For Better or For Worse? Competing Technology Messages

Good Morning from Reno!

The campus is hopping again with students returning from spring break, and with it comes the air of excitement and anticipation as the second half of the semester kicks into gear. Personally, I am looking forward to the completion of classes as well.

For today, I dug out an email I received from Susan Aaron, a very capable editor and loving mother, that included some fabulous content on technology. For starters, here’s an interesting quiz about technology in the news and how informed you are (or aren’t). It was very interesting to see what stuck out in my mind from tech news over the past year…

Second, here is a wonderful article from the Pew Research Center on the mixed messages that maintstream media is sending consumers about technology. The first viewpoint is that technology makes our lives easier by making tasks efficient and easier. The opposing viewpoint is that the risks, such as privacy and identity theft, may outweigh the convenience of that technology. It is always easy to see the good in new technology, but I often find myself skirting over the negative issues. After all, ALL new technology comes with risk, right?

What was surprising to me is that the “texting while driving issue” was not as prevalent a topic on social media platforms as it was traditional media such as TV and radio. According to the study, those who are involved heavily in social media tend to have a much higher positive appreciation for technology and are more likely to engage in conversations about changes.

Unsurprisingly, social change and trends dominated the technology conversation, with 18% of all tech articles touching on the subject in one way or another. I am currently in the midst of reading the Shallows by Nicholas Carr, a great book that goes into great detail descibing real changes that the Internet is having on the way we think. Despite having the convenience of technology, there are always going to be risks involved, and often times people do not take appropriate steps to be aware of both sides of the issue.

How do you keep up with technology trends? What action do you take when a social issue (i.e. texting while driving) begins to gain attention?

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5 Comments

  1. Glad you could use the Pew Research information–and how did you score on the technology quiz?

    I look forward to your review of The Shallows.

  2. Russ, this was a great post! I failed miserably on the quiz but knew I would. Technology is confusing especially once I finally understand something a new thing is there to replace it. I am just glad that I know people like you that can keep me updated even though I probably stare at you like you are speaking greek. I have also learned that I had better up to speed. Thanks for the information.

    Warmly,
    Patricia

  3. Thanks for the thoughts Patricia! I can definitely empathize with struggling to keep up with technology. In the blink of an eye it can all change. And when confronted with “geek speak” just put on the deer in the head lights look and ask for an explanation in “English.” :-)

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