Finally! After weeks of reading what I perceive to be the same topic over and over again, it is nice to have something new. Benkler’s book, “Wealth of Network”; Shirky’s book, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization”; and McGonigal’s book, “Reality is Broken” all highlighted the same argument. These authors all believe that the growth of technology is ultimately going to have positive impact on our society. I think that all these authors are correct. Technology that is being developed has change our society but I will have to argue for the good and for the bad.
Technology is allowing individuals to connect faster and on a more of a broader scale. New and different types of groups are forming because the number one factor that the growth of technology has affected is communication. The way individuals communicate has been changed forever. Social media has given us the ability to share information, cooperate with one another, and to take collective action as a unit. No longer do we have to just accept the information given by our mass media without our voice being heard. Mass media has now become a two-way streak; enter birth of transmedia and Web 2.0. There are individuals everywhere that can now have a voice.
Also the growth of technology has made information more accessible. Information is being shared over the Internet easily; nothing is off limits or private. Since information is easier than ever to create people assume that it should be free. People are putting information online not to make money but to inform, entertain, and persuade other users.
All these factors are great for society but there are some drawbacks that Lanier points out with the rise of this technology. As I pointed out in my previous post the authors of Wealth of Networks and Here Comes Everybody overlooks the people that are negatively affected by this new form of communication. Lanier says that social networks have ruined our actual relationships that we have with each other. We are losing the basic concepts that we learn as children about human interaction. We learn about movies we might like from a mathematical equation instead of our friends, we project what we want to look like to others through an avatar. Social media has connected us to more people but you have to argue how much we really know these people.
Since information is available, most individuals want information to be free. Lanier argues that this phenomenal is diminishing original creative work, with movies, games, and music. Online culture is being flooded with individuals work and they are not being able to make money from it and most of society sees this as the norm. But this maybe the norm does it make it right. We are robbing the creative folks of making a living and I do not think its right. In You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier I think he does a great job of putting out all these defects. Of course some of his allegations are outrageous but most I agree with. So are we gadgets? Pons used by Google, Facebook, and Twitter. That question is really for the user to decide.