Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Turkle vs. Wesch

            After reading the article and watching the video, I got the feeling that Turkle and Wesch are on allies when it comes to media and technology, but that they believe in different solutions. Wesch argue that we need to have the knowledge to use technology to better equip ourselves, and Turkle argues that we need to break free of technology to better equip ourselves.
Wesch takes the standpoint that we need to utilize technology to move students from being “knowledgeable to knowledge-able.” He feels that if students have the ability to understand how significant a message can be when seen by the masses, they will be motivated to use technology in a more productive manner. He references T.V. advertisements, and random viral videos that have done amazingly well at connecting people and igniting positive change. He makes the point that in the past, there was not a lot people that were not on TV could do to make change. Now, with new advances in technology anyone can be heard and voice their opinions. Wesch argues that we need to teach students how to effectively use media for productivity and positivity, and once learned, students will use it for just that.
Turkle argues that in order for individuals to really connect with each other, the devices need to be turned off and put away. She references our youth, who would rather interact via screens than have actual face-to-face conversations. She makes a very good point about the ability to delete and fine-tune everything that is put into the universe via technology. In real life, conversations can be messy and blemished, but on the web, everything can look perfect – including someone’s life. If we continue to rely less on real-life, real-time feedback, we will eventually lose the ability to connect with each other free of devices. We will lose that ability and the need to read cues, because we can just send a message without the fear of having to respond immediately.

It was interesting to read about, and see on the video, one significant commonality. A main reason given as to why people develop a dependence on technology stems from lack of human attention. In the video, a girl holds up a sign lamenting about how professors don’t know her name, and in the reading Turkle quotes an answer to her question about technology relationships as “No one is listening.” This is intriguing. Technology gives us (in my opinion) a false sense of being connected and being listened to. Although, technology also give is the ability to have our voices and opinions heard by millions of others. This is the reason why I believe Turkle and Wesch are allies when it comes to media and technology. They are both seeking to answer the same question: How can we find a balance of human interaction (with no technology involved) in conjunction with connecting in a meaningful and productive way with technology?

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