Withdrawal From Stupidity

Here’s the deal. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. When I first got it in 2007, I thought I was the coolest chick around because everyone was still on Myspace. It was my thinking that only the coolest people made the switch to Facebook, leaving the socially handicapped to the older networks. I loved it. But then EVERYONE started coming onto Facebook around the start of 2009, and my love for Facebook slowly turned into abhorrence. I dreaded logging on every single day and being berated with annoying statuses. I don’t care what you’re eating. I don’t care what your schedule is for the day. I definitely don’t care that you’ve had a bad day and don’t want anyone to text you.

facebook-big-brother-is-watchingSo you may be wondering, why would I even keep my Facebook if I hated it so much? Well as a high school student, the pressure to be like everyone else was at an all-time high. So I kept my page because if I didn’t I’d be considered more socially handicapped than i deemed the people who remained on Myspace in 2007. Then, Facebook reached the old people. Just as I was about to graduate high school, excited about finally being able to delete my Facebook, all of my family members decided to get with the times and sign up for an account. I joked about deleting my account after graduation with my mother, and was met with a sad expression. “But Brianne,” she said quietly, “How will I know how you’re doing at school?”

So I had to keep it. And even though I completely hate its very existence, I check it several times a day. So when my professor told me I couldn’t use Facebook for an entire week, my first thought was “Great, now I don’t have to see the idiotic things people post.” But then I realized…I wouldn’t get to see the idiotic things people post. It was the thing that made me feel good- to know there were people out there who were dumber and more annoying than me.

Why am I so addicted to seeing the stupid shit other people post on Facebook? I feel like a normal person shouldn’t get joy from seeing how dumb the people around them are. It’s only been 4 days, but I’m constantly asking my roommate to tell me what certain people we’ve put on our “watch list” (they post the stupidest things) are saying.

Facebook and other social media sites are like a drug to people in our society. We’re obsessed with knowing where everyone is and what everyone’s doing at all possible times. It’s scary to me how dependent I’ve become on Facebook, despite my hatred for it. I’ve only just now come to terms with the fact that if I didn’t have a Facebook, I would go crazy wondering what everyone was doing. Needless to day, I’m extremely excited for this assignment to be over so I can get back to my hourly dose of stupidity.

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Diving Into Marjan Glavac’s Twitter

Being new to Twitter, and wanting to expand my professional following base, I searched the web for elementary educators that tweet often. In doing so, I found Marjan Glavac– “a best selling motivational author, engaging speaker and elementary classroom teacher with over 29 years of teaching experience” (“The Busy Educator“). Glavac is now retired, but spends much of his time tweeting and blogging about teaching tips and ways to keep teachers motivated. After I followed him, Glavac even took the time to send me a tweet asking me if there is anything he could help me with! He MarjanPhoto-660x1024seems to be a very helpful resource.

Marjan Glavac is seen as a resourceful person to the educational world too, with over 1,000 tweets, and has in my opinion, a decent amount of followers (239 to be exact). While he only follows 20 twitter users, they all share a common interest– education. Even if I didn’t have Glavac’s extensive bio to go off of, I’d still be able to acknowledge his interest in education. Aside from the common educators, Glavac also follows technology advocates and writers. It is my guess that while Glavac enjoys both writing and technology, he realizes how important they are in today’s educational field.

Looking individually at some of the people he follows, 13 of the 20 are either educators or educational twitters. 4 of them tie their about me’s into the writing profession, and 3 claim to be technology geeks. Glavac retweets each of these people on occasion, especially when they pertain to you guessed it– education, technology or writing. Seeing these followers also tells me that Glavac is an avid member of the educational community, and wants to share his inspiration and findings with others in his professional field. He is extremely insightful and offers many articles that are of use to teachers. It is my hope to develop my twitter over time to be as impressive as his. After all, teachers learn through sharing ideas, and what better way to increase sharing than a social network!

Is technology ruining the printed word?

There are those who say that today’s society is dependent upon technology. They say we’ve become “lazy”, or “mindless”, or that we’re “destroying our minds”. I however, believe the opposite. We’re enhancing our minds. We’re becoming more active. We’re thinking and wondering more about the world around us.

My youngest sister, who at the age of 8 has been using the internet casually for about 2 years now, is obsessed with the live webcam of Times Square in New York City. No one in my family is quite sure how she found it, but she can stare at it for hours. Sometimes she comes up with stories about the people on there, and she writes about them for school projects. Before discovering this camera, she had no interest in New York, let alone any desire to travel there. Now, it’s all she talks about. She’s found many other live webcams as well, such as the live Disneyworld cam, the live SeaWorld penguin cam, and the live San Francisco cam. She takes the experience of watching these live cameras and tells people she’s travelled all over the country and she’s seen a lot of things and met a lot of interesting people. Hasn’t she, in her own virtual way?

In this article by Jay David Bolter, the exact appeal of our technologies is discussed. He states that we crave immediacy. We want everything right now, and we can have it with the technology at our fingertips. He says that “the logic of immediacy dictates that the medium itself should disappear and leave us in the presence of the thing represented”. He wants to know why would we pay hundreds of dollars to go on a vacation when we can see the thing online? Which leads to the question, why would we buy physically printed books when we can download electronic copies for less money, even free in some instances?

Day 179/365- Kindle

Are e-readers a disgrace to the printed word?

Many people say the e-book is “destroying” the printed word. There are those, what I like to call, book snobs who have it in their heads that reading a book on an e-reader somehow takes away from the experience. As Bolter says in another article, “Both as authors and readers, we still regard books and journals as the place to locate our most prestigious texts”. I do not believe this to be true, in my personal experience. I believe that electronic books are just a way of having text reach more people. It’s the same text as a physical book, however many believe that because you can read it on a screen it’s somehow less intelligent of an experience. This is completely ludicrous. In this day and age, it’s widely known that digital text can usually reach more people than printed text. What baffles me to no end is why people who claim to be literature enthusiasts would complain about literature being able to reach more people?

Technology today is not ruining our lives, making us lazy, or rotting our brains. Technology is turning us into citizens of the earth, with easier means to explore and wonder about our world. Technology is reaching more and more people every day, connecting everyone together. Technology is a sharing an experience with everyone, and being able to reach people you didn’t even know existed before. Technology is enhancing us as learners, as readers, and as people.

Writing and its Technological Advances

Technology has opened a whole new door for writing. Not only is it more time suitable, but it is also much more easy to write, publish, and become noticed. Writing started as a delicacy. Few people knew how to write, and when someone wanted something to be written, big bucks were paid to do so. It amazes me how far writing and the technological advances involved with writing have come. Even in this century, authors would spend years and years writing a book. It would have to go to an editor, a publisher, a distributor, and then finally to the stores. Now all writers have to do (if they don’t want to send it to an editor) is click “Submit” and there their piece will be, in all its glory on a webpage.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J. D. Bolter, a chair director at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has work published on technology and computer science. In his book, Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print, Bolter states “the shift to the computer may make writing more flexible, but it also threatens the definition of good writing and careful reading that have developed in association with the technique of printing” (4). This brings up a valid argument. It is a proven fact when articles are on the computer, more people will skim through them, but when people have a physical paper copy in their hands, they will read it more thoroughly than they would reading on the computer screen. This is likely to happen because looking at the computer screen can be an eyesore. Unless an article is written in lists, there are bolded font, or the sentences are real short and to the point, people are going to breeze through a reading, not giving it the careful concentration it may need.

Bolter also brings to point that now, there are much more than words to reading. Reading an article with just words is now considered boring. Visual and digital technologies are what entice the reader. Print now comes in many forms such as photographs, films, and televisions (26). Bolter explains “the best way to understand electronic writing today is to see it as the remediation of printed text…” (26). Bolter is saying that computerized print is much more basic than the printed text. This can be true in many ways. First, printed text can be hard to read, depending on the person who is writing. Normally, word processers take away that issue with having many clear fonts to select from. Printed text may also seem remedial because of the time difference. Writing out text is more time consuming than simply typing it up.

There are many benefits to the technological advances of writing. Though many people may be bitter to the fact that not many people use books anymore, they have to accept that this is what is happening. Hopefully sooner or later these people will find some sort of pleasing aspect to digital literacy, like the rest of us have.