Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Post 4: Technology at Home


In this posting, list all the communication technologies you own. Then discuss (1) the purpose of each technology—i.e., what you use it for; (2) how much time you spend using each technology; (3) what are some of the intended and unintended consequences for you and your lifestyle.

34 comments:

Dan MacKenzie said...

First I'd like to say I disagree with some of what Dr. Bugeja has to say. A lot of it seems very negative toward technology. I am someone who has grown up with technology -- my family has had a computer since I was 6, I've had them in the classroom since the first grade, I got my first cellphone at 13, etc. I think a lot of what Dr. Bugeja says, at least in the first chapter, has not held true in my life. Mainly what he sees as a 'loss' has not been for me. From my perspective, electronic community and communication have been a part of my social life for a long time. It has been more of a parallel development for me, rather than a loss of interpersonal time that we used to have. To me, a tangible sense of community can be had through electronic means. I suppose that would place me with the cultural materialists.

That being said, I agree with what he has to say about media shaping our perspective of reality, and the invasive nature of advertising. However I think those are the sort of things that can be mitigated using the very same technologies that allow them to manifest.

I mention all this because I generally see the technologies I have as useful tools, and don’t really see any undesirable effects, at least not inherently due to the technology itself. (e.g. If I happen to spend too much time watching TV instead of spending time with people, I see that as my fault, and not the fault of the television) So here is my list then.

Cell phone - I check emails and texts, news, weather, and play games throughout the day. Of course I also use it for calling people. It’s tough to say how much time I spend using this technology. It’s fair to say a lot; I sleep next to it, and it’s on my desk or in my pocket the rest of the day. The intended, direct, desired effect has been access to communication and entertainment. An undesirable consequence might be distracted driving. I shamefully admit that I will sometimes check messages while I drive, or look away to change music on it while I drive. But I would say that’s more my fault than the phone.

Tablet Computer – This one might be good for a study of consequences, because I just got an iPad three days ago. Rogers would say that I should check in with myself intermittently over the next year or so to watch the consequences. So far though, an undesirable, direct consequence has been stress from trying to get it to sync with all of my other devices and programs. This will be something I will spend a lot of time with as well, as I plan to use it for note taking and reading in addition to leisure use.

Laptop – I am pretty basic with my laptop. I write, use the internet, listen to music, I have things like Evernote for organizing, and Skype. I was unsure whether I should list those as separate technologies, but decided against it. The laptop is relatively old, about 6 years, so one of the unanticipated consequences has been the money put in to fix/update it. Until the purchase of my tablet, I’d says usage was somewhere between 2-5 hours a day.

Television – My new apartment has cable included with the rent, which is new for me. I really only watch for entertainment, that is, I rarely watch any news channels. I will occasionally watch the local news. An unanticipated effect has been for me to consider canceling my Netflix subscription, which would save me a few dollars a month.

Daniela Dimitrova said...

It's always interesting for me to see the reactions to the Bugeja book and your ability to multitask as well. Good luck with the iPad Dan--I just got one myself so I know what you are talking about in terms of syncing...

iafuelrunner said...

The first Chapter of Dr. Bugeja’s book provoked both agreements and disagreements with the role of media technologies today. After writing this technology-use list below, I realized some work cultures do blur the lines between work and home more than others.

I recently learned of a company in Waterloo, Iowa which won a “best workplace” award. Any emails sent before 7:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. were penalized with a $5 donation to a local charity for each email. I laughed when I first heard that story because my co-workers will often only miss a few hours of the day (usually between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.) when emails are not exchanged.

Our business is a fast-growing, entrepreneurial one, so the intended consequence is that we can keep progress moving regardless where the staff is. Unintended consequences is that is very rare for an employee to take a vacation day without having to engage in a work conversation via email.

I would agree that capitalism and business models are shifting due to new communication technologies. However, while the global economy is growing with new brick-and-mortar locations, a lot new online businesses and applications are creating growth well. I agree that online technology begets online technology and that we seem to be in a spiral of change that will never reverse. We will need to grab a hold of cultural norms and re-define what we believe to be right. From Dr. Bugeja’s perspective, that will likely need to be done before a generation disappears that knew what is was like before “invasive” communication technologies.

It is interesting to watch new mobile device commercials which showcase kids complaining that their parents have to choose between downloading recital photos or work emails. It really makes me concerned about being to shut-off in a very connected world.

5:15 a.m. Personal cell phone alarm clock goes off.
5:20 a.m. Check work email on work Blackberry to see if anything happened at any of the locations overnight. Check weather on local news station’s website to know how to dress for my morning run. Check my Facebook profile on my mobile app to see if any of my friends commented on my friends video that was posted yesterday.
5:25 a.m. Put on my Garmin running watch to track mileage, speed, etc. I’ll then upload the data online to track my running progress over several months. There is an online community where I can post routes or find running routes in other cities.
7:00 a.m. Check our company’s Twitter feed for industry breaking news. Listen to morning news show on TV as I finish getting ready for work (I don’t have time to sit down and watch it). Continuously check emails coming in from those already at work or those texting on their way in.
7:45 a.m. Arrive at work and begin checking emails, answering phone calls . The day may include setting up an online webinar to educate our customers, using our SurveyMonkey account to analyze primary research results or send an email using IContact, a direct email service.
11:45 a.m. Getting hungry, our department decides to order from a local restaurant online to have it delivered. We’ll all sit at our desks and eat, but our camaraderie was in the ordering.
3:00 p.m. Exchange Facebook messages with my sisters about weekend plans. Check out photos they’ve posted of my nephews. Look at a recipe my friend posted on Pinterest, then check the grocery store’s website to see if the ingredients are on sale.
6:00 p.m. Send a text that I’m on my way home. “Do we need anything else at the store?”
7:00 p.m. Individualized coupons are attached to my grocery receipts based on my previous buying habits linked to my credit card.
9:00 p.m. Watch TV for entertainment
10:00 p.m. Watch evening news for education.

iafuelrunner said...
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N B Kelly said...

Depending on how communication technology is defined, my list is:

Home phone
1) I use this for an all-purpose phone number, as I prefer to give cell phone number only to friends and family. Also, with children in the home, I like to have the phone readily available and connected to an address in case of emergency.
2) 1 hour/week or less
3) Intended consequences are similar to its purpose. Unintended consequences are difficult to name. I think that with technologies that one has grown up with, unintended consequences be difficult to discern. Sure, robocalls are annoying, but with call screening they are avoided.

Cell phone
1) I use for mobile phone calls. It is most important to me in case something timely needs to be communicated. For longer calls, I prefer home phone due to better reception.
2) 1 hour/week or less
3) Intended consequence is ability to be reached, or to call someone, nearly anywhere, anytime. Unintended consequence is the negative side of this ability, e.g., being interrupted with unimportant calls, especially at a bad time, or trying to drive a stick shift and answer the phone. The touch screen has proven especially frustrating in this regard and I generally avoid using the phone in the car for obvious reasons.

Laptop PC
1) I use for most of my computing.
2) 30+ hours/week
3) Intended consequence is the convenience of traveling with computer within and outside the house. Unintended consequence is that computer can become overly ubiquitous in life.

Desktop PC
1) I use for household-related things and photo storage; spouse and kids also use
2) 1-5 hours per week
3) Intended consequence is that I have a PC for family rather than personal things. Unintended consequences I consider minor, such as too much screen time for my children.

TV, DVD player, Blu-Ray player
1) I use to watch TV shows and DVDs.
2) 1-10 hours per week
3) Intended consequence is entertainment. Unintended consequence is again difficult to discern since this technology has been in my life for a long time. I am very conscious not to just plop myself in front of the TV and waste unintended hours.

Clock radio
1) I use to wake up in the morning.
2) Minutes per week.
3) Intended consequence is as a wake up call. No unintended consequences?

Bobbi Newman said...

Like many of my classmates I don’t agree with much of what Bugeja says about technology and social connection. I have spent the last few years dealing with exactly this sort of reaction (and panic!) to technology. The idea that innovation is disconnecting us with others is nothing new. The same fears were there when print papers replaced getting news from the town square or town pub. People were going to sit home alone and read (gasp!) and lose all social interactions. Each time we’ve seen a change in media we’ve see this from the written word to the printing press to radio to television and onward to new technologies. The truth is, as Rogers points out, that it will take years to accurately discern the effects of the inclusion of new innovations in our lives.

I have a quite a bit of technology, but I have found over the years that I treat my tech a little different than others. These are tools that serve me and my needs. I have push notifications turned off on my devices. I’m perfectly willing and able to ignore incoming phone calls and text messages. When I talk to others about incorporating technology into their lives I encourage moderation and mindfulness. That said here’s my list –

15 inch Laptop, this is my primary computer. I use the HDMI out to connect it to my television to watch Hulu and other video services on the TV. I also use it for writing email, papers etc. I am a gamer so I have used this computer for video games in the past though not currently as it distracts from my school work  I would estimate I use this one an average of 2-3 hours a day right now. Time varies depending on how many classes I’m taking (right now just one) and if I have a speech coming up that I need to work on (I have 3 in August so my time will likely double starting next week).

10 inch netbook. This is several years old. I travel often to speak or attend conferences and a small light weight computer saves my back and space! This one is mostly use for wordprocessing, PowerPoints and web surfing and reading books on the Kindle desktop app (I buy my textbooks as Kindle books if I can) I also take this one to the local coffee shop to do homework. This one is hard to estimate as some weeks I don’t use the Netbook at all, but if I’m traveling I use it heavily. One of the consequences I’ve seen over the years from the netbook comes from both an attendee and a presenter. Before lightweight portable computers if you were presenting and looked out into the audience you saw the faces of the audience members looking back at you, now all you see are the tops of heads as most people are either taking notes on a device, tweeting or ignoring you entirely About a year ago I stopped using the laptop to take notes during others presentations. I was invited to the TechSoup international summit and they asked us to “be present” and leave our tech in the hotel room. I took notes by hand in a notebook. Afterwards I felt like I was more present for the conversation but also that though I took fewer notes they had more substance. After that I decided that it wasn’t worth the effort to carry around a heavy device for note taking at conferences. Of course if I’m presenting I still need to have one and for my committee work I need access to reports and I prefer electronic copies of those so I still carry the iPad at times.

1/2

Bobbi Newman said...

2/2 apparently there is a limit on the length of comments so I had to break my post into 2 sections.


iPad – I purchased my iPad in October thanks to the high number of PDF files I had to read for several of my classes I hated to print out over a 100 pages each week and sitting at the computer was killing my back. I primarily use the iPad for reading PDF files both for school and reports for professional research and committees I serve on. I also read most of my textbook on the Kindle app on the iPad (if you’re looking for a way to read PDF files I highly recommend dropbox for syncing them to the iPad, I use iAnnotate and it integrates nicely with Dropbox for wireless syncing) I do occasionally watch videos on it, check my email, Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have many apps on it in truth. When the iPad was new I used it a lot more for casual things like checking Facebook or email or game (Angry birds!) I just wanted to be using it for something (probably cuz I spent so much money on it!) now that the “honeymoon” period is over I’ve reach a more normal phase of use. I also use it at the gym for either reading & listening to music and watching a movie, I don’t actually enjoy working out so its handy for distracting me. I probably use the iPad for 3 or 4 hours a day between reading and web surfing. I’d say the biggest consequence has been getting me to go to the gym regularly, it pretty much removes all excuses.

Smartphone
I’ve had one for years. Again I think like the addition of anything new you go through a honeymoon phase where you are learning the device and how to use it an incorporate it in your life. But after some time you reach a normal level of use. One of my techy friends was recently browsing the apps on my smart phone was surprised at how few apps I have. I didn’t even load Angry Birds when I got my new phone. All “push” notifications are turn off, my phone is a tool for my convenience not my boss or mom  I am a big texter so that is my primary use of the phone. I also use it for listening to music when walking around and taking photos. I occasionally use it for Facebook, Twitter, email and web surfing. This one is hard to estimate the time because I most often use it in short bursts to text. I would get 1-2 hours a day.

TV – I use this for watching TV shows either with Hulu on the laptop, Amazon Prime or Netflix steaming through my Roku (I canceled cable a couple of years ago). I don’t channel surf and only watch shows from my queue. Hours per day on average probably 2 or 3

It might be interesting to do this for social communication services we use as well Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. I think I would have had more consequences for that one.

Bobbi Newman said...

Here is an interesting article from the Atlantic on our reactions to innovation and technology. The norm pretty much seems to be that the world is ending :-)

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/

Shaun Kelly said...

iPad - I bought an iPad 2 last year. I use it the most of all my devices. I watch lectures and do readings for school, standard web browsing and email, apps for all sorts of things. Sometimes I read books and magazines on it. Probably spend 3 hours per day on it. Love it because it's so easy to use, always on, and always around so it's so easy to get whatever info you need from it whenever you need it. Biggest unintended consequence is that I don't use my laptop much anymore.

MacBook - Late 2007 model, so it won't get the next OS version. These days I only use it when I have school stuff that's going to require a lot of typing, web dev stuff, and graphic stuff. I spend several hours on it a couple days a week when I have actual work to do.

Cell Phone - It's an Android. Main tasks email, Twitter, text messaging, music, browsing the web, getting directions. It's my primary camera. Every once in a while I use it to make phone calls. I haven't had a land line at home since 2004. I always have it on me and use it a lot, but I couldn't say how much, since I usually use it in one minute increments. Biggest unintended consequence: I have access to all the knowledge in the universe at all times.

nook - I like reading on this a lot more than my iPad, but I've had very little time for reading for pleasure since I started school again last fall and almost none of my books for school have been available on nook. So, these days, I use it pretty much none. But beforehand the biggest unintended consequence was that I was reading about 3 times more books than I did before I bought it (from about 10 books a year to about 30).

TV - We actually own 3 at the moment, but only one is hooked up and we're giving the other 2 to Goodwill before we move in the next few months. I'd say the TV is probably on 3 hours a day, though I wouldn't say it gets 3 hours per day of attention. We've got a cable box, DVD player, and Wii hooked up to it. Don't use the Wii or DVD player much any more. Mostly we watch ESPN, Food network, or HGTV. TV news insults my intelligence (except SportsCenter). Biggest unintended consequences: 1) I know everything there is to know about buying a house from watching so much House Hunters which has come in handy this summer since we're trying to buy a house; 2) it's on pretty frequently as background noise, which maybe it shouldn't be.

Guntuku Dileepkumar said...

I disagree with Dr Bugeja technology and its social connection. Like Bobbi said, whenever new technology comes initial suspect was always there, society needs some time to get adjusted with the new technology. When people use the technology they come to know how important they are. Personally, I did not use laptop and cell phone until I am in college, but now I hardly imagine myself without laptop and cell phone. I own a few of communication technologies, but whatever I had I am totally dependent on.

Cellphone: I use my mobile for phone calls and emails. I guess I check my mobile in every other 10-15 minute as I want to be prompt on responding back to my office emails. Initially when I started emailing, in my mobile I am not that comfortable, after couple of months I am very much used to it. If I have any free time I prefer to jump on my calls and connect with my friends and family members. My wife complies that I use cell phone much than any another gadget, and she gets irritates especially when I use it at home after 9.00pm. The most intended use of cell phone is that it get connected us with the world and it is a quick & affordable communication technology.

Homephone: Comparative to my cell phone, I use my home-phone very less. If somebody calls to my home phone I am not sure I will attend it or not. Most of the time I get marketing calls to my home phone, so I prefer not to respond.

Televison and DVD & Wii-Fi: I watch my television only few hours in a week, but whenever I watch I prefer to see movies. If my time permits, occasionally I do play wii games with my son in weekends. Sometimes I do watch continuously 3-5 hrs, for Indian movies, it gives a kind of refreshment for me.I think the unintended consequences with TV are subscription to cable and other network providers. Without cable networks TV would not be interesting, finally end up paying lots of monthly bills. Another unintended consequence was that kids easily show enthusiasm to watch TV than studies. Presently I am having hard time with my kid; he wants to watch TV rather than reading and writing.

Laptop: I use my laptop for several purposes like emails, working on drafts and presentations, and for internet browsing. I cannot imagine myself without laptop. Out of 24 hrs I spend more than 9 hrs on laptop. I think laptops are much handy and convenient to use, especially at the time of travelling we can take our laptop and work anywhere. The consequences I can see are, if we are frequent laptop users definitely on the long run eyes will get effected. Personally I do not have glasses but sometimes I use glasses when I am in front of laptop. Another consequence I faced was virus problem; it did mess up my laptop and end up on work around to fix it.

Stuart Davidson said...

Cell Phone – I have an older cell phone that does calls and text messages. I use the phone to stay in touch with friends, family, and to accomplish daily objectives. I use the phone for roughly 1,000 minutes a month, and send/receive about 600 texts a month. The intended effect of this technology is a portable communication device. An unintended effect of the cell phone is that it impairs my driving ability when I’m texting while driving.

Laptop – I own a five-year old Dell computer that I use to access the internet and perform various tasks. The various tasks may include school homework, spreadsheets for work, and visual presentations for work. I use my personal computer for roughly 10 hours per week. The intended consequence is that it allows me to stay in touch with what is happening around the world, as well as complete necessary tasks. The unintended consequence of the computer is that I have started using it to order food, listen to music, and pay bills. It is really convenient for portable internet use. The internet is such a great tool because of the breadth of information that is readily available.

TV – I recently unsubscribed to cable television, so the TV that I own has functioned as a living room ornament for the last couple of months. I used to watch the news and sports on my television, but the quality of television has decreased quite a bit recently. I used to watch about 10 to 15 hours of television per week. I decided that it wasn’t worth the bill and just canceled it. The intended consequence was to get news and entertainment. An unintended consequence was that it became a habit to eat dinner in front of it.

Clock Radio – I use the clock radio to listen to baseball at night before I go to sleep. I estimate that I average about 5 hours per week of listening to the radio.

Stuart Davidson said...

In response to iafuelrunner:

I think the idea of penalizing emails sent outside of business hours is a pretty good idea. I t seems like companies and employees are sending emails at all hours of the night and expect a timely response. I often get emails at 6:30PM and the sender expects a response by morning. The phone that I use does not have email, so I physically have to sit down at a computer to respond. I would be very receptive to a company policy that resembled that.

Sam Shenker said...

Laptop: Probably the epicenter of my digital communications (Smartphone is a close second). I watch TV shows, Instant message, VOIP (voice over IP), Email, and use various news aggregation websites such as Google news and Reddit. This is in addition to Facebook and twitter, which I talk about in a separate section. I spend at least a couple hours a day either consuming online news or talking to friends on my laptop. I also frequently listen to the radio on the computer as well. As I do a large quantity of my schoolwork on my laptop too, I often get distracted from work when I get a notification.

Smartphone: It’s my computer on the go. Although a smartphone is probably better suited to communicating with friends, I often simply use it to make plans to meet up in person. (I will probably spend more time talking with somebody on my laptop than I do texting on my smartphone. Phone calls are reserved more for urgent matters and family members. Although my keeping conversations shorter on my phone reduce distraction from life, the amazing ability to be reached anywhere where there is coverage at a moments notice can drag me out of the moment. I try to ignore my phone as much as possible when I’m out with friends and find myself somewhat annoyed when my friends don’t do the same. My use varies from 15 minutes a day to 3 + hours… I’d say averages 30 minutes.

Social Networking (Facebook/Twitter)
Probably the most powerful tool for communications is the one I underutilize the most. I’m constantly hesitant to broadcast to everybody the everyday happenings of my life, especially considering Facebook sells personal information and data-mines everything you say to advertise to you. Because of these concerns I mostly use Facebook to keep track of old friends or pm (personal message) one or a small group of friends. I find myself hardly even reading my best friends Facebook timelines because we wouldn’t have anything to talk about if I did. Although it used to be much more, I check Facebook once a week, post something once a month, and update my information about once a year.

Sam Shenker said...

I'm going to disagree with a lot of the class and agree with Dr. Bugeja. My little sister is going into her junior year at high school and from a lot of the stories she tells me, (taking everything with a grain of salt... teenage girl after all) I think there is a change in how people are socializing for the worse.

I'm a big proponent of the natural flow of verbal conversation and the increasing number of distractions is taking time away from face to face interactions. The patience, concentration, and time commitments necessary for talking requires a lot of practice, we just forget about it because we were young. However, if these skills are not refined when we are young, then I imagine culture and society will look much different.

iafuelrunner said...

I agree with Sam. Junior high and high school students are instantly posting videos and photos without thinking about the consequences. This lack of conciousness creates a challenge for their developing consciences. It is rather disturbing to see how their communities are impacted by social technology.

Henry Nav said...

Communication Technologies I own and use:

Internet-connected Personal Computer (laptop, desktop, tablet) : I use instances of this technology for learning, communication, entertainment and work (not necessarily in such order). Being someone who works in the information technology sector, I heavily use this technology. I roughly estimate that I interact with it from about one-third to one-half of my waking hours. I also use it just about everyday of the year, since more than than a decade ago. My regular use of incarnations of the personal computer dates back about two decades ago when I was in college. Since then it has become an integral part of my means to live my life for the purposes mentioned above.
My first exposure to personal computing dates back to when I was fifteen, when we bought our first desktop computer. Initially, and for a few years, I saw the device as a means for entertainment (playing games) and productivity (creating documents for schoolwork, making graphics). As I went through college and the years of my professional career thus far, my view of personal computers has significantly changed. To me it is a learning and communication technology as much as it is a tool for productivity and entertainment. I still play games and perform work using it as my main tool, but I spend equal if not more time accessing, managing and communicating information (in the form of e-mail, web sites, online books, social interactions).

Mobile Phone: I primarily use this technology for voice communications. The time I spend with it is quite reasonable and within what I would say a moderate use. But in recent years, I would say the last 4, I have grown to also use it for the same kind of information access I use the personal computer for. Although it has significant differences with the personal computer in terms of user experience (smaller screen), mobile phone technology serves me for the same purpose as the personal computer.

Television : I have been with this technology for decades, old enough to have experienced it when content was still in black-and-white. I've used it mainly to passively receive information and entertainment for many years. The content and information I receive from television has been mostly generalized, as opposed to personalized. But in the last couple of years, with the integration of internet and television technology, I have experienced an expanded use of TV - it is now becoming a communication device, as well. Having learned from the developments in personal computer and mobile phone technologies, I foresee that TV's capabilities continue to merge with those of the other two, to create new types of experiences.

Henry Nav said...

I can appreciate the disagreeing points of view of the members of this class from those of Mr. Bugeja on the effect of technology inter-personal communications. For myself, I saw the first chapter of his book as largely passing judgement on technology as a destroyer of good and old-fashioned ways in how we live our lives and how we interact with each other. Perhaps this perspective of mine might sound too dismissive, but small observations such as his tone of words, seeming slights to other authors, and curt nature of many arguments regarding technology just sounds too one-sided for me.
I give Bugeja the credit of acknowledging the dangers and actual adverse effects of new technologies to the human experience. Perhaps the style of writing the first chapter was a necessary and effective strategy in view of the whole book. Whether or not this is the case, we will see as we progress through the book.

N B Kelly said...

The class is coming up divided on Bugeja’s “Interpersonal Divide.” I think that some of what he says has merit; however, he has fallen victim to “the sky is falling” journalism. I would much rather read a balanced view than his one-sided rhetoric -- because nothing is one-sided.

Bugeja seems to be one of those people who laments a golden age that never actually existed. Yes, the technological age has its drawbacks and problems; all ages do. On page 14 he denigrates such things as the suburbs, chain restaurants, and the ability to drive into one’s garage without stepping outside. I like those things, thank you. In the Peace Corps, I lived in Papua New Guinea, which a 100 years ago had a stone age culture, and is currently still largely pre-technological. Most of the population lives in “the bush.” One might think that a great sense of community would exist there, but the reality of it is, this is a society based on tribal beliefs, not science. Women have little social standing and illness is attributed to sorcery. Community “justice” is not justice in our Western sense of the word, and individualism is not encouraged.

I think that Bugeja is forgetting that the “horrible” suburbs give us clean water, air conditioning, police and fire services, hospitals, libraries, well-stocked food stores, and so on, not to mention minimizing insects and the diseases they carry. Are the neighbors not talking to each other? Hey, at least they’re not accusing each of sorcery.

Bobbi Newman said...

the Bugeja text and the reactions I've seen here by classmates reminded me of this quote from Douglas Adams "Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

Shaun Kelly said...

Sam, I've watched my girlfriend's youngest sister and her friends go through her high school years (and now into college; do I feel old), and I have to say my uselessly anecdotal perspective is completely the opposite of yours. Besides the fact that Facebook and text messaging has replaced the hours and hours on the phone that were the norm when I was in high school, I don't see a huge shift in terms of behaviors or adjustment or displacement as Bugeja would call it.Teenagers are stupid and are going to do stupid things regardless of the technology.

Norene, "sky is falling" is exactly what I was thinking. I think he makes some valid points in that we require some adjustments in attitude and skills to deal with the pace and amount of information available now. But I think he sees us too much as mindless consumers of media and not nearly enough as the active reinventers and adopters that Rogers talks about. Nor does he really acknowledge all of the positive aspects of technology.

I, for one, don't feel beholden to the tyranny of pop up ads, Microsoft, and AOL Time Warner.

Josh Solyntjes said...

I'm seeing a lot of disagreements from the class with the points Mr. Bugeja is making in this first chapter. I'm very much in agreement with him, mainly from personal experience. I read the first few paragraphs and started realizing that a lot of the issues he's tackling are issues that I've experienced myself.

I'm actually currently working through counseling to help with my stunted social issues. I feel right at home and comfortable communicating with people and large groups online, but when I step out into a large group situation in the real world, I shut down and don't know how to communicate. I think a lot of these issues come from the fact that I was raised using computers from an early age. I used early chat rooms and talked with most of my friends on AIM and via text messaging throughout school and was never really forced to learn actual social interaction in the real world.

Anand Tripathi said...

Cell Phone: I use my cell phone for checking emails, making phone calls, listening to music, getting directions, addresses, text, weather, playing games and I spend a considerable amount of time on it. It's with me for most part of the day and evening except when I am sleeping.
Consequences of spending so much time on the cell phone is getting panic attacks if I forget it somewhere. Feeling of being handicapped since I am so much dependent on it.
Other than that I think it's a great device that keeps me connected with the rest of the world.

Roku: I love my Roku. Once I got it, I cancelled my TV. I usually watch the documentaries on netflix and some of my TV shows. Unfortunately I do not get to spend a lot of time because of work and school and other social obligations. But I really like the fact that it saves me a lot of money on cable and I have the choice to watch any episode that I want to.

Laptop: I use my laptop for pretty much everything that my phone can't do. Completing homework assignments, emails, browsing the internet, and Skype.
I spend about 2-3 hrs a day on my personal laptop besides being on the work laptop for 8 plus hours.
Some of the unintended consequences are the annoying software's that ask me to be purchased when the trial period is over. I have to go and uninstall them. Some of the intended consequences are paying for anti virus and internet services in order to use the laptop.

Josh Solyntjes said...

Cell Phone (Android mini PC) - Phone calls, text messages, tracking workouts, looking up information on the go. I spend probably 3-4 hours a day using my phone. Intended consequence is talking to my friends, unintended consequence is missing out on a lot of the tone/sarcasm you can normally pick up on when communicating in person, also using it in situations when out with friends can be a bit of an issue.

iPad - eReader, social games with friends (words with friends, draw something, etc). I use it about 1-2 hours a night on average. Intended consequence is having books on the go, I haven't really had too many unintended consequences.

Desktop PC - Gaming, homework, chatting, reddit, etc. Almost the whole time I'm at home, I'm using my PC for one thing or another. Intended consequence is being in constant communication with my circle of online friends. Unintended consequence goes to my other post about my stunted social skills in the real world.

Laptop PC - All the same purposes, uses, and consequences of my desktop PC, except I take it with me when I'm traveling.

Netbook - Homework and research while at the coffee shop. I use this about one or two nights a week for schoolwork at the coffee shop. Intended consequence is getting homework done faster in a better environment. Unintended consequence is still having all the of the online distractions that I have at home.

Joshua Jordan said...

Dan MacKenzie wrote:

"I mention all this because I generally see the technologies I have as useful tools, and don’t really see any undesirable effects, at least not inherently due to the technology itself. (e.g. If I happen to spend too much time watching TV instead of spending time with people, I see that as my fault, and not the fault of the television) So here is my list then"

I understand your point of view and the real benefits that technology has brought to our lives; however, I must disagree with you on whether or not we can place the fault of ill effects on technology. Personally, I think we can place a lot of blame on the undesirable effects of technology.

One example, even present in your list, is the tablet computer. I think that the society we live in is undeniably a consumer society and equally undeniable is the fact that, over the past 30 years or so, the American people have gone into massive debt in order to maintain consumption, particularly on products that we don't need.

It seems to me that Companies, through social pressure and the adoption process and the desire to maintain positive market growth, can create (false) needs. The tablet computer seems to be one of these false needs - i.e., something we want, but digest tons of information describing it as a need. In fact, some might cry out at an Apple store that they "need" the tablet in similar fashion to a mother in one of the third world nations we pillage cry out that they "need" the rice to feed their family. The simple and tragic fact is that the Westerner has to face down the influence of Capital - from the perspective of someone from a third world nation, it might be interesting to see what we really need... So in this sense, technologies do face blame - there might just be items we don't need, like a tablet computer.

Ben Lortz said...

Technology at Home:

First of all I have really enjoyed reading the two sides of the argument about Dr. Bugeja's ideas. I can agree with both sides but I tend to mostly disagree with Dr. Bugeja's negative comments about technology.

As for my home communication technologies, I own an iPhone, a laptop, and a TV.

iPhone: The reason I purchased the iPhone about a year ago is because of the benefits that it provides for my schooling, work, and entertainment. I mostly use my phone to check emails, keep my schedule, and I also use it as an alarm every morning. It is hard to give an exact time I spend on my phone every day but I almost always have it with me and I would say I am using it probably close to two hours a day. One of the positive consequences that my phone provides is the mobility that it provides to me for checking my email and having the internet at the palm of my hand. It also has the negative consequences of distracting me from work that I need to do and it can become a hazard when I am trying to multi task while driving or walking through campus.

Laptop: My laptop is the main technology that I use to accomplish important tasks. I rarely use it as entertainment and when I am on it I am either replying to emails or doing homework such as this. I feel that my laptop has become less important to me since I purchased my iPhone because now I have a lot of the same benefits of a computer in my phone. I usually use my laptop for about 30-60mins a day on average. When I have homework or business to do that number may be substantially greater but other days I don’t even open it up. I think that they main consequence of having my laptop is allowing me to do work from anywhere in my home. Without the cables and large hard drive that a desktop computer would have, my laptop allows me to take it with me where ever I go.

TV: I think that my television is probably the most used communications technology at my home. I use it to watch the news every morning, for entertainment throughout the day, and sometimes simply as background noise while I am working. I would estimate that my TV is on for about 3-4 hours a day, about half of this time I am actually watching it though. The biggest consequence of having my TV on all the time is being able to stay connection to what is happening throughout the world. I often have a news station on or another channel that will update me on events all over the world.

Anand Tripathi said...

Sam I totally agree with you. The art of face to face communication is dying. In fact I hate to admit that I chat with my room mates over messenger or text rather than just walking over to their rooms. We can call it convenience but I am still a big proponent of face to face conversation.

Ben Lortz said...

It is really interesting to see all of the unique technologies that some people are using. I have never heard of Roku from Anand's post and I have never used a netbook or tablet computer, but it seems that many people really enjoy these technologies. Even though I do not have the extra funds or extra time in my day to use a lot of these new communication technologies, I may look into the benefits they could provide to me for future use, especially Roku.

Guntuku Dileepkumar said...

I agree with others that we are all dependent on the communication technologies and more over every one wants to use latest technology. For example though we have basic phones most of us preferred to use smart phones for various benefits. I myself want to have an ipad, though I can fulfill my needs with my computer. I guess that we need to go with changing digital world for better benefits.

Joshua Jordan said...

Technologies that I own:

Cell Phones
Ps Vita/PS3/Xbox 360
Laptop docked to two extra monitors as a workstation
Televisions
Scanner & Printers


The purpose of each technology; time using each; and the consequences, good and bad:

Cell Phones – I have an iPhone for personal use, which is basically a hand-held computer. I use it for numerous functions – obviously its use as a phone is clear, but I text, email, browse the internet, check the news with it; it truly is a versatile piece of technology. I also have another phone I use for business – it’s a flip phone that I use strictly for calling and sometimes texting. The flip phone I do not use very much, but with the capabilities of the iPhone, I spend a lot of time using it. I carry it everywhere and access it for something at least once every waking hour.

The cell phones are my main line of communication – without them, I cannot even talk with some family members. I have completely abandoned the use of a land-line, so my cell phones are rather important to me. There are negatives, however, of using cell phones – for one cost. These companies make people enter into long term contracts and their service is not cheap. Also, they depend on well charged batteries – if one does not stay on top of this daily, they will be easily cut off from their means of communication.

PS Vita/PS3/Xbox 360 – these technologies are for entertainment purposes and are time vampires. The companies that produce these machines have long been interested in developing gaming communities; thus, it is quite easy to find people worldwide with similar interests in gaming. I bought the Vita because of its 3G connectivity and the hope that it will be jailbroken for use as a phone soon – then I can dump the iPhone and save money and have a massively superior piece of technology to utilize.

Because these devices are time vampires, I do my best to stay away from them as much as possible – if, for instance, one were to get caught in a game of civ, they might as well cut 100 hours out of their life. On the positive side, the games are fun and the companies are coming up with interesting innovations.

Workstation – obviously the place where I get my work done, but having so much visual real estate is not necessarily a good thing – one’s attention can easily be yanked back and forth if not careful. When it comes to getting down to business though, having everything laid out and visible is a great benefit. Also, this is my primary location to access the internet; so it serves a major communication function. This means I spend a lot of time here, perhaps most of my day.

Televisions – these are utilized for entertainment mostly, but I do watch a bit of CNN every day to catch up on the news. Also, for local broadcasting, knowing the weather is easily obtained via TV. I can’t say that I watch much TV, especially after the History Channel split off all of its good programming to H2 – it’s now basically the Pawn Stars network & I’m sick of watching it. I guess this is a huge negative – network executives responsible for programming are alive just to piss me off and ruin my television experience…

Scanner & Printers – I use these to make copies of documents I receive and print out the unbelievably high quality work I produce for dissemination. Time using them is low because it’s all a lie; my work is mediocre at best. One negative of using the printers specifically is that they cost a fortune to maintain. I have a laser jet and an ink jet – one requires massive payment on an annual or so basis, the other small payments fairly regularly.

JLTSC574Student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JLTSC574Student said...

In this posting, list all the communication technologies you own.

I am in possession of a cell phone, Ipad, and laptop.

Then discuss (1) the purpose of each technology—i.e., what you use it for;I

Cell Phone: I use my cell phone as my primary phone. I use it to mostly to communicate with family and friends.

Ipad: I use my Ipad to check email, browse the web, play games to relax, listen to the radio, buy and read books and articles.

Laptop: I use my laptop to surf the web and video chat.

(2) how much time you spend using each technology;

Cell Phone: a few hours a week

Ipad:several hours a week

Laptop: a few hours a week

(3) what are some of the intended and unintended consequences for you and your lifestyle.

Cell Phone: unintended consequences would be I tend sometimes be in areas where signal strength is not the greatest and my call gets dropped, which can be annoying. An intended consequence is that I get to communicate with people I care about.

Ipad:an unintended consequence is that I have a first generation Ipad and it is a bit bulky with it's aluminum casing. I also use it more than I think I had anticipated and am amazed at all the apps out there to make the device even more useful. An intended consequence would be that I read electronic books and am able to watch television shows and movies on it.

Laptop:An unintended consequence is that the operating system has to be updated regularly to be up to speed with the latest programs. Another unintended consequence is that because I use it so much its fan has to be on quite often. Over some years the fan can get to be annoying. An intended consequence is that I am able to get onto the Internet. I am able to purchase a variety of goods online. I am also able to do banking online. When I need medical information I am able to go to online websites.

JLTSC574Student said...

I found N B Kelly's 7/8 comment to be interesting. I think the real world experience of being in the Peace Corps gives a perspective that can put the course reading into context. I do not know enough about Dr. Bugeja's background to say if his perspective reflects similar points of reference.