Blog 3: Utopia vs. Dystopia

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Because social networking sites have almost been our mascot as millennials, we are prone to receiving judgment as well as praise for our use of technology and its advancements. I am so used to having discussions with family and classmates about the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet because of its controversial aspects. For years now, we have put technology on a pedestal one day and shot it down the next.

In one perspective, we have such high expectations for the new media forms that we name its capabilities as utopian. Some forms of social media are seen as perfect sources for building the perfect self. We are able to adjust our “about me”, profile picture and cover photos, in order to mold ourselves in what we believe is the perfect person or what we believe others will see as ideal. We are able to hide and delete pictures or statuses that don’t meet our standards.

This could also be our downfall into dystopian capabilities. We spend so much time building our identity virtually that we forget about what it means to build ourselves in real life, not just in the virtual world. It also alters our perception of reality when so much of our time is concentrated on building a self-constructed persona.

Another thing that we see at utopian is the fact that social media is a reliable source for storage of information. We use twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to help us find peoples birthdays, where they work, and their contact info. We have forgotten the study of memorization. I remember the day when I used to have to ask around the classroom or write down on my calendar what day my friends birthday would fall on. But now it is so easy to just log onto Facebook, look at the side bar of birthdays, and post happy birthday to their wall.

There is a huge dystopian factor of loosing the skill of memorization and becoming more and more reliant on social media for information. It’s scary to think how reliant everyone is on technology now and how much trust we put into a virtual device. We no longer need to memorize people’s numbers or write down an event in our calendars because Facebook can manage those for us. But I believe memorization is a skill that may become extinct, when it is extremely important for our everyday life. Whether it’s memorizing the walk to work or memorizing the notes you just studies for your class, memory is an important skill that could be lost if we don’t stop relying on social media so heavily to manage it for us.

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2 comments

  1. I definitely see both the utopian and dystopian point of view bringing up good points. I know for me personally, I would never remember any birthdays without Facebook. It has almost become a routine to use social media to remember important occasions or just find a way to contact friends. At the same time, I can see how this easy access to information can take away from our memorization skills. Still, I feel like just because the information is present, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will neglect our own memory. I can almost see the ability to search information so easily as a helpful tool in memorizing, because if we are almost certain that something is right but not 100% sure, we can just look it up easily and have that information set in our mind! Great post!!

  2. I agree with your view of the web along with social media being helpful with cheating knowledge about our friends and family. I can’t even remember the date of my best friend’s birthday, I know the month, but never the date. Not only does my memory rely on social media for basic information about the people I associate or come in contact with, but the web basically is my main source for all knowledge. If I cannot remember the definition of a word I type it into Google. If I can’t recall fact about a person, place, or event I put it in a web browser. I rely on the web for all information because my brain can’t seem to store all the information on its own. That, or I’m just to lazy to remember it and I know that if I forget all I have to do is pull up Safari on my phone.

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