Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Internet: Turning Information Into a Way of Life

One of the main points that I made within my response to the final questions is that the internet provides us with so much information on so many different topics and in so many different formats that it could tell us almost anything at all that we want to know, and so, therefore, turns information into a way of life for some people.  Having the universe at your fingertips is alluring, and one could spend all day every day just surfing the vast amounts of knowledge (and when I say knowledge, I don't just mean scholarly journals.  Blog posts and cat videos are included here) and plugging up one's brain with it.  In fact, many of us do this much more than we'd probably like to admit.  Postman explains how the telegraph turned information into a commodity, but since almost anyone can get access to the internet somewhere or another now, do you think that it has taken this commodification and broken its spell, letting loose the internet on the world, available to all?  Do you think that this is likely to cause more and more people to become enchanted with it and turn it into a way of life, or simply keep the internet used only as much as the telegraph or telephone were/are at the peak of their usage?

Another main point that I made was that, since there are so many different formats and types of information available on the web available at mere clicks from one another, users can often overlook the source that information comes from or even what kind of information it is (scholarly journals, blog posts, etc.), making more scholarly and educational materials seem commonplace, and therefore become a natural part of an internet user's life instead of something they just look up for a school project.  They may start reading such things for fun, given they focus on a topic that interests the user, and, in this way, the internet may function, at times, to integrate people into the intellectual community even though they are just surfing the web and reading for pleasure.  Does this seem to be a plausible conclusion?  What do you think about it?  Has this happened to you?

1 comment:

  1. I certain think this claim has something to it, and I kind of touch upon it a little during our classroom discussion. I think we have a skewed perception of what intellectualism is, especially within the context of the internet. It doesn't take some high-brow organization to fuel an intellectual conversation. As you stated, people can engage in learning through simple, "average Joe" kind of ways, like through blogging, reading journals, commenting, etc. Personally, I know using the internet has enhanced my skills as a reader, writer, and critical thinker by engaging in things as simple as posting a Facebook status.