Education: Contemplation

Education: Contemplation

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3270-5.ch012
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Abstract

Given the present plug-in society of on-line services, today's youngsters became owners of digital handheld devices where Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Flickr, Viadeo, Amazon, Alibaba, WeChat, Line, Blogger, What'sApp, Instagram, Vine and Dropbox are regular daily services used as a common practice. Connectivity is oxygen nowadays. People spend hours engaging with social media, highlighting that this activity is playing a huge part of the growth and evolution of the online landscape (Kemp, 2014). Thirty years after the dawn of the Net, social media have become the first activity on the Web where everything is connected in real-time and are more personalized than ever in a universal cross-platform (the cloud concept). Definitely, real social life, based on activities such as going to a movie with your friends or children playing with toys is fading away.
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Introduction

The number of selfies increased exponentially while the number of emails and spams followed the same trend. Being connected on a paradisiac beach or in the washroom has become normal. Ladies driving cars while simultaneously talking on their iPhones, putting on lipstick and looking at the GPS map is the rule rather than the exception.

The cyber-bullying effect, the online sexual predators, the fresh alphabet for children (A – Apple; B - Bluetooth, C- Chat, D – Download … W – Wifi; X – Xml; Y – Youtube; Z - Zerg), elderly being taught by their grandchildren, to fall asleep in front of a laptop due to physical exhaustion (the technostress awareness) and nomophobia (the fear of having no mobile network connection) are some of the daily life examples of behavior changes over the last ten years. Quoting Albert Einstein, “It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity. The world will have a generation of idiots”.

The e-businesses provided by this World Wide West have become countless, as well. If you need someone to travel with, just create a free account on triptogether.com. If you are looking for a date, just check on match.com. If you want to cheat on your soul mate, just click on ashleymadison.com. If you want to buy a machine gun, see gunbroker.com. If you need a university diploma, buy it on cheaper-than-tuition.com. If you have a kidney problem, have a look on organdonation.nhs.com. If you need a male escort, rent him on gentlemen4hire.com. Would you like to have a Russian fighter jet MIG 23? controller.com is the answer.

This empowerment or rather enslavement of this love/hate relationship of being online 24/7 continues on and on. When Facebook identifies what we write on its wall, Google’s aim is to provide insights into users’ interests and future actions for prediction purposes. This happens because if we do not pay for these services, our everyday life becomes the content to be explored for commercial purposes. There is no privacy (Leonhard, 2014). Period.

Governments contributed to this data cyber warfare situation too, particularly the Obama’s NSA administration (“Yes, We Scan”) over Brazil’s Petrobras oil company and German spy scandal. On the other hand, China is alleged to have undertaken a widespread effort to purchase US military equipment. Such Chinese aggressiveness is well documented in multiple espionage cases, including Larry Wu-Tai Chin, Katrina Leung, Gwo-Bao Min, Chi Mak and Peter Lee (Wikipedia, 2015).

Gary Turk on his five-minute “Look Up” YouTube video captures in a perfect way the impact that the simple act of putting down the phone may have on our life. Here are some of his quotations to make us think and be ashamed of: “These media we call social are anything but, when we open our computers it’s our doors we shut”; “four hundred and twenty two friends, yet I’m lonely; I speak to all of them every day, yet none of them really knows me”. Is it so difficult to moderate technology in our life?

Finally, education is being overtaken by information technologies as a tsunami overtakes its shore. Learning has become a do-it-yourself, a just-in-time exploration of many sources to construct knowledge for a particular goal or interest (Leonhard, 2014).

Nowadays, students enjoy their wireless gadgets, allowing them to communicate with their teachers and classmates. On the other hand, schools and universities themselves are using social networks (SNs) to recruit their applicants. Besides, youth hold a rather close intimacy and familiarity with SNs. Yet, academic staff has been cautious with the use of SNs for distraction reasons. After all, Facebook quite frequently signifies gossip. According to Rosen (2012), students are only able to stay on task for an average of three to five minutes before losing their focus and, generally, their distractions are originated from technology, including (1) having more devices available in their studying environment such as iPods, laptops and smart phones; (2) texting; and (3) Facebook access. After all, SNs were not designed for formal learning purposes but rather for chatting and the sharing of pictures and videos.

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