Wednesday, September 12, 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. 


Raeann Ritland said...

My communication innovations, time spent on them, and their purpose:
1. iPod-(1-2 hours) I primarily use this for email, music (Pandora, iTunes), and entertainment (Facebook, games). Occasionally, I will also use it to check the weather. During the summer, it also serves as a way to entertain my kids at the daycare where I work.
2. Cell phone- (1-2 hours) My phone serves as my immediate mode of communication with my family and friends. I primarily use it for texting, as I very much dislike talking on the phone. One, while texting may be slower, it ensures I do not get stuck on a 15 minute call when I only had one question. And two, it allows me to collect my thoughts before responding, something I cannot do when on the phone.
3. Television- (1-6 hours) First and foremost, my television serves as a “noise provider.” I work from home 2.5 days during the week (and often on the weekend), and I am one of those people who has to have background noise—I find silence deafening. I also try to find a few primetime shows that I like because I need something to do while I run on our treadmill, something I do daily. Finally, during my scant amount of free time, television does serve as a form of entertainment.
4. Computer- (>8 hours) This piece of technology is probably the one I use the most. I use it to compose all homework assignments as well as all work assignments. Because I commute, I do not have immediate access to the library, so any time I need it, I have to access it online. Also, being that I do research for one professor, the majority of my work requires me to find, read, and synthesize articles relating to a variety of topics. In addition, I am a TA for an online class. In this case, the whole of my responsibilities require me to be online. Finally, I use the computer as a source of entertainment (Facebook,,, etc.)

Consequences-both intended/unintended:
1. iPod
a. Positive: More immediate and convenient access to the Internet and games, cheaper than a computer/iPad
b. Negative: Distraction during class, distraction from sleeping, causes arguments because it is not solely mine
2. Cell phone
a. Positive & Negative: Enables me to not confront my fear/anxiety/annoyance related to speaking on the telephone, people can always get ahold of me, calendar for appointments, calculator, takes the place of watch
3. Television
a. High entertainment, mindless, encourages my exercising, gives me something to do since I do not live in town
b. Distraction-takes me longer to do things, mindless, waste of time, keeps me indoors
4. Computer
a. Faster, convenient, efficient in all areas—more “plugged in” than ever before
b. Hand cramps, distraction (both because I can access other things online when I’m supposed to be working and because it keeps me from doing other things outside the computer)

Sicong Zhao said...

I currently own an iphone4s, an ipad2, amd my Lenovo laptop.
Iphone4s : I use them less than1 hour a day. First of all, I still keep a kind of old school tradition that cellphones are for texts and phone calls, also I use them as map a lot. Secondly, I'm not used to use a cellphone to surf the internet or sending E-mails( checking them is fine ). The screen is a little bit small, as I'm already a near-sight guy, I have no intention to make it worse...sigh. Well, there are some unintended consequences. For one I was kind of getting used to view internet pages on it, and for two, I found Facetime pretty sharp as I can communicate to my friends back in Chian as long as they're also iphone user and keep their netlink open.
Ipad2 : I used to spend a lot of times on my ipad2, but for now I only use it occasionally. It was not really a rational action of me to purchase an ipad2. It was all because of I was traveling in Macau and I was acknowledged that the ipad2 there was way cheaper than mainland China. As a result I bought one of them just in case that I may use it in future. As it turned out, I only use them as a larger e-book. The intended consequences are: They really are much lighter, than book or laptop, which makes it more convenient to carry. Additionally, I do enjoy some of its apps, they are pretty useful and some of them are quite funny to play. But there are some unintended consequences also, as the most of times I only use them as an digital book, I find it easy to read but hard to cite. For a real book, I can always take a quick review over pages but I've got to flip page by page on ibook. It may work for short books but it's really a nightmare for some over thousand pages books.
Laptop : As ipad2, I used to spend over 6 hours per day on my laptop but now It has down to like 2 hours average per day. I merely watch TV even when I was at home. For laptop, I surf the internet, watch videos, read news and articles, and of course, play computer games. But for now I am studying abroad, in a brand new major, I find it hard to catch up so I work pretty hard everyday and I've stopped playing computer games but still do all the other things on my laptop. It's hard to say the unintended consequence from laptop, although there are some disadvantages like occupying all your leisure time browsing the internet, chatting on SNS, playing games as well as watching TV shows and movies, but it's unfair to say that they're unintended consequences because I know I would waste time on these stuffs the first place I bought it. Anyway, the only unintended consequence I can come up with is that I had learned how to take apart my laptop to fix certain functional problems or clean the fan on the motherboard.

Anonymous said...

I currently own the following communication innovations:

1. IPhone4: the purpose of owning iPhone is to be able to freely use internet when traveling. The average time I spend on iPhone is about 30-60 minutes. Most time I spend on phone is to check emails, weather and stocks and briefly view news. I uploaded Skype on it so I can families in China easily, sometimes we conduct video call. The unintended consequence is I have been more actively taking pictures, I didn’t like to carry camera to take pictures before. So far iPhone serves me well.
2. IPad2: I don’t use iPad on the daily basis, only when I need it during discussion with teammates. I bring it to campus because it’s light and thin, it fits in my bag. My husband uses iPad much often than me. I have been complaining that he spends more time with iPad than with me. He checks news, emails and weather, reads books, call families by Skype. The unintended consequence of iPad2 is that my husband wouldn’t listen to me when he is distracted by the content on iPad2.
3. Laptop: This is the communication innovation that I mostly rely on and spend a great deal of time on. It’s served me as entertainment center, studying and reading base, communication tool, shopping center and data storage. The current one I am using is Toshiba bought in 2009 and it works well. It’s hard to measure the average time I spend on it, today I have been with it for 4 hours, writing emails, reading news and stories, finding research materials for course#501. Typically I would spend 4-5 hours on my laptop. The unintended consequence is I would sit there and watch it for too long, and it could reduce my intention to go out. In addition, my right shoulder came up with pain a few years ago; I started to practice yoga in order to reduce the pain.
4. TV: I used to use television as a “noise provider” as Raeann does. It started more than 3 years ago that I suddenly found that I couldn’t tolerate the noise from advertising: it is so annoying and fretful that I eventually quit television. Now television serves only when we watch video or when there is hot news. The last time we watched TV is for Obama’s speech on DNC, last Thursday. Therefore the average time we spend on television is less than 10 minutes a day. And this is also an unexpected consequence: I started to be intolerant about commercials on television.
5. Desktop: I use desktop when I need to print or when I need to upload a large amount of pictures. It is mostly dominated by my husband. I don’t spend much time on it, no unintended consequence so far.
6. Tablet: It’s relatively small and heavy. I haven’t used it for a long time. The last time I used it is to bring it to a class for discussion, 4 months ago.
7.Viore digital convert box: This can be used to watch TV and video. It was used to watch videos when we were traveling in summer. It’s small, easy to be carried. Usually we don’t use it. I haven’t observed any unintended consequences.

Aimee Burch said...

I currently have an iPhone 4s, a laptop computer, and a TV.
My iPhone is my constant companion. I use it for so many things: Traditional phone calls, texting family and friends, email, and social media (Facebook and Twitter mostly). I use it as an alarm clock. There is an app I have that logs my workouts. There is music, camera for photography, maps, weather, score alerts for sports teams I follow, and I use it to record interviews for the Daily. The bright side is that I'm connected to everything, and it keeps me incredibly organized. The downside though is...well, I'm connected to everything and everyone. When I lose it or leave it somewhere, I feel lost and vulnerable without my phone. It's an odd sensation.
I use my laptop maybe three to four hours a day, more or less. I use it for reading articles and email, connect with friends, type papers, research, shop, and to watch Hulu and/or Netflix. It gets used for work, both for my assistantship and for Daily stuff. I love that everything can be found in one place. I'm not searching different computers or whatnot trying to find one piece I need.
My TV is constantly on. Not because I'm watching it though. I may actually sit and watch something maybe an hour a day, but it's constantly home for noise purposes. It provides background noise and occasionally entertainment.

Sarah Wiley said...

Laptop – My job requires me to be on the laptop whenever I work (25 hours) and my internship is done remotely (10 hours). Add in weekly school work, research, and fun time (I watch movies online, have weekly schedules chats with overseas friends, Facebook, and play games with Mom) I am probably on the computer over 75 hours a week.

Cell phone – Since I don’t have any gadgets on it I use it solely to talk or text (mainly the latter). Its also my alarm clock.

The positive is that I feel connected to friends and family both here and overseas. Seeing them in person is not an option but with texting and the internet is the next best thing. The negative is that I hate feeling plugged in. I have resisted upgrading my phone because I don’t want that obligation of being tied to my e-mail 24/7. For classes, deadlines are outside of class hours (take this blog) and that would only be possible with internet. Even now, as I am sitting here in the hotel on vacation with my family, I am plugged in to work and school. I was hoping to leave all my tech and home and really get away, but that simply no longer is possible.

Radio – I usually listen to the radio in the car or put it on at home for the noise.
TV – I do not watch a lot of TV as it makes me really nervous. Too much news raises my blood pressure!
Ipod nano- I listen to it when working out and listen to podcasts while reading.

The last three really serve as background noise, which can be a positive and a negative. While listening to my ipod can focus me, it also cuts me off from what is going on around me. It can make you less aware (we have all seen those people idly waling across the street under headphone without even looking).

Raeann Ritland said...

I would have to say I agree with Sarah when she says her iPod can make her unaware of what's around her. I find that to be one of the largest unintended consequences, not just in conjunction with my iPod Touch, but also with my cell phone and the computer. I get so focused on the device and the feeling of being "plugged in," when in reality, I'm very tuned out from my immediate surroundings. It's a strange phenomena to consider: being so virtually in tune and so realistically out of sync.

Amber Knutson said...

This post gave me a lot to think about.
My current communication technologies:
1. Laptop/s (8+ hrs. a day)
2. Ipad (2 hrs. a day)
3. Desktop (1 hr. a day)
4. Cell phone (1 hr. a day)
5. Kindle (30 mins. a day)
6. Television (1-10 hrs. a wk.)
7. Car radio (1 hr. a week)
1. Laptop/s: I use my laptop to create, modify and update the science fiction magazine that I run. In addition, I use it to connect to the authors and artists that I utilize for each issue. I also use my laptop for school purposes and use it to research for homework and my RA positions. Beyond those purposes, I also use my laptop to watch a lot of tv and online programs, listen to music, read news, check weather, skype with friends/family, and facebook.
2. Ipad: I needed to purchase this device for app developing purposes, but it is slowly becoming a device that I use when other devices aren't around. I use it to quickly look wikipedia, facebook, or, and I spend time playing apps on it.
3. Desktop: I usually use it in the mornings over breakfast to check on world news and facebook. Occasionally I will use it to watch a television program or play.
4. Cellphone: I use my cellphone to talk with family and friends and to fix tech problems that arise with the magazine. I also text family and friends.
5. Kindle: After receiving my kindle, I found that I appreciate reading classic novels and various library or prime-lending-library books on it. I use it to read, play games, and watch amazon instant videos.
6. Television set: The free channels that I can bunny-ear to my tv, allow me to watch the CBS Evening News, various PBS programs, and a few primetime television programs. In addition, we play our Wii on it.
7. Car radio: Although I'm not a huge fan of music, I use the car radio to listen to talk programs, news programs, and the occasional music station.
In the past, I have spent entire days watching television, playing computer games, or talking on my phone. Now, however, I try to resist the urge to spend so much times on devices. Even with as little time as I spend using most of these gadgets, I know that the time I do spend is a huge time-suck. The intended consequences of laptops and computer usage is founded: I can research faster, connect better, find things that I otherwise wouldn't in Ames, Iowa. In addition, most of these devices (radio, television, laptop, ipad, cell) allow me to stay updated about current world, country, state, and family affairs. They allow me to communicate better with my family, friends, and colleagues.
However, again, they are frequently wastes of time. While I see very few unintended consequences in regards to the television (probably because I use it little), I know that my laptop and desktop computers tend to offer TOO many distractions from school and work. In regards to my cellphone, more and more research is coming out about radiation and cell phone usage - and I rarely use the external headset. My ipad and kindle tend to help me release stress from the day, but they also encourage me to dive into watching more programs. Listening to the radio is a great way to pass the time during a long drive, but some talk radio programs make me angry and radio generally distracts me from driving, which usually gives me ample opportunity to get lost.
In addition, I have found that using my laptop on a desk makes my right hand hurt and the abundance of these devices clutters my home.
Because I grew up with a computer engineer father and a television-loving mother, I have become quite dependent on gadgets. This dependence goes further, though, as I feel quite positive when I use these devices. Since I find intense pleasure in watching, I find the ease of access and multiple access points to programs a bit unfortunate for me.

Amber Knutson said...

Going through everyone's comments really gave me a lot to think about. It seems as though we ALL see these devices as distractions, even though we, of course, find them useful to some extent. It's interesting to note that many of us looked at the negative unintended effects. Maybe the negative are a bit easier to see - the hand cramps in Raeann's case, the lack of interaction with Mary, the constant connection with Aimee and Sarah - yet, it's also important to note that there are positive unintended consequences. I hadn't really thought about many of those until I read Mary's comments about taking for photos with her Iphone. This of course, could be a positive or negative effect, but none the less, it made me think.

I also find it interesting that our comments very nicely reflected what Dr. Bugeja wrote in chapter 2, "For many users of mobile technology, community metamorphoses into elevator music" (41). Technology requires little in participation of the REAL world, and, instead, very often requires a disconnect from it. We use the ipad instead of talking with family, listen to an ipod instead of becoming a part of your location, and frequently use television to mask our loneliness. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to list my radio as one of the communication technologies I current own. I still use radio to listen to NPR which is one of my favorite medias, especially when I was along, cooking or doing some other housework. The purpose of using radio is to improve my ability of listening English, the unintended consequence is that radio became an important source for me to know fully about national events and hot topics. I use internet radio more and more because it's easy to choose my favorite program and ignore the trivial part.

Daniela Dimitrova said...

I was glad to see references to the Bugeja book and also to see some similarities between what technologies you own and which devices I use on a regular basis. For me, the main unintended consequence is being plugged in 24/7 and the constant pressure that I need to answer one more email or need to check one more academic source. Sometimes I have to step back and take a day (or half a day) off from technology...