I choose to listen to this podcast because I am one of the many today that takes part in online education, which relies almost solely on technology. I personally think the technology we have is mind blowing, and yet in this podcast they keep referring to the internet as being in an infancy stage. You can find anything on the internet now, even the Bible is completely viewable online, it does not seem like something that is still young. This interview is only from 2011, if we are in the infancy stage of the internet, how much more is going to be available at our fingertips in the next decade?
Taking online classes is proof to me that we can lead examined lives with our technology which is something both Sherry Turkle and host, Krista Tippett keep coming back to. We can use technology to improve our lives by incredible amounts, if we use it the right way. However, our cell phones have become our “phantom limbs”, they are always near us. We find it hard to be away from them for any period of time, but from Sherry Turkle’s research, this is hurting personal relationships. She is calling for families to have sacred places, where they disconnect from technology so they can truly connect to one another. The main place children see this as important, according to research, is at the dinner table.
She tells a story of a boy whose mother spends hours making four course meals every day, and during the meals the father does not look away from his blackberry. The son tries to make a compromise with both parents, if mom makes shorter meals, will the father put away his blackberry at the table? I think this is such a sad situation. I myself make it a point to not have my phone on me when I am eating a meal with my family, but outside of my family I know many people who will eat a meal with people they care about and still their phone will not escape their grasp. I don’t think we realize how hard it is to focus on our surroundings and those around us when we are plugged into our technological devices.
Technology goes 24/7, we cannot. We should not try to keep up with it; we are losing our personal relationships according to this podcast by trying to keep up. Setting boundaries with technology can improve relationships. This being said, we can use technology for such incredible thing, for instance, we can now get an education solely online. At any time we can look up anything we seek to know more about and their is an abundance of material easily found to allow us to learn. I hate technology sometimes, I see that it is changing society as a whole but it is a beautiful thing when used the right way. At the end of the program Krista Tippett asks “what are you doing to lead an examined digital life?” I think we need to think deeply about how we use technology in a positive way and how we can retreat from it for periods of time to be more connected to the world around you.
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