Monday, July 7, 2014

Turkle and Wesch: Allies or Opponents?

What is the relationship between Turkle and Wesch? Do you see them as allies, or opponents in this discussion of new media and technology?

Turkle’s article, The Flight From Conversation, reminded me a lot of a video I shared in an earlier blog post. Technology has definitely impacted social relationships, and Turkle seems to believe it has been in a primarily negative way. She believes in a world where we are always communicating, we have sacrificed conversation for connection. I have been in social situations many times where every person, or almost every person, is looking at their phones, or trying to get the right picture to post. I try to take the "spend time with those you are with" approach when it comes to social situations, which I believe is good tech etiquette. Multitasking and trying to be a part of an event which simultaneously looking at a phone can come across as very rude, and made a person look uninterested. And as silly as it seems that you even need it, my husband and I have no phone times when we spend quality time with absolutely no interruption. 

Watching Wesch's TED Talk, you would think he has the opposite viewpoint. He makes very powerful points about the use of technology to connect individuals all over the world, and as an educator makes the point of explaining how it transforms students into produces of knowledge rather than consumers. He says students should go from being knowledgeable to knowledge-able. However, towards the end of his video, he makes the point that while it is technologically easy to connect, share, collaborate and publish, those are actually very hard concepts. 

I believe Turkle and Wesch are allies in the discussion of new media and technology, even though they have different views. I think they would both understand that both of their views are equally important, and that the use of technology varies depending on the situation. Turkle makes the important point of how to put down technology and pay more attention to the very important relationships in life, but Wesch believes in using technology to change the education of students. A well rounded, technologically savvy student would be able to understand the appropriate times and uses for their devices, which is something that needs to be modeled and taught.

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