Technology Neil Postman Analysis

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The articles “Technology” by Neil Postman and “I’m So Totally, Digitally, Close to You” by Clive Thompson, both set to address the role of technology in society and debate whether the internet has an effect on the community. Does community exist on the internet? Thompson argues that the internet, social media more specifically, provides a “dynamic of small town life”. With the involvement of social media in the twenty first century, does the definition of community adapt to this new phenomenon. The possibility of social media being a valid medium of which communities can thrive is likely because the internet resembles aspects and characteristics of the traditional community and the existence of the physical world and the virtual world are …show more content…

A community where people inhabit, who are no particularly close in physical proximity, yet close in the in the way that a group of people is intimately involved. They are this way because the constant stream of updates made throughout each individual’s day, routinely updating the user with new trivial information into the individual’s life. This can create a phenomenon Thompson describes as ambient awareness, the effect of unconsciously learning the habits of patterns of people who post frequently. Postman argues that community is “made up of people who may not have similar interest, but who must negotiate and resolve their differences for the sake of social harmony”. To have such a community, implies collaboration, debate, and overall a common goal. Working together to achieve this shared goal, social harmony, requires efforts made by occasionally conflicting peers bound by their need to pursue their common goal. Postman claims that social media has warped the once meaning of community into a new demolished metaphor for a group of individuals who share common interests. The determining flaw that the current definition presents compared to the traditional is that these similarly minded people conjugate without a concrete and defining goal. It is true that social harmony is not required on the internet; survival of the human race is unavoidable with or without the involvement of the internet. However, …show more content…

Community as a construct is very broad and viably applied to the needs of people in its traditional context. As Postman said, “People are quite capable of adapting to all sorts of changes; soldiers adapt themselves to killing, children adapt themselves to being fatherless, women can adapt themselves to being abused”. Certainly, adaptation does not have to be gruesome or extreme as Postman’s examples, one can adapt to an assortment of situations and context. Who is to say that the definition of what community entails and provides as a social construct is not malleable to the needs of the present? As Zuckerberg said, quoted in Thompson’s article, “…Social norms catching up with what technology is capable of”, it is plausible to suggest that community, in terms of the preserving social harmony, is found in social

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