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The Dangerous Future

Anonymous compliments? and bullying?

Throughout this course, we have focused on both the positives and negatives of technology through literature and film. However, even more concerning, is the twisting path technology is taking towards the future. Though at any moment we can hop on search engines such as Google for information or switch on our Xbox for a few moments of fun, there are also destructive forms of technology that we use in our lives everyday. For instance, in Christina’s post “If You Have Nothing Nice to Say…”, she talks about CollegeACB, a site for anonymous college users to post forums on ranging from topics such as “What is Rites of Spring?” to “What is the worst fraternity?”. Because any user can post anonymously, without any responsibility for the content, the comments can be vicious and cruel. Considering it has an addictive quality, many college students visit the site and the information spreads like wildfire. For all of the positive impacts technology has made in the past few decades, this certainly seems like a huge step backwards that promotes damaging and dangerous cyber bullying.

            Yet, the Internet is not the only place that can indicate technology’s turn for the worst. Dustin in, “The Blame Game”, shows us that even videogames are advertising themselves as a game your “mom would hate”. Usually advertisers try to pick affirmative slogans that are proactive and leave the consumer feeling good about their purchase. This video game, on the other hand, preys on the consumers desperate desires to play something forbidden, something hated by all parents. What kind of message is this sending to society? That technology has evil tendencies that your mom would hate? That you should disobey your mom to play these games? It seems as if the producer of these games was disobeying his mom when she told him how awful and idea this product was.

Not only can technology be a source of online danger, but it can also translate into real life. In “Online Orgy Cult”, Katie tells us a story of how she met a friend’s potential roommate online and formed a friendship that ultimately led her to visiting him for Lollapolooza. Luckily, everything worked out for the best, but she could have been in an extremely threatening situation. Meeting someone in person is extremely different than meeting them online considering the internet gives you the ability to be whoever you want. What if she had gone, only to find he was a crazed serial killer preying on children through social networking sites? Though that seems extreme, there are stories like that on the news more and more everyday. Unfortunately, though the internet connects people from around the world and brings us closer and closer, it also…brings us closer and closer. This means that though the benefits of a smaller world probably outweigh the negatives, we must be extremely careful on how we present ourselves online and how we translate our online relationships to real life. As Katie said, “the friends you make on Facebook are not supposed to fall into your real life.”

As we move further into the twenty-first century, we will continue to be awed with the progress technology makes and the seamless integration it will have into our lives. While this happens, we must be aware of the direction technology is taking, and make sure that it continues to grow in a positive, constructive way, and that we do not get trapped by the allures of sites such as CollegeACB, videogames your mom hates, or social networks that do not translate to real life.

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