily because there was almost no advancement in so many years and then all of a sudden a gigantic boom in technology. Society and business now cannot keep up with technology, because the two grew apart from one another. In other words, society grew for so many years with out the technological advancements, then all of sudden rapid change occurs and society can’t seem to keep up.

    Society is just now beginning to grasp some of the new technology and utilize it effectively, but I feel if technology had grown more in balance with advancements in society, both ends would be running more efficiently.

  28. I think that increased connectedness is going to affect us in many ways in the future. Already we have email and instant messaging that seems to connect us in extreme ways. We can basically organize anything over the internet, we can do research, and we can shop for anything we could possibly want.
    After every revolution there are always some kinks and the kinks for this but already we are discussing solutions to that problem. The problems that were discussed in the reading about how we are not as personal as we were in the past I cannot agree with. I have grown up with the internet and I am just as personal as my parents and I can carry on a normal conversation. Technology I think can be used in a great way if it is used correctly.

  29. I think that increased connectedness is going to affect us in many ways in the future. Already we have email and instant messaging that seems to connect us in extreme ways. We can basically organize anything over the internet, we can do research, and we can shop for anything we could possibly want.
    After every revolution there are always some kinks and the kinks for this but already we are discussing solutions to that problem. The problems that were discussed in the reading about how we are not as personal as we were in the past I cannot agree with. I have grown up with the internet and I am just as personal as my parents and I can carry on a normal conversation. Technology I think can be used in a great way if it is used correctly.

  30. Is this technology attack or technology contributions? Actually technology is a very useful resource to our society. The technology attacks can be prevented by the advanced tool and careful preventions. And now I am going to share with you both the positive and negative aspects of this change of technology towards the society.

    To begin with the change of technology is a great threat to us.

    First of all, we seems like lost our rights in the internet. Since all our movements in the browsing websites are tracked by the websites ‘cookies’. This poisonous cookies track the time that we visit the page and the time that we spend on each page. We are no longer getting our freedom in these websites.

    Secondly, the closeness of technology with the business can be a big nightmare towards internet service companies and us. Like the hackers are brought up by the closeness of business and technology. For example, from the news reported by Computer Research Center, it said that the Russian hackers blackmailed the gambling companies. These hackers interrupted the gamblers login process during the gambling peak time. Not only these hackers made the gambling company lost the profits, but also our private information like credit card, social security number, address, etc are easily stolen and used by them.

    However, the connectedness between technologies can also be a great help to us. Not only for the ease of communication between us, but also help us greatly in the society and us.

    The improvement in internet services helps us to communicate with each other easily. Firstly, we can use the instant messenger to communicate easily. For instance, our IST class uses the AIM messenger so can enhance the class discussion during our free time. And we can use the webmail to communicate with others. Also, the advanced in internet can let us to have net meeting. Through this we can talk and see each other just a click. Also we used the elion, angel, intranet, etc. to deal with our school activities. I can say technology link people from far distance and also build the closeness between us.

    Secondly, this advanced technology is good to the society and business. This can help to shorten business working transitions. Like the financial companies can use the computers to make the stock exchange at an instant. And the banks can reduce their workings by asking us to make our transaction through their web link banking system. Furthermore, with the technology it can tighten up the business or society together. Penn State University uses the school official website and elion to distribute information and without advanced internet it is very hard to communicate with over forty thousand students quickly.

    Overall, you could see both the pros and cons of the change of technology towards the society. I would think technology is a great help to us. Not to mention the fast and instant messenger, email and net meetings. Again the treat of technology actually can be prevented by the security and firewalls installed in the system and security.

    By Michelle Cheung

  31. Is this technology attack or technology contributions? Actually technology is a very useful resource to our society. The technology attacks can be prevented by the advanced tool and careful preventions. And now I am going to share with you both the positive and negative aspects of this change of technology towards the society.

    To begin with the change of technology is a great threat to us.

    First of all, we seems like lost our rights in the internet. Since all our movements in the browsing websites are tracked by the websites ‘cookies’. This poisonous cookies track the time that we visit the page and the time that we spend on each page. We are no longer getting our freedom in these websites.

    Secondly, the closeness of technology with the business can be a big nightmare towards internet service companies and us. Like the hackers are brought up by the closeness of business and technology. For example, from the news reported by Computer Research Center, it said that the Russian hackers blackmailed the gambling companies. These hackers interrupted the gamblers login process during the gambling peak time. Not only these hackers made the gambling company lost the profits, but also our private information like credit card, social security number, address, etc are easily stolen and used by them.

    However, the connectedness between technologies can also be a great help to us. Not only for the ease of communication between us, but also help us greatly in the society and us.

    The improvement in internet services helps us to communicate with each other easily. Firstly, we can use the instant messenger to communicate easily. For instance, our IST class uses the AIM messenger so can enhance the class discussion during our free time. And we can use the webmail to communicate with others. Also, the advanced in internet can let us to have net meeting. Through this we can talk and see each other just a click. Also we used the elion, angel, intranet, etc. to deal with our school activities. I can say technology link people from far distance and also build the closeness between us.

    Secondly, this advanced technology is good to the society and business. This can help to shorten business working transitions. Like the financial companies can use the computers to make the stock exchange at an instant. And the banks can reduce their workings by asking us to make our transaction through their web link banking system. Furthermore, with the technology it can tighten up the business or society together. Penn State University uses the school official website and elion to distribute information and without advanced internet it is very hard to communicate with over forty thousand students quickly.

    Overall, you could see both the pros and cons of the change of technology towards the society. I would think technology is a great help to us. Not to mention the fast and instant messenger, email and net meetings. Again the treat of technology actually can be prevented by the security and firewalls installed in the system and security.

  32. From the outside, technology is the greatest thing that could’ve ever happened to us. With telephones, people are always connected. With cameras, moments last a lifetime. With the internet, information is at our fingertips. With pacemakers, lives are saved. We have the ability to do almost anything with the help of technology. However, from a closer, inside view, technology has its drawbacks. We cannot say that technology is only used for good. From an individual view, privacy no longer exists. From a global view, nuclear technology has posed a threat to mankind.

    Every day, new technology devices are being created. It won’t be long until everything is controlled by wires and remotes. This leads to a sense of interdependence between technology and people. As Michelle earlier stated, technology is a great tool when it works. I know from personal experience, when my computer crashes, tears well up in my eyes and I think to myself, how the hell am I going to do anything? I think as new technology is being created, we lose a part of our individuality. We lose the aspect of doing things for ourselves.

    And how can we forget the fast-growing crime of identity theft. The internet makes it easier for hackers to access personal information and harder to catch them when they actually do. Online banking is becoming increasingly common, and if hackers gain access to our computers, then they can steal all our banking information. It can take months for people to even realize their identity has been stolen and it can take much longer for them to get their lives back on track. Although there are steps you can do to prevent online identity theft, such as firewalls, many people are still unaware of these precautions they must take. Until people become less naive about the online identity theft problem, this is a crime that will rapidly grow and become more widespread.

    But when thinking of technology, I can forget that it saved my dad’s life. I’m sure all of us knows someone whose life has been saved by technology. Medicine today is controlled by technology. Without some of the recent advances, our life spans would be drastically shorter. My dad was born with only one kidney, and when he was about 35, his second kidney failed. He was put on a transplant list right away, but he didn’t have much time. Without dialysis, he would not be alive today. Dialysis is a process that removes impurities and from the bloodstream before returning the blood to a patient’s body. I thank technology for saving my dad’s life, as well as millions of other people’s lives.

    At the rate we are going, technology cannot be stopped. Yes there are negatives, but our lives have been drastically improved for the better by technology. We cannot avoid the fact that technology is in our lives. If we accept it for what it is, and try to correct the problems it causes, then one day we can hopefully live in full harmony with technology.

  33. It is completely evident that the society we live in today has already changed, for the better and for the worse. I think it is absolutely amazing to take a look at the great technology that has emerged over the last ten years. This increased connectedness has already had a great impact on our society and it will only continue into the future.

    If you take a look at our society you would see many similarities in our people and the places they work and live. Almost everywhere you go you see people talking on cell phones, emailing on computers, listening to music on mp3 players, and using digital media. But these are only some of the many technologies that are available to us today. I recently took a look at all of this and I was shocked, I mean I never really thought about it much. It almost seems as if all of these new technological advances have become the main part of our culture and customs. You expect to walk down the street and hear phones going off left and right. Ten years ago…what the hell was a cell phone? I don’t think it is really supposed to be our culture, do you?

    All of this new technology has enabled our already busy society to stay on the run and do even more than we could before. The world we live in today is a wireless world that allows us to do the seemingly impossible in a short amount of time. It is great to be able to go anywhere and do anything; no matter where you go or what you do you are always connected. In the future our society will continue to increase its connectedness and do more with less. This technology will enable us to accomplish our tasks and goals easier and more efficiently. But there could be a downside to all of this technology.

    The text used the example of farming; we used to be a farming society and then we discovered technology. Years ago we were mainly a farming society because it took many hours to plow the fields and plant the seeds. As time went on machines were developed that greatly reduced the time it took to complete these activities. As that happened, we moved past the farming age.

    All of the technology being linked today is still making things easier to do and it takes less time to do it. This means that each person can do more and less people are needed. One person can talk to another and get the job done instead of going through four or five people. The means and modes of connection and communication have improved. If less people are needed then people may start to lose jobs to technology. Now I’m not saying that this is definitely going to happen, but it is a possibility, isn’t it?

    Another downfall to all of this connectedness, which has already been present for some time, is file sharing. Our world is so connected that we can get whatever we want from wherever we want. Downloading of copyrighted material has become and is a big issue. But with the powerful connections that we have today, I just don’t think that it will ever be able to be stopped.

    Our world is definitely connected from top to bottom and right to left. We are able to go anywhere and do anything. But when will our society say enough is enough and stop the rush of new and improved technology? Not for some time.

  34. It’s amazing how much the world can change in the course of a decade. Just thinking about how different a lifestyle it was for college students in the eighties or early nineties than it is for us now. My house I’m living in right now does not recieve internet and as anyone can guess everyone almost feels like they’re going insane without it. Technology has made us lazy and now we’ve grown to depend on it at all times. As it improves our work becomes a lot easier for us and thus we grow weaker because of it. Instead of fighting wars with soldiers head to head, we can sit in a room miles away pushing buttons and killing mass amounts of people.

    And yet there are many forms of technology that has helped the human race a great deal such as advancements in vaccination, transportation, and education. As a society, we will benefit in the short run. It’s hard to tell what might happen in the long run. One thing I can say, whoever has control of the most advanced technology will prevail. Any nation that can’t keep up, will not be able to function properly.

    Hopefully as technology improves, the morals of the people using them improve. There’s no doubt that people can find negative uses for the ever growing technology. The future of the world rests on our shoulders.

  35. I can remember my first programming class back in 1987, with the high school tennis coach. What were relationships with friends like then compared to today. How we have gone about our personal business has changed with the emergence of the Information Age.

    My group of friends, including those that I date, are heavy users of IM and cell phone. Every piece of information is urgent and an immediate response is expected, especially by those that I date. If a urgent and clever response is not made, those on the other end are left hanging on the feelings of abandonment.

    Less than 20 years ago – most communication was done via an answer machine, when response time would take hours or even days. Nothing was made of the lack of a response.

    I think we fall into this connectivity trap, when we don’t ponder ideas or let thoughts develop, and not be thoughtful in our relationship hurts many involved.

  36. Technology has and will always be a positive part of our society. With each new invention, and each new way to connect people throughout the world, our civilization, and cultures, become more powerful.

    Technology has been changing society since the dawn of culture. I am currently taking an ancient Mesopotamia course, in which we are now going over the prehistory of the region. Technology effectively started with the arrival of the tools industry to ancient man and near man. Since then, thousands of thousands of years ago, technology has continued progressing until it has reached its current state, which continues to advance still. The ease of life and standards of living have changed with each new invention as well. No longer do all humans live in caves, eating foraged berries raw meat. We live in houses, built as strong as our technology allows, eating processed foods and watching television.

    Many people have indicated that they feel that these advances in communication technology are effectively making us less social, or some mumbo jumbo like that. But in reality technology has the opposite effect. It connects you with more people, more directly, and faster than was possible ten years before. Why must someone speak to someone face to face to be social? 20,000 years ago ancient man could only communicate with the few members of his or her tribe, and that was that. Today, I can communicate with nearly anyone, anywhere, anytime. In addition, each new technological advance indicates an advance in society and culture. Our society should be based on what is, and not what was. To say that it is bad that I am talking to less people face to face like was done thirty years ago is absurd. That was thirty years ago, today is today. Now our society’s method of communication has changed, just as it did with the invention of the telephone, or the implementation of messenger services.

    I wish I could come up with some negative side effect of technology but I cannot. There is none. Sure, there are a few minor flukes that happen here and there, but they are easily worked out in time. The simple matter of somebody losing their credit card information and getting scammed is petty when compared to the grand scheme of civilized advancement. It is a matter that will be worked out, and stopped with the help of a new technology or idea not yet developed. In one hundred years credit card fraud will be obsolete, just another part of history, something that technology helped to stop.

    Our society will continue to change with the changes in technology just as it has for the past 20,000 years. With each new major change, there will be a few problems, but in the end they will all be worked out, and ultimately replaced with new problems to be fixed in the future. Technology is the essence of civilization.

  37. Before cell phones and internet access became mainstream, people were limited when they wanted to contact someone. All they had was thier home phone number and so it could have been impossible to contact a really out-going person since they may never be at home. With the addition of cell phones and wireless internet communication has increased so dramatically that its possible to contact some one anywhere around the world. With the use of instant messaging programs communication around the world has never been easier. Also with the combination of cell phones and wireless internet, accessing information anywhere has become a reality. However, the reality is that all this comes at a little expense. For some countires that haven’t established themselves fully yet, it could be too expensive for them to afford.

  38. The society that we live in today has become dependent upon technology in order to connect with the outside world. This increased connectedness or more specifically communication though advancing us towards the future technologically it has detered us in certain human aspects of life. Cellphones have certainly been integrated into our society and we have inevitably become extrememly dependent upon them. On a personal aspect, I only have one friend who does not have a cellphone and more often than not he is unable to hang out with my group of friends because we find it impossible to communicate with him. As this example shows, those that cannot keep up with the evergrowing technology will be left behind in the dust. These advancement have done remarkable things for us though. For one, it has placed the world at our fingertips through the world wide web. We no longer have to leave our home and travel to the library in order to look something up. But on the other aspect, by making everything so simple, we aren’t allowing the human mind to expand. Instead of doing things for ourselves we spend time searching for shortcuts. To some extent, technology has made us lazy and impatient. Also, with the advances in communication we spend less time talking face to face. We are not allowing our communication and listening skills to sharpen. There certainly are extreme pros and cons to this issue, but our society must continue to grow with the rest of the world, and so we must accept and live with all effects of the issue.

  39. With every new invention someone could find a positive side and/or a negative side, from VCR’s to now CD burners people have been discussing if this growth in technology as a whole, is having a positive or negative effect on society. I unfortunately I don’t know if I can pick a side because there are downfalls to our ever-growing technology that has made our lives that much more convenient. The most popular or at least the most well known are the criminals who are benefiting from these advantages, from identify theft, copyright inflictions (which I of course have never done), stolen credit cards and there are more. Convenience, more time to do other things, meeting people from all around the world, these are just a few of the reasons why society has tried to grasp this now connection oriented world.

    So how is this going to impact the society? Well one thing that is going to happen is basically like the effect of President Bush’s “No child left behind”, which in technology terms is the Digital Divide. Wealthy Nations already have the “new” technology with billions of dollars to back it. Small, third world countries do not have the money or technology to compete with the wealthy nations and never will with the expansion of new technologies connecting people to everyone else but them. But for the people that do have the technologies, it also can be a problem. Now for a job, you don’t have to show up for meetings, just throw only a shirt and tie on and sit in front of your computer camera. Face-to-Face interactions are become scarce the more technology grows and that always can lead to health problems because people don’t have a reason just get off the their asses. These problems are a little on the dramatic side, for if technology was only this poor country killer and obese creator it wouldn’t be growing so fast in societies.

    For the societies that do have these technologies at their fingertips, the word for them/us is convenience. No longer do we have to run house to house to talk to someone, we can be anywhere in the world and call to anyone anywhere (as long as they have the technology too). These technologies are making it possible for parents that have kids at home to get a college degree with distance learning, therefore helping the entire family and society. These connections are helping students talk and reach out to people all around the world and giving people information they would never have gotten.

    In no way do I believe that because there are third world countries getting cut out that we, and all other countries should just stop having new ideas for technologies. There may just be a better way of getting those third world countries “connected”. If anything I support new ideas and new technologies, I truly hope that there will never be a time that people look around and say there nothing more we can create. In the end I believe that as always there will people that are going to benefit from this connection-oriented world more then others so let the ideas/technologies come.

  40. I think that is good and very convenient that more and more people are connected. It is amazing how one can merely sign on to an instant messenger service and talk to friends across the world. Obviously, this can be scary as well, people can act like they are people that they are not, which if you think about it people do anyway, even to your face, so I guess that doesn’t really hold that strong a point. People should just be themselves on and off the internet. The other problem is that us as human being need more connection to human beings than instant messenger, email, and message boards. We have eyes, ears, and all our senses for a reason, on the internet, in terms of human contact, these are all hard to please. The way our society is set up and how we are always rushing around, never stopping to look at a bird chirping or a leave flying through the wind and really appreciating it, the internet is a necessary device for our culture. It has its splendors or else it wouldn’t have exploded into all our lives and stuck around like it has. The scariest thing to me is that we are heading more and more towards less and less human connection, but I think it is immature to act like it could get bad enough that no one would ever leave there house or go outside, but who knows…I sure can’t predict the future, as much as I try…

  41. Communication has come an immensely long way especially in the last decade or so. The technological wave of new communication technologies allow us to communicate via almost anywhere with the use of cellular telephones and e-mail. This ultimately increases our connectedness as a society as a whole. Individually we all are basically available at anytime and anywhere. The convenience of this technology allows for us to expedite information exchange which is crucial in our ever so quickly growing workforce. Not to mention the convenience of these tools when it comes to family also. The use of the internet too has changed what would have been a national market to now be a global market. With the use of the internet being an easy and accessible tool for companies, businesses, and people to use, more and more communication and business is being dealt with this way.
    With the good comes the bad though. Not that I’m saying our technologies are moving our society in the wrong direction but this aspect does create a divide. With certain countries, the U.S. included, excelling in communication technologies and information technologies there are some that lag behind in this technological revolution. There exists a divide between the countries with access to these technologies and those with none. This in turn can become a communication barrier itself. Not to mention with the use of all the technology for communication purposes, certain aspects of communication as we know it today are lost. Some probably believe that these are small prices to pay for all that we have accomplished. I guess I have a biased opinion myself being one with technological advantages at my disposal, but I think we are definitely moving in the right direction with such amazing technological advances.

  42. Technology is eveywhere! No matter where you go, technology will be staring you in the face. Even the old mom and pop shop on the corner is using technology of some sort, even if it is obsolete. I think that the entire world would fal apart if we lost our technology.

    Think about who are in charge of the technological industries. Do you really think that they would allow for the tech industry to slow down or even stop? Then they lose their profits and companies don’t grow.

    We are never going to get away from technology so we should then just accept it and live. Technology helps us be ‘productive’ as far as our work and employment are concerned. Think about how people always have the abaility to get information. Universities teaching online through the use of blogs. Radar and DOPPLER to help tell us where hurricane Ivan is going to strike and when.

    I think that we should just suck it up and deal with it.

  43. In today’s world, it is almost impossible to live your life without experiencing some form or another of the technology of the information age. Almost everybody in the United States is connected to the internet, and an even larger number have cellular phones. With the increased connectedness, it seems almost impossible to not be able to get in touch with someone at any given time. It upsets those of us in this age if we cannot reach a person and get a response within a few hours. This can be a great thing because it allows us to be more efficient in our every day jobs and our lives. However, there are negatives to these technological advances as well. People, especially those in their childhood, are not as sociable as in previous generations. It is now possible to have a conversation, whether it is an argument or just a simple chat, without ever opening your mouth and saying a word. Children and teenagers are not as used to talking face to face with others as they should be. In the future, humans will have even fewer face to face conversations, relying mostly on email and cellular phones.

    It is a great thing to be able to connect with someone at the touch of a button. It helps us to get work done faster, better, and cheaper, but unless the situation is carefully analyzed, it could lead to an anti-social form of culture. Hopefully a good blend of human interaction and technological interaction will take place.

  44. Technology can be good and bad, the good parts can have bad, and the bad parts can have good. Technology is all round us and you cannot escape it. Even when you think you have escaped technology or ventured where not signals can reach you, you can be surprised.

    Technology is good in the way that it is very easy to get in touch with people. I am in the PA Air National Guard as a computer, networking, cryptographic, switching systems apprentice. It is one of the broadest career fields in the Air Force. I can be called up and given a 3 days notice that I am being deployed. I do carry a cell phone and be contacted on that cell phone by email, AOL instant messenger, a text message from another phone, paged, or I can simply be called. I may have even missed a way. This is a good example of technology.

    With the good comes the bad. That message that I could/will receive cannot contain any specific details because, it could be intercepted. The cell phones that everyone carries around are not secure at all. The AOL instant message you send is not secure. People that know what they are doing can intercept those communications. This is a bad aspect of technology. People can use it in a bad way. So, the good use of technology (the convenience of my cell phone) and actually be bad. If someone would send me a classified detail on that cell phone it could endanger me or the mission.

    Signals can be sent anywhere on the planet now. I was walking through a rain forest this past April. I thought it was neat to get away from technology, from signals beaming all around me. I was wrong though. I hadn’t escaped. There in the rainforest were little spots of concrete with an emblem on them. I saw them ever so far and wondered what they were. I later discovered they were for GPS’s. The tree cover was too thick to allow signals to hit the satellite so they would hit these receivers. Technology is everywhere, even in forests.

    Intercepting communications is not a bad thing all the time. In a war-time environment for example, if we (the USAF) intercept the enemy’s transmission it could enhance our abilities to win a battle or even a war. So, intercepting a transmission can also be a good thing.

    Enough talking about how technology signals can help or harm people. Using these devices can be good and bad as well. There are people that I have seen at college that have a single room. They leave that room only to eat or go to class. In that room, they sit at their computer and talk on chat programs and/or play games. They do not get out and meet people and, when they do, they do not have the best social skills. I know that this does not pertain to everyone that has a single room or everyone that plays games or chats on aim, it is not meant to be stereotypical. I am just saying from my observations computers can hurt peoples social lives.

    This connectedness can be good too. Maybe, that person sitting in their room is talking to someone that is in a different country. Maybe, they are perfecting a second language, third, or more. This being said not just to show that I am not stereotyping people that sit in their rooms but, to show that it can be used in a good way too.

    Computers and networking have not completely taken over because they are not flawless yet. When a computer or network goes down people do not panic. They do not get all worked up over it. I know this because in the Air Force, I manage a network, and I also manage three telephone switches statewide. When a telephone switch goes down, people are knocking on our doors. When the network/internet/email goes down people accept it. This I think is good. Computers have not completely taken over yet.

    I think connectedness is good and bad. People can learn from people on the other side of the world. People can be contacted on a moments notice. This connectedness can also be bad. Privacy can be violated. We need to not let connectedness interfere with our face to face interactions. Social skills are very important as well. No matter where you go on this planet anymore you can contact someone. The footprint range of satellite cell phones is almost anywhere in the world, depending on the time of day. We have developed this technology and it has made our lives easier. We need to be more aware of how it can harm us.

  45. The fact that we are connected as we are today is going to impact us in so many ways it’s difficult to think of a concise way of putting it. Psychologically, emotionally, and even physically, the high level of connectedness is going to change all aspects of our daily life.
    I beleive that the internet might impact our lives to the extent of the printing press.

    Emotionally, I am still in touch with everyone i want to be in touch with from high school. Twenty years ago and to leave the state, and keep in contact with even five friends would take an incredible amount of effort. Between writing mailling and so on and so forth; dropping an im every once in a while is 100x easier.

    Psycologically, I beleive children growing up now are more timid socially than 10 years ago. I think social confidence, and just plain social elequence will be severely deminished.

    Finally, i also say physically, because everything is now at our fingertips, and we’re going to take full advantage of it. We don’t even walk to the telephone to order pizza, it’s right here where i’m sitting.

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