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  • On Farman’s “The Myth of the Disconnected Life”

    Posted on March 19th, 2014 sarahann No comments

    There were a few things in Jason Farman’s essay “The Myth of the Disconnected Life” that I felt could have used a little more fleshing out. Farman seems to have two main points: 1) that historical worries about the effects of technology on society did not pan out, and 2) that smartphones, in fact, allow for greater social integration instead of distraction.

    I have heard so many people disregard Plato’s arguments against writing that I now have to wonder, was he really wrong? No, I will not say that I want to live in a world without writing. Rather, I would simply like to point out that I have never read a study about the societal effects of writing on ancient Greece. Maybe there was less conversation after the advent of writing. Maybe bicycles did have a societal impact. We cannot know exactly what these technologies changed about society, but it is certain that they did impact society. And as with all things, it is likely that some was good, and some was bad. It would seem foolish to say that they had only good impacts just because we have never known a world in which they did not exist.

    Farman’s second argument seems to have little to do with his first. He goes from discussing the impacts of technology on personal relationships to pointing out incidences of technology being used for education. While that education may take place on a sidewalk instead of in a classroom, he is still talking about gaining an education in history. I think his argument would have been strengthened if he had stuck with his original topic of person to person communication.

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