Okay, I’ll admit it here — I watch Comedy Central’s show, South Park, with my husband sometimes. The theme of last night’s episode, called “Raising the Bar”, while not spot on to our book, made me think of our book’s themes, as it had to do with our everyday interactions with one another and how they change . One of the characters in the show asked another if perhaps we haven’t lowered the bar too low in some cases, without even noticing. In other words, do we get so used to gradual cultural or societal changes, in our case, those made by technology, that we don’t even notice them, and we accept and incorporate new behavior into what’s acceptable and appropriate?
We polled the audience at our event last week to see if they thought it was okay to text while you’re at the family dinner table or at a restaurant with friends or family. Nearly everyone thought that no, it wasn’t okay to text during a meal, unless it was an emergency, but how often are you having a conversation with a friend or co-worker, and they’re constantly looking down at their phones for messages, or even texting while they’re talking to you? Young women announce their engagements or pregnancies on Facebook, teenagers send thousands of texts per month, and instead of saving us time, we’re SO connected by technology that it’s hard to get away from it! I have to agree with Sherry Turkle’s overall statement that we have to control or drive our technology instead of letting it control us. And your opinion?
Posted by Kathleen Wiechelman, Campus Librarian