Saturday, November 2, 2013

Positive Action or Distraction?

We live in an age of almost infinite information and learning opportunity and so the key here is we have to inspire people to have a sense of wonder and curiosity and if we do that, they have what is essentially the world’s largest knowledge machine at their fingertips. If we fail at that they have the world’s largest distraction device.  
                                                                                                                     ~Michael Wesch

Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture.

I saw this today after pondering my journey with technology just last night.  I was thinking exactly what he is saying here. I remember when accessing information was limited to the set of encyclopedias my family owned, textbooks, searching in the school or public library, newspapers, magazines, TV and/or radio or asking someone I knew (i.e. parents, teachers, professionals,...and occasionally my peers which was always risky!).  With the exception of the last few on the list, the information obtained was pretty static.  Now, we have seemingly limitless information right at our fingertips.  I feel lost without my smartphone.  I use it to find the answer to any question I might have..... "how do I change the burner element on my range?" or "where can I find purple shoes with a 2 inch heel?"  These days anything we can think to ask has an answer on the Internet (or several million answers)!!!!  So how do we avoid the distraction Mr. Wesch mentioned above?  We have to stay focused on our purpose.  We have to mold our digital resources into a shape that fits us best.  We can't expect to use every resource, all the time...the distraction becomes too obstacle that will hold us back instead of a tool to move us forward.

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