Networks of Personalized Learning

3 12 2010

I started a discussion on my Facebook profile about the effects of technology on our social life. The question is: Are modern tools of technology isolating us from one another?  I thought that technology is isolating us from the others. I asked this question through Facebook to get my friends’ ideas before writing this blog. Then, I decided to look at all the forum and blog pages to see what people think in Turkey and in US about the effects of technology on our social life.

It is obvious that so many people have resistance to adapt technology to their social life. On the other hand, the common approach is that we have different kind of social interactions with the information technologies, and it is not fair to define our new communication styles as isolation.

Let’s take a look at US. Before coming to home today, I went to Starbucks to read my assignments and observe the people there. Starbucks is one of the best places for an international student to understand people’s relations in US. When I finished reading the “technology doesn’t isolate people” (2009) article, I looked at people around and recognized that at least 80% people in the Starbucks working on their computers without speaking each other. However, the idea in the article states that “contrary to popular belief, the Internet and mobile phones are not isolating people but enhancing their social worlds”.

Question: What is being social? “People who have mobile phones and take part in a variety of Internet activities are associated with larger, more diverse core discussion networks.” This is the new definition of being social in the 21st century and the article interprets the results from this perspective.

I am still trying to find answers. Information technologies changed how we live, and changed the definition of terms we had before. One of my friends answered the first question on Facebook. She thinks that “It exactly depends on how people see it and use it. Do you use it to make distances closer as many of us do by being in a daily contact with families in Turkey or do you use it to get away from people? ”

References:  1. Social Isolation and New Technology: How the Internet and Mobile Phones Impact Americans’ Social Networks, Pew Internet and American Life Project, November 2009 (89 pages http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2009/PIP_Tech_and_Social_Isolation.pd

2. Patrick May, Tech Tools May Help Pull People Together, Mercury News.com, November 4, 2009, from  http://smart-grid.tmcnet.com/news/2009/11/05/4466466.htm

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