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TOPIC AND CONTEXT
According to our authitors, Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon, technology and various social media platforms have become “necessities, required not only for work, school, and play, but for existence itself (emphasis added 372). Furthermore, this cultural shift from a society centered on family and nearby friends to one that has become “a buzzing crowd of digitally connected Netizens…unable [though I say unwilling, not unable] to let go for a few minutes to concentrate on an actual here-and-now as they hook up with a virtual elsewhere” (Maasik and Solomon 373) has produced “a radical change in consciousness” (Maasik and Solomon 372), affecting the ways we attend to and understand the people and the world around us. So, for paper four, you will do a criteria-based evaluation of either your own or your sense of generic users’ interactions with technology and social media. As you read and review the selections I’ve assigned in chapter five of our text, “The Cloud: Semiotics and the New Media” (371-451), think about three criteria (the singular form is criterion) that you believe we should use to evaluate the quality and outcomes of our interactions with technology in general and social media in particular. Then, you will use your three criteria to evaluate the attitudes and behaviors of either yourself or others relative to technology and social media, leading to your overall judgment on our present culture’s interactions with technology and suggest, in your conclusion, some guidelines for moving forward.
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER (which I wrote in the first-person, my preferred point-of-view because______________________________________________________________________________)
• What does a healthy and productive relationship with technology, primarily social media, look like?
• What does an unhealthy one look like?
• In what specific ways does social media enhance my life, my growth in becoming the kind of person I want to be? (and the opposite as well—its harms)
• How and why do those above ways work to help me accomplish (or get in the way of) my personal-growth goals?
• How—really specifically and concretely—do I use social media and to what ends?
• Am I in anyway ‘addicted’ to social media?
• To what extent is my online persona authentic and, therefore, consistent with my meat-space being?
• What are the effects of my answer to the above question on my sense of myself and my personal and professional relationships?
I suggest an intro, six body paragraphs (which means YOU MUST MAKE separate paragraphs for your criteria parts, where you FIRST present and provide the rationale for choosing YOUR CRITERIA, and evaluation parts, where you examine attitudes, behaviors, and effects relative to your criteria), a counterargument, and a conclusion. So here are the nine paragraphs: 1) intro; 2) criterion (the singular form) one and your rationale for it; 3) evaluation relative to criterion one; 4) criterion two and your rationale for it; 5) evaluation relative to criterion two; 6) criterion three and your rationale for it; 7) evaluation relative to criterion three; 8) counterargument; 9) conclusion.
Your intro must include the following: 1) an anecdote for a hook; 2) a statement of what’s at stake—ie, why establishing criteria to evaluate our cyber attitudes and behaviors matters (let’s look at the first full paragraph on 376); 3) a little background info (be sure to relate it to your anecdote in some way); then 4) end by stating your three criteria and overall evaluation of your (or “our” if you’re going to evaluate Netizens in general and if you’re okay with a first-person point of view) relationship with technology as, for example, one of the following: healthy and productive, relatively healthy and productive, or unhealthy and destructive.
Next, your body paragraphs (see 2 through 7 above, where I outline the nine paragraphs total for the essay) through will first set out each criterion, explaining why it’s an important component of our cyber-behavior/thinking to examine (a logical place to integrate quotations from the SOL readings), and then present specific, concrete attitudes and behaviors as evidence of your evaluation of technology/social media use relative to the criterion under discussion.