Week 1 – Are These Digital Challenges Just For Young People?

So far in this course we have looked at what the digital challenges are for today’s youth. In the film InRealLife (2013) the filmmaker takes us through the world of today and sprinkled among the detailed descriptions by youth of what their day to day interactions are with technology we see adult talking heads who affirm that today’s youth are in over their heads when it comes to digital interactions. While the focus of the film is on youth, it’s perhaps wise to realize that we have had intrusive Web2.0 technology for well over 10 years and the high school student career is only three years long. Many of these ‘students’ and ‘youth’ are now adults and the problem is much greater than just that of the young. Many of the problems that affect the youth in the film are the same that affect the teachers who stand before them.

The following video illustrates what is like to move throughout the world without your phone. As exaggerated as they likely want it to seem, the depictions probably hit too close to home for many.

What is the world like when you are the only one who doesn’t have a phone?

But why are we so addicted to checking our phone and why do we engage with these apps despite some of us being aware that they are a time suck, or cause us harm in other ways? Vox tries to help explain why Facebook in particular keeps us attached to it and what some of the dangers to our privacy can be because of these phenomena.

Why are people so inclined to use digital apps and social media?

Finally,a satirical take on our digital interactions is brought into the real world. Is it any wonder that these programs create such anxiety with their users? Aside from the content that we submit to these programs, we must also look at the design and how it affects our use and well-being. When re-framed, these programs are as absurd as they get.

Are these products making our lives easier or are they causing us anxiety?

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