Question of the Day: Technology

As I begin to work more diligently on my next book, I have been focusing a lot on convergence culture and the value technology has for society, for the study of history, and for its dissemination to the laypublic.   But one thing I have been struggling with, from a personal perspective, is the usefulness of technology on a social community.  Technology has the ability to limit and isolate, which is seen with the decline of phone calls–a social function–and the rise of texting (something decidedly less social).  But it also has the ability to unite, and we see examples of this all over.  My question is, can its value to unify be overshadowed by its divisive quality?  I’m particularly interested in what Bob Cargill and James McGrath have to say.

2 Responses

  1. I’m not your target here, but I think society has been dealing with this since the invention of writing. Each technology gives us a trade off. Some people bemoan the personal contact of telephones, I am sure people bemoaned the loss of face-to-face contact with the invention of the telephone, and the loss of orally delivered messages with the development of the written word.

    In the end, it’s irrelevant to be concerned about the benefits or harms of them. It’s best to find methods to use the new technae effectively to accomplish a given task, since people will always use the most convenient thing they have at hand.

  2. My concern is also for the preservation of history as much as it is finding ways for historians to utilize such technology. I wrote a piece on this a few months back: https://tomverenna.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/convergence-culture-and-the-future-of-history/

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