In theory class, we have been talking over the past few weeks about varying topics ranging from technology to education to privacy. From seemingly dissimilar topics, all of them have a single thread: that our interpersonal interactions today as we know them are changing. It’s no secret that Millenials communicate differently than Baby Boomers—spend some time in a high school classroom or on a Facebook wall, and you can see the marked difference.
Technology as a solution to truly human problems is on the rise—I am guilty of this as well with my storyboard about Heartline, which is an app that helps remind others to check in on their loved ones when they’re in a tough spot. While I’ve been thinking about making Heartline a reality, I have had many thoughts about what the implications of this technology would be. Would it violate privacy by allowing people to contact people who didn’t want to be contacted? Would it take advantage of someone who was already in a disadvantaged position and cause them more distress?
There’s a lot of emotions surrounding the constant flux of interactions. The one that I’d like to focus on today about fear in the face of changing interpersonal interactions.
Above is a graph that I’ve illustrated in response to our readings – it shows where each of the authors we have read lies on two axes—one, how much they fear the change of interpersonal interactions, and two, what their reaction is to their fear or lack thereof.
As you can see, each of the authors falls somewhere on these two axes. Neil Postman, for example, falls on the spectrum of both being highly fearful of the advance of technology into our lives and also reacting with a high desire for structure around the way we interact with others. On the other hand, Emily Nussbaum both celebrates change in the younger generation and desires more people to look on the idea of privacy as a more complex and nuanced issue than what we might initially think when we hear “privacy issues.”
My personal reaction to the readings and where I would fall on the graph is somewhere around Dewey and Hersman—I believe that change and complexity should be celebrated, but without some kind of structure to hold them in, design can be difficult, if nigh impossible to do.
Think about it this way—if I invited you to think of all the possible actions that you could have taken when you woke up this morning, it might be enough to force you into inaction. Speaking about myself, I could have made a smoothie, or got a shower, or decided to sleep more, or pet my cat, or worked on comics, or went to AC4D. Or I could have deviated from my “normal” routine and gone breakdancing in the street, and so on and so forth.
As it happens, I woke up (like I always do) and made a smoothie (like I always do). Structure provides me at least some rock for me to cling to when discussing modes of complexity as we do in AC4D.
What do you think? Where would you fall on the spectrum?No Comments »