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This week I began to read, Smart Mobs, and I must admit I am scared.  Now, I understand that as a society we are already relatively dependant on technology.  However, I will not be signing up to have my cell phone grafted to the end of my hand anytime soon.  This book makes me wonder if technology will soon replace face-to-face contact all together.  Will we lose all personal connection to cell phones, computers and any new gadgets in the making?  Not only that, but is the younger generation suffering because of technology.  Many children between the ages of 10 and 18 cannot construct a grammatically correct sentence to save their lives.  A 2004 article in The Daily Orange discusses a professor blaming email and instant messaging for a decline in a student’s writing abilities.  While I admit laughing out loud the first time I saw this Cingular commercial, it honestly is not all that far off from how things really are in today’s technology-crazy world. 

Rheingold does talk about social networking on the internet.  These sites would boast that they bring people together not draw them apart.  However, how often do people lie on these sites?  Is your profile the real you?  Idunno.org raises an interesting distinction that exists in the social networking universe.  There is a big difference between identity and persona.  Social networking offers the chance to create an online persona, not an identity.  This relates back to a point I made in our class discussion on GoogleGroups about The Search.  When employers search for your name, are they seeing a clear picture of your identity or simply, your online persona?  Or, do you believe they are one in the same?  If you were to follow my daily path around the “social” internet, you would find that I have many friends that are musicians, I ask a lot of questions about event coordinating and I belong to many different recipe circles.  Is this who I am?  I sure hope there is more to me than meets the “internet eye.”  So, at the end of that ramble, I find that social networking serves to diminish real personal contact as much as technology does. 

Now, let’s see if I can step away from the gloom and doom a bit.  Honestly, I cannot imagine life without my cell phone…well both of them (work and personal).  I am hesitant to purchase an all-in-one phone and risk being reachable 24/7.  However, technology has opened so many doors in our professional and personal lives.  How many of you telecommute or hope that you will one day?  Without technology, this would be impossible.  So, much like the two sides of search, there are two sides to the technology dependent person.  And, thank God we have a choice.  In an interview with Gina Trapani, she says that we have to consciously choose to walk away from our technology.  She proposes making one weekend day a week computer free.  Unless you are checking weather or movie times, leave it alone.  Do you think you could spend an entire weekend technology free?  I’m going to turn my cell phone off this Easter Sunday and leave my computer to its power save mode.  Join me?    

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One Comment

  1. As I was browsing your site, I was really moved to some deeper thought on your topic. Personally, I fear I am completely digitally dependent, but it does afford me the luxury of tele-commuting once a week and that is NICE !! BUT – I treasure and value my friendships – and though I ‘talk’ with my family everyday on AIM – it doesn’t replace the gratification of a hug and a ‘how are u?’ in person from my daugher and son.
    Intentional balance – that is obviously the new buzz saying for my life. Thanks for the thoughts.!!
    Connie Divens


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By Cell Phones » Blog Archive » Smart Mobs? on 18 Mar 2008 at 1:18 pm

    […] Computers, Cellphones, Cellphone Plans, iPod, Ink & Toner, Cameras, PDAs, DVDs, Games and More&#… wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt This week I began to read, Smart Mobs, and I must admit I am scared.  Now, I understand that as a society we are already relatively dependant on technology.  However, I will not be signing up to have my cell phone grafted to the end of my hand anytime soon.  This book makes me wonder if technology will soon replace face-to-face contact all together.  Will we lose all personal connection to cell phones, computers and any new gadgets in the making?  Not only that, but is the younger generation s […]

  2. By Movies and Film Blog » Smart Mobs? on 18 Mar 2008 at 9:14 pm

    […] Angelswords Weblog placed an interesting blog post on Smart Mobs?Here’s a brief overview […]

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