Technology and Social Change

My online class starts at the end of August: Science, Technology, and Social Change. A favorite topic, a favorite class.

I’m gearing up by gathering blogs, articles, and rants about what social media, smartphones and other electronic devices are doing to our teens, our dining habits, our culture.

Has our attention span suffered? Have we lost the ability to focus, to enjoy the moment?

Here’s one way to look at it: people haven’t changed. Only the tools have changed.

For example:

• In 1989, pre-smartphones, pre-Facebook, pre-almost everything, a college student in the northwest sent me postcards regularly. The usual message: I’m here in the library, studying hard.

My (unwritten) response: No, you’re not. You’re writing postcards, connecting to family and friends.

That same person, now 45 years old, posts on Facebook. The message: Thanks to (our babysitter), my husband and I are having a nice dinner out by ourselves.*

My (unwritten) response: No, you’re not. You’re posting on Facebook, connecting to even more family and friends.


Is technology ruining our ability to focus or is it simply filling a need?

*Actually, she writes Me and my husband are having a nice dinner . . . but we can’t blame technology for that, can we?


Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.