Our everyday reality is constantly changing because of a range of technological innovations which are created to improve the quality of our life and make us more informed. Thus, people are actively involved in these changes due to their frequent usage of several information technologies. However, do they have the opportunity to focus on them without using any Internet and mobile technologies? This issue is widely discussed by many scholars who are inclined to speak about the development of the digital nation. Today people live in a world where information is highly esteemed, and those who have immediate and permanent access to it and value this information are the representatives of the digital nation. To understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to examine its peculiarities, perspectives, and risks, advantageous and disadvantageous.
Digital Nation is a project which was created by Rachel Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff to focus on the impact which new technologies and the Internet have on a young generation and discuss the peculiarities of the digital world once more. The documentary presents the vision of the most provocative aspects, benefits, and risks which are the results of using the Internet and modern mobile technologies. Nevertheless, there are no strict answers to all the questions aroused by this issue because it is impossible to determine only the advantages or only problems of this process.
It is convenient to use the Internet to find the necessary information, but it is useless to spend all the time on the Web; it is helpful to use technologies at classes to involve students in study, but it is ineffectively when students prefer to spend their time checking e-mail and Facebook; it is interesting to interact with people online, but it can result in the public’s isolation; it is useful to have an access to the information at any time, but it is dangerous when people have to get rid of the Internet addiction as the youth in South Korea (“Digital Nation”). Thus, a technological revolution is a complex event that has changed our life greatly because it has provided us with a lot of possibilities and a lot of risks.
In his article “The Information”, Adam Gopnik has discussed the problem of the role of the Internet in our life from many aspects and viewpoints. He states that “the Internet produces the global psyche: everyone keyed in like a neuron so that to the eyes of a watching Martian we are part of a single planetary brain” (Gopnik). The author pays attention to the aspects of “the global psyche” as the global consciousness, and the effects of the Internet on our minds, thoughts, and opinions. And if Adam Gopnik concentrates on the social and psychological aspect of the question, in their project, Rachel Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff present the results of the researchers’ investigations on the impact of the Internet and technologies on people’s brains. This new technological reality changes not only our approaches to the analysis of information but also can influence our mental processes and the level of our intelligence.
Today it is almost impossible to ignore the advantages of the technologies’ usage. However, the people’s task is to control the level of their involvement in the virtual world because “the real gains and losses of the Internet era are to be found not in altered neurons or empathy tests but in the small changes in mood, life, manners, feelings it creates – in the texture of the age” (Gopnik). It is not our way to become panic and frustrated when we have no access to the Web as it is described in the Digital Nation’s stories. The information from the article and the project can help people to become aware of all the pluses and minuses of the phenomenon.
The digital world requires the progress of the digital nation. This process is characterized by a lot of controversial aspects. Nevertheless, today people have the power to control the negative effects of the phenomenon and develop the positive ones.
“Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier”. PBS Frontline. 2010. Video. Web.
Gopnik, Adam. “The Information”. The New Yorker. 2011. Web.