Blurring Boundaries

Carr’s argument centered around the drawbacks of living so close with technology. So much so that I was thinking about the role of technology in our lives as a black and white problem. I was focused on whether the benefits of technology outweigh the impact it may have on us as people. I should have been thinking of an alternate way from which to view Carr’s argument. Technology is not so much a part of our society that we need to decide whether to accept or reject, it is the reality of the way we live our lives now. We should be treating technology as an inevitable human progression and embracing it as an extension of ourselves. Technology is embedded in our lives and we need to learn to wield it, despite generational differences in aptitude for tech. In the 21st century humans can be their own navigational system, personal shopper, entertainment, librarian, teacher, scribe, weatherperson, and pimp without having any of those skills or abilities. All we need to do is whip out our phones. In a way because we have these tools, goods, information, and services right at our fingertips the average person is already a Renaissance man (or woman) without even trying. With these assets at our fingertips basically from birth, it begs the question: Are we on the cusp of discovering more than we ever thought possible because of our connection with technology?

What spurred these thoughts were Carr’s words about the nature of human brain to adapt with advancements so much so these tools become an extension of our body. “When a carpenter picks up a hammer, the hammer becomes, so far as his brain is concerned, part of his hand. When a soldier raises a pair of binoculars to his face, his brain sees through a new set of eyes, adapting instantaneously to a very different field of view.”

tech-pic
Colourbox Stock Photo #7770015
cpt-hook
 James Hook via fandom.wikia

He goes on to present Scott Frey’s words about our capacity as people to “blur the boundary” between the body and the instrument. This blur is certainly an uncomfortable change, (as most changes are) but I think the key to flourishing in this current state is to view technology as a springboard. By a springboard, I mean the beginning of a period of intellectual growth for our generation. We should stop trying to define the potential of technology as a positive or negative influence and utilize it for was it is: an inconceivable opportunity to grow.

Author: Alexandra

I am a junior Psychology major with a Writing minor at University of Delaware.

5 thoughts on “Blurring Boundaries”

  1. I think your post provides an enlightening outlook on technology. I agree with you that we should be thinking in alternative ways to Carr’s argument. He only provides one perspective, so it is important to question and challenge that perspective in order to learn what else could be true regarding technology. As you said, technology has become such a part of our lives, almost like an extension of who we really are, that maybe it is time to just accept it for all that it is and to stop worrying about what its effects may have.

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  2. I also agree with you that the internet should be embraced and seen as an extension of ourselves. At the same time, I think that we should as humans take great care as not to get too caught up in our phones or the internet, but I still feel that we should see our ability to use the internet to solve problems as an overall positive. Furthermore, I think that as the beneficiaries of a wealth of amazing technology, we should still recognize that there are issues that arise from our internet and computer usage. That being said, these issues aren’t necessarily unfixable. We just have to get to the point where we’re ready to fix them.

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  3. Your post brought about an interesting comparison in my head. Im a big film fan, so I view most things with movies in mind. Here, I thought about Rey in the Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens”. In the movie **Potential Spoilers If You Still Haven’t Seen It Almost 2 Years Later** Rey comes to discover she has abilities with the Force. At first she tries to ignore these gifts and the signs before her that say to embrace the resource, as she is afraid of what it is. But, eventually she comes to understand that the Force is just an extension of herself, and that it is a part of who she is now. So she embraces this new resource before her. While this may appear a bit far fetched, I see it as we should not fear resources like the technology of the internet for fear of what it may do to us, but embrace it as a part of who we are in the 21st century and use it to our advantage, just as Rey did.

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  4. I agree with your argument that we should not be defining our relationship with technology and its advancements but simply embracing it. We can do things to make sure we don’t become consumed but that goes for everything else in our lives. It is obvious that there are positives and negatives but most things attain both as well. The ball is in our court when it comes to letting technology dictate our lives.

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  5. After reading what you guys said, I think I might have gone a little too pro-tech. I was trying to set up a solid alternative to what we have been talking about for the past few weeks. It’s important for us to embrace technology as I said, but we also need to be aware of how entangled we get. If we go too far down the rabbit hole it may causes problems later.

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