Category Archives: Engl3844

Technology & Its effect on my generation

What is it about us millennials and our constant need to be surrounded by technology?

There have been articles, books, newscasts and movies written, based on this topic. While everyone has their own opinions on technology’s effect on my generation, there are a few recurring ideas in these stories. The negative stories say that younger generations are spending less time outside, becoming less socially competent and lazier, and dumbing themselves down due to technology. The positive stories imply that technology has been beneficial to my generation in allowing us to be digitally proficient from a young age, communicate more easily through social networks and other channels, and gain an advantage that generations before us never had. While there are many more ideas that are tossed around in stories about millennials and our relationship with technology, these ideas were particularly prominent in my mind.

My opinion combines some negative and positive views about my generation and our technology addiction. I believe that we spend too much time on our smart phones and that we are losing our social skills, but I also believe that technology allows us to do more than we have ever been able to do before, therefore increasing our ability to prosper in life.

So my view on the issue is that we have to learn to use technology in the right ways. I think that social media, especially with the ease of use on the smart phone, is too prominent and should become less important to my generation. We are changing the way that people communicate with each other. I strongly believe that face-to-face communication is incredibly important, but as technology becomes more advanced, it becomes even easier to hide behind a screen. While I feel that social media is an issue, the speed of communication is an advantage. Email may be losing popularity among millennials, but it still helps when a phone call or meeting is not necessary to quickly transfer information.

Then there is the aspect of technology that allows us to do things that we never could have done before. The World Wide Web has allowed my generation to be able to gain a wealth of information in an instant. Twitter keeps people updated on important events. LinkedIn gives us the chance to put ourselves out there for jobs. We are so lucky to have things like this that make life easier for us and give us the chance to be more informed and productive with our time. Maybe millennials don’t take advantage of these aspects of technology enough, and should focus more on the ways that technology can help us instead of hold us back.

Making Our Composing Process More Visible

I just finished reading Chapter 2 of Jody Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole. In this chapter, titled “Partners in Action,” Shipka discusses how people have begun to take their thinking and composing processes for granted due to the useful tools that we call “technology.” She refers to tools we use, such as the telephone, and how we tend to forget all of the processes that go into making a phone call and being able to communicate with people. Her general point is that we need to go back to basics and think about everything that goes into completing tasks. For example, when working on a project, we should consider how we came up with our ideas and shaped them into a complete composition, such as sketching out ideas, brainstorming on paper, writing concrete rough drafts, reading aloud, peer editing, and much more. If we lose sight of these things, we start to only see the final product, but this may not even begin to represent everything that went into a work.

I think that in order to make our composing process more visible, we need to keep track of the original ideas that go into our final product. We should not forget all of the tools that we have used. We also need to consider how these “technologies” have shaped our works, whether for better or worse. The point that “We tend to move from ‘looking at the technology as an addition to life to looking at life through that technology’” is quite accurate. We forget that we are even using technology at all. Maybe then, it is important for us to keep a journal as Catherine Latterell suggests. This will remind us of how often we use these tools to shape our compositions, and that way, we will make visible the entire process that went into it. For example, I could account for all of the tools I used to write this post. I began with the physical book, I took notes on a piece of paper using a pen, and I used my laptop to pull up a word document to write a draft. All of these tools shaped my process.

Shipka’s ideas are extremely representative of how composing has become. We need to take a step back sometimes and look at everything that affects our thinking process. We should especially take into consideration which technologies are changing our lives in general.