Group 1 Commentary

Katie, Elliott and Aimee please provide your commentary on any ideas raised, or neglected, in the question, response and discussion process during the preceding week. And if so inclined you may revisit and comment on previous questions, responses, discussions and commentaries.

Aimee Gervacio
I thought our presentation today went very well, considering it was the first and we didn't really know what to do. I enjoyed everyone's input on the growing addictions to Facebook and video games, because it showed that everyone has some sort of connection to and an understanding of the growing power of the Internet. It took up a majority of the class period, which showed that the issue of the internet self versus the physical self is an important and growing topic to be discussed. There was definitely a lot to be said and a lot to be argued about concerning the issue, but we had to curtail the discussion in order to get to the other questions, unfortunately. It would be interesting to further discuss and debate the topic for one of the class's essay assignments because there is an abudance of articles and research on addiction to Facebook and World of Warcraft (or other like games) that can't be adequately covered in a single class session.
While I was initially concerned that the other questions wouldn't incite any reaction from the class, I was proven wrong. I was and am very happy with my group's questions and keywords because I feel like they all present very different, very valid issues of concern for digital natives. I would've liked to have spent more time on the keywords and incorporated them more during the discussion, but I think that the amount of opinions and thoughts that were presented during class made up for it.

Katie Collins
We began our discussion with the Kotaku article that Vance linked to in his response to question 1, because we believed that it would provide the most material for the class to consider. We segued from addiction to online gaming into the world of Facebook (our preferred social networking site), which we discussed at length. Without ever explicitly reviewing the definition of our keyword ‘networking,’ we did define the ways in which we each use Facebook—to present a controlled portrait of ourselves to a select audience while observing a set of unwritten rules of etiquette.

I wrote the question about John Perry Barlow’s “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” with the intent of eliciting conversation about the question of governance of the internet. It interested me that nearly everyone in class interpreted the question as ‘can a person live their life solely online?,’ rather than ‘should people be allowed to?’ The reading illustrated the history of radical viewpoints toward internet technology, which we didn’t spend much time discussing in class. So although I was hoping to hear more about everyone’s feelings about internet ‘government,’ it was also interesting to learn that almost no one (even 14 years later) agreed with Barlow’s assertion that his online address is his only true physical presence.

Elliott Ditman
Last week's discussion started off a bit slow, but as soon as we stated bringing in real life examples like World of Warcraft addiction and Facebook usage, we began to arrive at an interesting discussion. Most young people today use the internet far more than they probably realize, so the fact that the class had so much to say about these things did not surprise me. In fact, the percentage of the class that participated actively had to be close to 100 percent, which gave people many opportunities to voice there opinions on subjects beyond the few initial questions. For example, I tend to lean towards the viewpoint that almost any technological advancement is a good thing. After Monday's class it was clear to me that not everyone shares this stance.

The question which I was responsible for, was the one about whether or not humanity was becoming more like a computer. It's a question that I was delighted to find context for in the chapter, because I think that as time goes on, it will become more visible and important in society. It's hard to argue, that technology has profoundly affected our lives, and that in the few decades that they have been around, computers have changed the way people do almost everything. In a another few decades it doesn't seem that much of a stretch that our entire society may shift at the advent of a new technology.

Finally, our group came up with a novel way of presenting our discussion which we thought worked better than a Powerpoint presentation, and I'm excited to see how the next groups will go about presenting theirs.

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