Summary Of Amusing Ourselves To Death

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It is becoming more and more apparent that the media runs society. People are able to access the Internet and all of the information, entertainment, and distraction it provides at almost any location or time. This widely available form of media has benefits and drawbacks. People argue for more practical and educational benefits to technology’s growing presence in American culture, but Postman suggests that all of this media is dangerous. In his book, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman argues that the dependence on and continuous presence of media in the everyday lives of people is a threat to the lives of those falling prey to this lifestyle, making them lazy and filling them with inaccurate and dangerous ideas. Postman provides insight …show more content…

Television must present stories that will attract viewers and often there is a slant toward one bias or another when it comes to how politics are discussed for example. In addition, television must be fast-paced, only spending a minute or two on a story before changing gears with a completely different topic. This makes it difficult to get a complete understanding of an issue. Postman further emphasizes the point that television as a sources of important information can be detrimental, saying, “‘Credibility’ here does not refer to the past record of the teller for making statements that have survived the rigors of reality-testing. It refers only to the impression of sincerity, authenticity, vulnerability or attractiveness (choose one or more) conveyed by the actor/reporter” (Postman 102). I think that this is a terrifying, but true proposition. The expectation is that if a reporter is talking about a story, they must have gotten their information …show more content…

Many of my classes require me to complete online assignments weekly, but there are also opportunities to take full classes online. I experienced what it is like to take part in an online class this semester, as I took a psychology course online. While I feel that I learned the information well and put forth the effort to remember the content on a long term scale, I can see how Postman was warning against such opportunities. He emphasized how learning through television takes away the active part of learning in which a student may ask questions and think critically about issues. In a sense, this is exactly what my experience with taking psychology online was like. The majority of the class consisted on reading the chapter for the week, completing a review assignment, and then taking a quiz over the material. Essentially, all a student must do is memorize the material in order to pass. This could also happen in traditional style classes, but it is likely that at some point, the teacher would add in some outside knowledge from what is in the textbook or discussions over the material would take place. This deprivation from discussions and the ability to actively question and learn is what Postman worried about. Online classes may be beneficial when it comes to scheduling conflicts, but it must come at the cost of gaining a more encompassing education causing a decrease in true understanding of the

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