Mrs. Huffington’s lecture, The Brave New world of “New Media,” was insightful as it was interesting. From how to tune in, to how to tune out, Mrs. Huffington covered an array of strategies that can help improve one’s life. I found her comments on technology to closely reflect my own. First, that technology has the potential to continue transforming our world. From the Arab Spring, to the Huffington Post, technology has changed the forum of the world – extending the power of speech like never before. Most importantly, I believe, was Mrs. Huffington’s proposal that – especially our generation that has grown up with technology – needs to learn how to tune out for a period of time, in order to better connect with ourselves. While this has obvious advantages when working on a project or, for her, when she is writing, tuning out during times of peace can also be incredibly beneficial. In my experience, Mountaineering for weeks on end with NOLS and being completely separate from the digital and civilized world has allowed me time to reflect, learn and grow. More specifically, I found the 48 hour “solo” I did on my Outward Bound expedition a few years back (where you camp for two days by yourself with no human interaction or time piece) really helped me to better understand my connection with others, the world and, most of all, myself. Learning to disconnect from technology and learning to be comfortable with ourselves in that space will be an essential skill moving forward. In the same way Mrs. Huffington proposed that we all take time away from technology, I would propose everyone should take it a step further and learn to take time away from civilization. Nothing will better allow you to appreciate all that we have, than venturing out into nature and then returning to civilian life. On a more macro- note, Mrs. Huffington had some interesting thoughts regarding company specific comment-filtering. While, obviously, I am not in favor of any kind of larger-scale (especially nation-wide) curbs on freedom of speech, I think that her idea of filtering out “junk comments” on more sophisticated sites would be of great benefit to the national dialogue. My hope, is that as the internet generation grows up, we will begin to impose our desire for more mature discussion through our own actions, hopefully encouraging others to do the same.

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7 responses »

  1. Loukas T says:

    During my freshman year I took a philosophy course that gave extra credit if you spent a week without your cell phone and wrote about your experience. After the first couple days of anxiety about not having a phone, it was incredible how calming it was to not be connected to the world. Every now and then I still leave my phone in my room for a day or two just to disconnect from everything. Taking that step further and escaping civilization in general is an intriguing idea that I would certainly be interested in trying. Perhaps I should work on my survival skills first though.

  2. Abby says:

    I find the changing views towards technology very interesting. The speaker I researched, Turkle, also talked about taking yourself away from technologies, although in a different way as she focuses on the dangers of not tuning out. I think that today, when we are constantly surrounded by technology, we fail to see the dangers of it because for so long everyone only saw its benefits. So, I do think it is very important to take a break from technology and get back into the real world. I also completely agree with your idea of taking a break from civilization as well. I have a cottage up in Canada where I go every summer, and for the most part, it is just my family and me, resting and communing with nature. I have always felt my most relaxed going up there, and gain a fresh perspective as well.

  3. Jordi says:

    “changed the forum of the world”? What does that mean?

  4. Jordi says:

    I was also interested in how you automate filtering of comments in a ROBUST way.

    Are you allergic to the return button?

    😛

  5. Jordi says:

    I did TWO OB courses in high school. Guess I was a glutton for punishment. Let’s swap war stories sometime.

  6. wesmw says:

    Although I did not attend the lecture, I completely agree with her point that you brought up that our technologically savvy generation must “tune out sometime.” With that said, I also did a NOLS program and found that it really me made get in touch more with myself. Backpacking through the mountains in Wyoming without any sort of electronics for a month really made me grow as a person.

  7. Jordi says:

    Emoticons work in wordpress!

    🙂

    ::smile::

    😮

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