QCQ 5 – Baym

QCQ 5 – Baym


“The language and forms of evidence may have changed, but the concern that communication technologies make us dumber is as old as writing. There is, as Lynn Spigel put it, a ‘compulsion to repeat the same ideas, even as society itself has noticeably changed.’” pg. 4


This quote describes how people react to anything new, especially change, with fear, doubt, and criticism. This is especially true with technology and forms of communication, as we are obsessed with our ability to communicate with each other and be social. Any threat to our ability to communicate will be taken very seriously, and the internet is a prime example. 

I think the fear that the internet will make you dumber or less social if you use it too much might be a bit of an overreaction. It is important to remember that the internet is still very young, and social media platforms are even younger and newer. We haven’t had enough time in my opinion to truly gauge some of the long-term impacts these things have on people. When writing words and stories down became popular, there were fears about how it would affect human memory and oral communication abilities, the same fears happened with the radio, television, and the first video games. As we have seen, all those fears were large overreactions and those things have become a part of daily life and mostly a great positive for us humans. The fears about this new media are just a rerun of the same cycle that we have seen before. The internet and social media are a great and easy way to stay connected and social with other people no matter where they are. We should not take this ability for granted, as in the future we will see just how awesome this tool we have is.


Are the fears of how social media and the internet will affect our ability to think and communicate warranted?