Our Technological Text Pandemic

| 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks

While I think that the world has greatly benefited from the technology boom of the last few decades, I do agree with Kakutani that our many uses of the internet and recent technology have hindered our society, made us impatient, and detracted from original or true meaning.  This problem has created a Western society characterized by ADD and deconstruction of original texts. 

The various informed experts mentioned in the review had the overall opinion that this new technology "impairs our ability to think deeply and creatively even as it improves our ability to multitask."  Today, there is so much information available to us on the "World Wide Web" that data, novels, discoveries, histories, and works of art are taken out of their contexts and are dredged up, out of the whirling, mixed stew of human creation, up to the searcher in portions severed from their frameworks, rather like parts of a human body without its head.  So much stripped and instant information at our fingertips has resulted in a fast-paced society typified by hard-core multi-tasking and pandemic ADD.  For example, every day I see students "doing homework" while listening to ipods and texting and with the tv flashing in the background.  And things that quickly attract our attention are usually brief and entertaining--funny, idiotic or ridiculous, scandalous, sexy, violent, loud, colorful, constantly moving and changing (unsurprisingly, Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel comes to mind).  As for ADD, many people in our society don't like to spend much time immersed in one thing, and we hate feeling like we are wasting time--hate waiting more than 15 seconds for an elevator?  And yes, I too am guilty of complaining--"oh my god, this is taking so looooonnnggg"--when my web page takes more than the few acceptable seconds to load.

Another negative result covered in the book review is that new technology has led to the deconstruction of texts and of individual interpretations instead of their valuable contexts--resulting in the discussed "end of authorship"--meaning that it "enshrined individual readers' subjective responses to a text over the text itself, thereby suggesting that the original idea of the author (and any sense of the original intent) was dead."  I also agree that nowadays, sadly, many readers read to adhere to "groupiness," rather than reading for personal enlightenment, and don't uncover or comprehend all that the book has to offer.  I read the books that I am assigned to read in class.  I also read books for my own enjoyment, ones that involve adventure, fantasy, action, mystery, travel, or personal transformation.  I enjoy some and detest others, and occasionally, I come across a book that truly becomes important to me and stays with me, whether because it made me think about something in a new way, reveals a hint about the true nature of ourselves as humans, enlightens me about the world outside my own, or makes me focus on myself to make myself a better, more intelligent, virtuous, and caring individual.  I believe that this part of reading is so important, and unfortunately, many individuals don't get to experience this as much because they are reading solely for "groupiness," or because they have to, or just try to get the reading over with because part of that cultural ADD, implemented because of our new technology,  is too much ingrained in them.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: https://blogs.psu.edu/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/142358

Leave a comment

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

Mine Class's Magnificent Residual Message
From taking this class, I have learned the importance of starting a speech or essay with a good attention grabber…
The World's Repatriation of Antiquities
I think that the strengths of my essay were my strong language choice, the flow between ideas, and the amount…
Our Technological Text Pandemic
While I think that the world has greatly benefited from the technology boom of the last few decades, I do…