Manifesto :

Mini Essay:

Technology has played a prominent role in my life and the upbringing of myself. Everywhere I go, someone is walking with their head down and [hopefully] interacting with something on their phone. I want to look at this and think, “Hey, why don’t you put that away and enjoy the beauty around you?” I then look down and notice I am doing the exact same thing. Much like my manifesto describes, who are we to say that this new way of interaction is wrong? What if this massive investment of time into technology will continue to bring about extraordinary benefits? You may ask,“But what about all the negatives technology brings?” I firmly believe that these “negatives” (again, begging the question of who are we to say that these are negatives) do not and will never outweigh the positives that technology brings to humanity. I admit technology has its flaws, but aren’t these flaws (bugs, hackability, etc.) solely dependent on the abilities of the creators of this technology? So long as humans have flaws, so too will technology. So yes, I blame humans for the negatives that technology brings about, and I thank humans for the positives. But I will never blame technology for ruining “the way life should be.” Humans can say what they want, but as long as humans continue expanding, technology will never cease as well. Think of all the good technology has brought us! Without it, this planet would already be headed for extinction! So agree with me or not, technology will continue to expand infinitely, and we’re going to need it.

Curated Collection:

  1. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/ways-social-media-destroys-lives

This article talks about the many ways in which Social Media is changing and ruining our lives. With more and more people adapting to the social media lifestyle and having it in the palm of their hands, Hunter Kelly talks about how and why social media is so detrimental.

“ Social media was designed to bring people closer and keep each other up to date with what is going on in their lives. But in reality, people are becoming too dependent on social media looking for attention and social “interaction” online rather than in the real world.”

Kelly brings up many interesting points regarding the holes and negatives that social media has produced throughout our daily lives. I believe that it is important to have these effects of social media in mind before you let yourself or your children dive head-first into it all.

2. http://www.attn.com/stories/5410/people-whose-lives-were-ruined-internet

This article, written by Laura Donovan, gives the reader concrete examples of situations that actually happened. Attached are embedded pictures and/or videos of proof of the incidents that erupted all over social media, undoubtedly ruining these people’s lives for the time being.

“Sacco lost her job over the tweet. ‘I had a great career, and I loved my job, and it was taken away from me, and there was a lot of glory in that,’ she said. ‘Everybody else was very happy about that.’”

Another interesting facet of this article was that Donovan included responses from the subjects about their actions, sometimes even including apologies for the incidents. I believe it is important for users of social media to be aware of the effects their actions can have, and look no further than this article for tangible examples of that.

3. http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/30/19-ways-social-media-has-ruined-our-lives-5267360/

I found this article, written by Deborah Cicurel, to be very interesting because it was a lot more honest and straightforward than many other articles on this subject. It talks about the personality problems that have surfaced throughout our incessant use of social media.

“We have all become narcissistic egomaniacs… and boring narcissistic egomaniacs for that matter.”

Along with this, Cicurel also highlights the issues that come from others’ overuse of social media and the effects it has (but really shouldn’t have) on you. It’s a really scary time in that someone can completely ruin your day, week, and maybe even life behind a keyboard, sitting in the safety and privacy of their home. This article is worthwhile because it is important to be aware of how social media can affect others and how you can hold yourself accountable to not add to it.

4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzPwEOvNYss

This video is probably one of the most important things that all people of our generation and other generations should watch. It perfectly describes the emotional toll that is living in a social media world. Simon Sinek describes the science behind why we react this way, and why we cannot stop this addiciton. This is mainly because of dopamine, and he gives us really good examples and comparisons of why social media is so dangerous, especially to adolescence.

“The science is clear. We know that people who spend more time on Facebook suffer higher rates of depression than people who spend less time on Facebook. These things [need to be] balanced. Alcohol is not bad, too much alcohol is bad. Gambling is fun, too much gambling is dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with social media and cell phones, it’s the imbalance.”

I highly recommend everyone to watch this video if they have not seen it already, and maybe even then. The words of Sinek are extremely important for people of all ages to be aware of, because this technological boom of social media is a monster our world has never seen before. We need to know all of its effects so that everyone is understood accordingly.

5. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/opinions/potarazu-kids-social-media/

This video, brought to us by CNN, explains how little parents actually know about the social media world, specifically their kids’ involvement in this world. The creators of this video took a group of kids, sat them down, and interviewed them about their thoughts and feelings behind everything social media.

“Parents just don’t realize how subtle the social aggression can be. Everything from posting a group photo and intentionally not tagging someone in the picture to sharing a photo with the main goal of trying to hurt all the people who weren’t invited to that event.”

I found this video interesting because it coupled the kids’ words with statistics provided to CNN of what percentage of parents knew of certain things going on revolving social media. I believe it is very important for everyone, parents especially, to be aware of the “subtle social aggression” that never ceases to go on throughout all social media.

Tech Chat with my grandpa:

Q: To start off, I asked my grandpa Dan what he thought of technology today, a very broad question to say the least:

A: It [technology] is real scary is what it is. It multiplies like how you measure an earthquake. That’s how quickly technology affected our society. Our advancements in technology escalated quicker than ever imagineable. First it [technological advancements] took 5 years, then one year, then 6 months, then a couple weeks. We used to watch Star Trek, where a device in your hand could scan a body to see what’s wrong. Well guess what, we’re there. Flash Gordon is another example. There was one of the first images of rocketships, and the idea seemed inconceivable, but 20 years later and we’re on the moon!

Q: Have you ever thought about the preservation of privacy that we may or may not have anymore because of the ever-expanding technology?

A: I think a majority of us believe that technology we have is staying private, but they are really trapping us. Do we really have any privacy left at all? I don’t know.

Q: What do you think that means for the security of our country?

A: The safety of our country is going to keep getting worse. Technology may play a role in keeping us safer, but obviously it puts us in more danger as well. Extremely dangerous weapons exist now because of technology. All in all, maybe technology will allow us to find something that will counteract a variety of attacks. What if we found a substance that we could put in the atmosphere that would take away the radiation and similar warfare? If this were to happen, technology would be there to thank. Clearly up unto where we are today as a nation and as a world, technology has advanced weaponry to a point where we should all be scared. I don’t think anybody, not even the United States, is safe.

Q: In how long do you see the end of the world coming? And if not, what will be different after this timeline?

A: Today as we know it, I think the world will probably last another 200–300 years. It’s going to change per usual, but the world as we know it is going to be different. What’s to stop us from saying that we could all be clones 200–300 years from now? The scientific world is already doing it, so I think that what we will see in [quite possibly] the [near] future is going to be something we cannot even fathom right now, a drastically different lifestyle.

Q: In our class, social media and the problems it brings about has been brought up many times, sometimes even when it was not the topic. Here’s a metaphorical situation to help illustrate the problems my generation and the generations following us are experiencing: For whatever reason, a 13 year old girl and her friends are allowed to have Instagram accounts. These four girls are the best of friends, but one day, everything felt different. This 13 year old girl, let’s call her Sarah, only has 50 Instagram followers compared to her friends’ 500+. Because of this, Sarah ultimately gets shunned out of a friend group that she believed to encompass her best friends. In many ways, this continues to go on throughout social media. Having been raised in a time where social media was not present, how does all of this sound to you? Perhaphs ridiculous that such a superficial thing can have such importance?

A: It doesn’t sound ridiculous. We lived in a social status lifestyle all my life. We’ve never been on an equal plane. Everyone was and is always trying to get ahead of the next guy. You watch two little kids scuffle over a toy… that’s human nature. We’re born with it — it’s a status thing. If there’s a guy with a thousand followers, and you have 500 followers, they are going to socialize with the guy with 1,000 followers, they aren’t gonna mess with the little guy. I know how dangerous social media is. When I first started a log, I just got in the engineering department as project manager. I started keeping a daily log and wrote down how I thought my day went. A couple years later, I started reading the stuff back again and thought to myself, “That was stupid. Why would I say that?” Needless to say, I stopped keeping a log. We don’t always mean exactly what we say, but posting on social media sets this in stone. My grandson, Evan, had a conversation on a dating app with a young lady. At a family event, someone grabbed his phone and started reading this conversation out loud. It was extremely embarrassing and unfair to Evan, but he also didn’t remember half the things he said on there, but it caught up to him. Unjustly, he was ridiculed for it.

Q: Any closing thoughts on anything technology?

A: I recommend to all of you to be cautious. You never know how one simple action, especially on social media, could affect friends, family, relationships, or yourself. I don’t do any of it. I don’t do facebook, I don’t do tweeter. And I tell everybody to not take pictures of me and post it. Once it’s out there, you’re a target, and nobody needs to be a target, but we do it to ourselves. So if you need to do it, and put yourself out there on social media, just be smart and be safe.

Q: Thank you for your time and all of your insight, Grandpa!

A: Anytime, Parker!

Data Visualization: