Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Post 7: Must-have technologies?

In a previous blog we discussed all the communications technologies we use on a daily basis in our homes. Now, consider which of these technologies you would give up if you were forced to. How would this impact your life? How would you compensate for the loss? Which is the one communication technology you could not live without?


titun said...

In this age of instant gratification, life without all the new technology is unthinkable; but it could also be less stressful. We may have to actually use more brainpower figuring out ways again to make life easier, but I am not sure we can, and would survive without all the technology we have today.
Though I admit, I am a slave to technology, be it new or old. It’s hard to determine what I can, or cannot live without. Since I use technology every minute of the day, right from the second I wake up with the buzzing of my alarm clock, to the time when I switch off the last lights in the house, I am swamped with technology and its possession’s on me.
If asked what I can live without, I came up with a pretty impressive list:

Phone lines: just because we have to talk, we can converse with our neighbors whom we only see, but have never really talked to due to our ultra busy life styles, in the 5 last years that we have lived side by side. I can catch up with people living on my street, or for that matter the girl sitting next to me in class with whom I have only shared occasional glances and smiles, because we have been busy gazing deep in our laptops.

My ipod is something I am willing to give up too, though I use it fairly a lot listening to music where I want. That way I can actually listen to the music station playing in the car, or simply enjoy the sight and the tranquility around me.
T.V- Though I don’t really watch a lot of television, apart from CNN or other news channels, I am willing to let go and share a real conversation with my family and friends over dinner.

Now the technology I CANNOT live without- my computer.
I use my computer daily, non stop no matter where I am. I use it both offline and online. When a friend states they do not have a computer, my response is, “I cannot imagine life without my computer.”
Offline, of course, I use Word for documentation purposes, writing, storing, and editing documents. I also play offline games, record music, use various software programs. There is a lot I can do offline – these only mention a few. The first time I became acquainted with the computer and internet was in college. Part of my final exam requirement was doing online research in preparation of my term paper. I griped and moaned and thought it was so stupid. After all, all I had to do was go to the library, read and take notes, and just write the damn paper manually. And I needed a computer with internet access. This was the beginning of my journey into realizing that I cannot imagine life without it. My life revolves around it, these are some of the many things I do on it like- Stocks, Online Banking, Telling time, watching movies, Organizing everyday things, writing papers, emailing, the list is endless.
The whole world seems to revolve around this eight letter word. As a means of communication, as a means of gathering information, or as a way to make life easier, we all use technology everyday. Its technology, not money, that makes the world go round, and we are powerless to stop it, and that’s what modernization is all about. In order to function in the world, we should know the basic knowledge of how to use technology; otherwise, we are just a lost ball in the garden of high weeds.

Melissa said...

Titun - your analogy at the end of your comment was really good and very true.


In the previous post I mentioned I used Facebook, MySpace, email, cell phone, and I have a Blogger account. I also have a TV and some video game systems.

I consider myself a minimalist - I once spent an entire summer with no phone, no bed, and was using a stack of boxes as a dresser; I did have a computer which was connected to the internet, but I only used it for chatting (which I didn't do much of). I felt amazing that summer, with no technology to tie me down. When I use Facebook, I only use applications that I find more relevant like iRead, The Wall, and Causes.

MySpace is highly minimalist with basic functions like a blog, a wall, a bulletin board, pictures, event planning/invitations, and the ability to send individual messages (like email) to specific people.

My email is used for ... email. And if I have time, I might use the Blogger link to shoot over to my blog to post.

I use my phone as a phone, a watch, a planner, and an alarm clock.

I could definitely live without my MySpace and Facebook accounts, as well as my Blogger account. I pretty much already go without a TV since I don't really watch it and only intermittently use it to play video games.

I would have a really hard time going without my email or phone, just because they're both fast and efficient ways to communicate with people.

Like I said before, I went an entire summer with basically no technology or even creature comforts - minus the computer I had to use in an advertising summer class). You might wonder why; I would tell you that those things just aren't important to me. My friends didn't really appreciate my endeavor, but when they wanted to talk to me, they knew where to find me.

Melissa said...

I wanted to post this Daily article because I found it very interesting.


Here are some related links:


Erin O'Gara said...

I think that in the previous post I listed my computer, my phone, my iPod and my television.

After thinking about it for a while, I've decided that I could pretty easiliy give up my iPod, and although I wouldn't like it much, I could also give up my TV.

I don't use a landline phone, so my cell phone has not only become my main source of communication, it is also my alarm clock and an occasional planner. I am extremely dependent on my cell phone to communicate with people that I can't see often, and as a source of finding information. Likewise, I am heavily dependent on my computer and the Internet. Like Melissa, there are many things on the Internet that I could give up (Facebook and online shopping/browsing are the first to come to mind) but I have become reliant on the Internet for news, research and email.

Etse Sikanku said...

I'll choose to give up my cell phone. It will not affect my life very much. In fact it will rather help me save some money. I would never have thought i could live without a cell phone-but i lived without one for about a year-and survived. Although i have one now i am ready to give it up if i'm forced to.

I believe emails and my landline can make up for the cell phone. Then i also have control over who i can talk to and how long since i may be required to o a lot of he calling in this case.

Also the technology i can' live without will be my laptop. Since i use it for lots of school and non-school work, it will be a great loss if i don't have it.

Xiaomin Qian said...

On the former post, I mentioned that I use five communication technologies. They are radio, mp3, television, cell phone and computer.

First, I want to say these technologies really help me. They make my life convenient and easier. I slide into these advanced technologies without awareness. Someday, if they disappare, I am really not accustomed to the new life. However, I have no cell phone, no mp3, no computer in the childhood, but still have a happy life at that time. Maybe we are not so dependent on the technologies like what we think. We can do an experiment of living a week without using any communication technologies.

After consideration, I can give up my radio, mp3, cell phone and TV. I don't use radio and mp3 frequently. So it's Ok for me to give up them. Cell phone is a device that I like and hate at the same time. When I driving, I'd like to bring cell phone in case the car has problems, I can call for help. On the other hand, I hate to be found at any time and place. Landline can compensate me for the loss of cell phone. Because there are too many advertisements, I switch channels almost every five minutes, and lose interests of watching TV. It's not a big deal to give up TV.

Computer is the most important and necessary technology that I can't give up. Actually, it can provide all the functions that radio, TV, mp3 and phone have. When accessing to internet, computer's functions are doubled. I use computer to watch movies, call my family, browse online news, finish a lot of assignments, contact friends.

Xiaomin Qian said...

Almost everybody can't live without computer and internet. I appreciate these inventions.

tammy said...

Wow—thanks everyone for your great discussions yesterday in class for my discussion leader project. There was one thing I forgot to draw attention to from our movie clips which I found interesting especially in light of the fact that most of our blog entries are saying that we could not give up our computers and still function normally in our society.

Did you happen to notice the lack of computers/laptop in the film, Pretty Woman, for the 1980’s? I thought this was quite interesting that neither Richard Gere of the person he was communicating with from his office had computers; they still had paper files and day planners. Can you imagine an office or traveling business person in a film today who is not totally dependent on his computer for communications?

tammy said...

The technology I could most easily give up would be my TV. It is used only a small portion of the day, mainly for news and weather information and for watching occasional movies.

Both of these things can be easily compensated for by using other technologies, namely my computer. I think even some of the radio programs I like to listen to can be accessed online, so maybe I could even get rid of the radio. I think I would make more use of internet news sources, newspaper, and attending movies at the movie theater if I no longer had the TV.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am quite dependent on my computer and internet connection. I would find it a true hardship to give it up. I would find in very difficult to do my schoolwork and manage our banking and bill paying (we don’t even have a local bank, everything is done online). I would find it next to impossible to continue working at my job, which is out of state. I complete at least 75% of my job tasks over the internet.

Andrea said...

In a simpler world, the comm. technologies I COULD live without are the computer and TV. If we're talking in terms to what we could live without in our homes, then yes, the computer (but only if I can still use one at school or a library to do school work). Honestly, so much of my time on the computer is just random looking around and unnecessary e-mail checking. If I could just go to school and write up papers or send e-mails, I really wouldn't need a computer in my home. I could also get used to not having a TV around if I had to. I probably wouldn't miss out much since I can get news from print sources and entertainment from books and music. The only thing I'd miss is being able to watch movies and other DVDS. I guess I'd just have to go out and see movies in the theater with the rest of the world. 

I could NOT live without a cell phone or a CD player. Having a cell phone has come in handy so much for keeping in touch with my parents and sister back home. It's also a nice thing to have in emergency car situations (which I've had plenty of). I also see the cell phone as “ok” to have because it's enhancing your communication with others, whereas the TV is a confined experience where you're not really communicating with someone else. I also could not live without a CD player (especially since I wouldn’t have a computer to play my music on). Music is such a huge part of my personal life, and I just love it so, so much. Yes, it would be difficult to not have TV to watch, but I think it would be more depressing not to have music to listen to or to sing out loud to. It's also a lifeline for long car trips. So, I'd have to keep the cell phone and the CD player.

P.S. Just got an offer for a free iPod from a friend! I don't have an mp3 player as of right now, but having heard so many people say they could really go without it, should I even get it, if it's just going to add to my subconscious electronic frustration that we learned about from the last article? Ha ha. :)

Eva said...

In my daily life, the most frequently used communication technologies are television, cell phone, and computer. If I have to give up one, I will choose television at first, and then cell phone. The last thing I can’t stand losing it is computer, as well as the others.

I can drop television firstly, and I don’t think there will be much more impact, because it can be replaced totally by internet now. Most TV program can be found, downloaded and watched on line. When watching TV on line, you can choose TV program whatever you like, whenever you want, and wherever you watch it. Maybe there is a lost of watching TV and chatting with families together. But lots of families have more than one TV and watch programs separately.

Cell phone is a convenient and helpful tool to keep in touch with others for business, arrangement, dating, contact etc. If I lose it, it will be much more troublesome to be connected with others instantly or in a short time. And some important stored information as business, friends will lose at the same time. Then it will spend lots of time to restore and correct the information. However, it is still bearable to live without it, if I still own my computer and internet. Each friend can be found and communicated with on line. All information stored on line and upload in the internet can be found back in any computer.

At last, I can’t live without my computer absolutely. Not just the computer, but my computer. It can be certified by the situation I met these days. My laptop didn’t work out last week because of the loosen connection of electricity power, so I ordered a new laptop on line and was waiting for 1-2 week’s shipping. It did make me mad! I feel so boring and upset all these days. Though I can surf internet in library, 0004 room, and community center whenever, I still feel bad and down. It freaked me out! And now, knowing the good news that new laptop is coming next two days, I feel much better. 

Etse Sikanku said...

Andrea i find it interesting that you are willing to give up your computer and TV. Your reasons are also interesting and very valid. But if you think time wasted on the computer is most times unnecessary i think sometimes we tend to delve into some unnecessary talk during phone conversations too. I'm sure this is not for everybody, but sometimes i prefer sending emails because, you can easily control how much time you spend sending the email, you cut out any unnecessary things which could have come up in conversations and one can check and reply at their convenience. Unlike phone conversations it does not look like someone has control over your life when you have to keep responding to calls--just some thoughts.

Eva said...

to melissa,
I saw the article of hugging thing, and I have to tell you that it is normally forbidden in China especially on campus. In high school, it is not allowed to hug, to kiss, even have male-female relationship. Teachers and parents are stricked to stop these things for they consider these would bring bad impact on students' studies. This situation is caused by some factors as the tradition, society, educational system. But why it also happened in United States?

Scott Schrage -- Program Assistant said...

Seeing as how I do not currently own a computer (utilizing my friend's only on certain occasions -- like this one), and considering the fact that I grew up in a home without one, I believe that I could get by without consistent access to a PC. While living without a TV seems rather inconceivable, I would like to think that I could survive without one. It's my belief that by utilizing other sources of information and entertainment (e.g., newspapers, books, magazines, etc.), I could eventually come to see them as appropriate and worthwhile substitutes.

Living without access to a radio or CD player would be extremely difficult. I do not own an MP3 player, but lacking the other devices would take away a facet of life from which I derive a lot of entertainment and inspiration. Yet, given enough time, I also believe that I could learn to live without them.

Like many others, I do not believe that I could live without my cell phone -- particularly if I was forced to give up other communication technologies. My cell phone is the primary device by which I communicate with family and friends, whom I consider to be far more important than any other aspect of my life.

Scott Schrage -- Program Assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Schrage -- Program Assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Schrage -- Program Assistant said...

Whenever I give thought to how I could possibly survive without certain technologies, I also think about the fact that our predecessors got by without them. Of course, the introduction of technology inevitably leads to our dependence on it, as those who are responsible for producing and promoting it follow by establishing structures and frameworks that make it more essential than it needs to be -- that is, more essential than upon its introduction to society. As Dr. Bugeja would undoubtedly point out, they probably do this primarily for financial gain. However, I still believe that if, as a society, we were to trace our steps back to a time prior to our reliance on technology, we might well find that we could once again live quite successfully without it. Barring an extraordinary development, that will never happen -- but that does not mean it is impossible.

Melissa said...

Eva - It is interesting that hugging is not allowed in school's and campuses in China. I can understand certain things, like male-female relationships and kissing, though. Especially in regards to studies.


Sometimes I use email to send messages in order to cut down on the time I spend on my cell phone. I have a joined plan with my family so we all share minutes and it's very easy to go over and end up having to spend more. I think this helps me depend less on the phone.

Melissa said...

Hi everyone! My research partner and I are going to be writing a literary review on subliminal advertising for our 598A class.

For a good starting point we've created a questionnaire that we would like anyone and everyone to fill out. It's only 5 questions long and should only take a few minutes to complete. Since there's no good or easy way to just attach the document, I will copy and paste it below.

To fill out the questionnaire, please copy and paste the questions to a word document, answer the questions, and then email the document to melissa.fenech@gmail.com.

Your participation is greatly appreciated!

-Melissa Fenech and Eloisa Perez-Lozano

1. Have you ever heard of subliminal advertising?

2. In your own words, what is “subliminal advertising?”

3. Do you believe subliminal advertising exists?

4. Why do you believe that subliminal advertising does or doesn’t exist?

5. Have you ever perceived something subliminal in an advertisement? What was it?

Andrea said...

Melissa, I just answered your questions for your outside research on advertising. Interesting topic!! Let me know how it pans out and if you need anymore assistance or participation.

I don't know much on the topic of subliminal advertising. We hear so much about it on an amature level and sensationalized in mass media. I'm interested to see what you find academically, and what you're own research finds out. I think I heard you mention earlier that Jay said there isn't much on this topic. That's great for you, you can pioneer it! Good luck!