Remembering the Positives of the Digital Age
Posted by baileybudnik
Many times after reading about the effects of technology on our lives, I feel slightly more negative than positive. I tend to focus on the negatives in terms of our mental health and consumption, however, Chayko’s chapter in Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Medial, and Techno-social life” I felt empowered to read about factual positives of social media and Web 2.0 in our lives. I was unaware of the theory that during the industrial age, we grew further apart from one another. This time period did not allow for social technology yet, so camaraderie and social connection lessoned. Once the digital age arrived, this separation was mitigated through available digital communication. Chayko explains that “in this sense, “tribes” that might once have met over a fire pit or in a village green can once again gather frequently. Their gathering place, though, is now the internet or a social media site” (Chayko, 2018, p.182)
Now, even when I am sitting in my cubicle at work, I am connected to friends, family, and interests by just a few clicks. This contributes to the world feeling smaller and more connected, even if we are connecting through a digital means. Especially with the onset of social distancing measures, it feels welcoming to know technology acts as a miraculous device to communicate.
When we now feel moments of loneliness or boredom, we have the technology to engage with. It allows a space for myself to pursue my passions as well as connect with like-minded people. This proves Chayko’s assertion that “there is always some kind of entertainment that can be sought, found, or even created online” (Chayko, 2018, p.185). Just as humans created tribes and collaborative events in the past, users replicate that process online. From virtual marathons to live stream gaming, there is no end to entertainment and connection through the digital world.
Personally, I also feel the benefits of technology when I am trying to reach out to friends or family, even when I am not physically close to them. I am (probably annoying!) habit of calling my family or friends down the list if the previous contact did not answer. No matter what time of day, I am bound to find somehow to share something with.
Reflecting on this phenomenon makes me feel incredibly positive about the high points of technology. We have the ability to share our lives with almost anyone at a moment’s notice. It is a seemingly small, yet powerful action at our disposal.
Chayko, M. (2018). Superconnected : the internet, digital media, and techno-social life. Sage Publications, Inc.
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