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Are You Wired ?

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Post by diamondlil » Sun March 21st, 2010, 12:26 pm

I was just having this discussion with my friend recently. She can take or leave the internet, but never goes anywhere without her blue tooth attached to her ear. Half the time I can't find my mobile phone without ringing it to hear it, but a couple of days without the internet is enough to have me frantically checking back in. I am about to go without for 4 whole days, unless I do get around to buying some mobile broadband before I go away
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Sun March 21st, 2010, 5:40 pm

Electronics are a tool--and at this point--integral to my life. I have a cell phone which is with me constantly, not for playing but because I have 5 kids to whom I've given a great deal of freedom. But one of the ways I prevent myself from being a helicopter mom is by knowing they can reach me any time if they need me.

I've no I-pod because I'm boring about music.

I love my laptop. I write my books on it, of course, so can't live without it as far as that goes. As for research, the internet is definitely the way to go--especially within fields that change quickly. Even stodgy anthropology journals now publish on the web (I have several articles that have been published in journals which are peer-reviewed--everything a paper journal would give you, plus easy access). You just have to be clever and patient about searches. Wikipedia can be a great place to start any search. And then, there's Google earth and maps, which I'd never be able to find or buy, especially if I just need a small question answered.

Then, there's shopping (we live in a small town with very little in the way of commercial enterprises), bill paying, taxes, and banking needs (all online), entertainment (we have no tv, so anything other than DVDs we watch online), and communication (email and FB).

That said, I could do the 48 hour thing. I would not be happy not being able to work on my book, or work at all for that matter, since email and my blog would be off-limits. It would be hard not to be able to call anyone. Admittedly, FB could survive without me.

Technology is a tool, like any other, even in its ubiquitousness. What would it have been like 100 years ago if a professor said, 'Right; you guys are too dependent on that new-fangled wood stove. Turn it off for 48 hours and use the fireplace only for heat and cooking.' Or a farmer who has been using a tractor being told that he needs to go back to the horse and plow because he's become too dependent on gasoline? I think it's an interesting exercise, but not in the sort of denigrating/snobby manner that the professor seems to be implying, as if the kids are 'too dependent' on technology. We are ALL 'too dependent' on electricity, but it has become so interwoven in our lives we literally cannot live without it.

Technology has no moral component in and of itself. It's what we use it for.

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Post by chuck » Sun March 21st, 2010, 6:45 pm

As I stated on a earlier thread....I'm a bit wired, cell phone use it only for emergency, no Ipod....no laptop, have a PC and I enjoy the Internet, for news, forums, blogs and the human connection.....I think as a people were wired and I'm not sure if that's a good thing....my pet peeve is Bluetoothers who talk loud and obnoxious and people who drive WIRED to the hand held cell phone/even some texting going on.....moderation please.....PS...I don't think the College professors were being snobby....I thought it was a relevant exercise....High School techers should try the exercise....

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Post by Margaret » Sun March 21st, 2010, 11:56 pm

I require the internet and email and do not think this is a bad thing. It's made many wonderful things possible that were not possible in the past. But I don't have a cell phone. I don't feel I need to be instantly available to anyone and everyone who wants to talk to me at any time.

I do see the point in asking students to try an unwired day once a year or so, because it's worth considering what a person loses by spending the whole day in chatter (assuming that a lot of "wired" kids do this - many probably don't). But I don't think teachers or anyone should be making people feel guilty about computer use. There were probably old fogeys in past millennia after writing and books were invented who complained and whined about the younger generation getting lazy because they were writing things down instead of memorizing them.
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