Ch 05: Digital Wellbeing & Detox

A Whole New World

Danah Boyd mentioned some valid points in “The Internet of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. “ She and I grew up in the same era and I could relate to her experiences with the birth of the internet.

In 1990, I was a freshman at Seton Hall University and the only technology we had in our dorm room was a brother electronic typewriter and a boom box. Personal computers were unaffordable for a lot of people. Everything was done in person. We stood on long lines to register for classes and if we were running late we didn’t pick up our cell phone, we probably stopped on the road to call on a pay phone. It was an exciting time to live in because everything was made so much easier; simple everyday tasks we took for granted. But now we’re starting to see the aftershocks of this tech revolution with the pandemic putting so much emphasis on it. It’s either online or nothing with employment and education. We’re also starting to see the price we are paying for this, which is what “Digital Detox” touched upon.

It was Thomas Edison who said that “Books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” This wasn’t the case then. I don’t even think the libraries were digital. They still had the card catalog as a vantage point to begin research. Now, and I am thankful for the fact that it’s all at our fingertips , we don’t have access to just one library, we have access to a virtual global library. I found an interesting article where the Edison’s quote came from on this subject: (The Evolution Of Technology In The Classroom | Purdue Online)

Now we are faced with the issues of too much isolation, especially in the classroom. Do we need to take a time out every so often to step back from the digital world? And how easy is it to do that? For my generation we know the “before and after” so I think it can be a little easier, but for the current Generation Alpha, the digital world is all they know. As I need to be trained in new technology, they need to be trained on just the opposite. So, in essence it’s important to know both worlds and each generation can feed off one another’s experiences in this.

And more importantly working together to find that common bond of learning.

I am still a strong believer in the in-person classes but I understand that until we get this pandemic under control, we need to keep our distance. I do think there is room to figure out on keeping that intimacy while remaining remote.

How do we do that? First we need to examine what makes an intimate relationship: overall behavioral interdependence, care, respect, trust and acceptance.

I think with this class examining the post pandemic university we are on the point and on track. What are the components of forming that virtual intimacy that we had with in- person learning? Each week we are coming to solutions for this. Ryan spoke of the care factor and Amber discussed hospitality and self preservation with the recognition of trauma. This week we will talk about the trust or lack of it for students in the digital citizenship of the remote learning world. The final component will be acceptance and that will come with time. These are all steps into forming this healthy relationship with the virtual world of education that we may just see ourselves in from now on.

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