Readings 8: GPS, Mobile Technology, & Multitasking

GPS & Mobile Technology:

When I was in my teens my older sister and I really began to bond. We would spend almost every minute together other than the time we were in class. We had an honest and opened relationship. We had the same relationship with our parents. My parents were trusting of us.  My sister and I never had a curfew.  Did we every break a rule, or tell a fib? Yes, of course. But we were for the most part well-mannered, well-behaved teens. We respected our parents and our privileges and in return our parents respected us. Your probably thinking, get to the point already Kristin!  My point is, our parents never would question us because we were always honest. They would never think of putting a GPS tracking device on our car because if they wanted to know where we were, they could ASK us. Parents don’t have the same relationships today that parents had with their kids twenty years ago. Everyone is so busy busy busy that the lines of communication have closed. In the reading “GPS Technology Helps Parents Track Teens” Melissa J. Hipolit discusses the Pros & Cons of having a GPS device hooked-up to a child’s car.  A huge pro is that parents will know what their children are doing and where they are when the phone is turned on, or when the car is moving. It is a great tool for protection.   A con is that if the phone isn’t on, the GPS doesn’t’ work. I don’t believe there is a reason to “track” your children. Kids learn by making mistakes. Yes, it would probably keep them in line but it is when we fall out of line that we learn life lessons. Also, maybe parents today should take a little more time in their children’s lives and build a strong foundation in their relationships so that there is trust and instead of sneaking a tracking device on their kids car they can just ask their kid where they are going, when they will be home etc. and they will have an answer.

Speaking of tracking…China has recently passed a law that mandates their citizens to register their cell phones in their own names. In the article “China Deputes Smart Phones to Spy on Beijing Residents’ Real Time Location” we learn that China  wanted to pass a law that allows the government to track their citizens in real-time to allow them insight to all the traffic on the roads. My opinion? I think its bologna and cheese!  China is going to use that data against their citizens. How, or better yet, why does China have the power to take away rights from their people. Like how they block the accurate news about their country on Google. Now they are tracking each one of their residents in Beijing. Hmmm…I wonder what they are really going to use that research to do?

I wrote the paragraph above before reading, “Everything You Need to Know About The NSA’s Phone Records.” What is going on? Is the American government turning into China?? How could the government be allowed to take all the records from Verizon and read all the text messages and track all the phones calls of Verizon customers accounts? They say that it might break the 4th amendment. It might? Here is the fourth amendment of the United States of America.

Amendment IV (law.cornell.edu)

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

So, what do you think? Did the government have probable cause to take records of all the Verizon Carriers phone records?

While reading the article “On Locational Privacy, and How To Avoid Loosing It Forever” I was a bit confused. It talked a lot about machines following you based off of electronic tolls & transit passes. My confusion was that the article was written in 2009 and it is now 2013. Do our E-Z pass track and record what tolls we go through? Or is it sort of anonymous in the sense that we aren’t people we are just codes. Or is this what the author hopes happens in the future? That electronic tolls change the way of reading our cars from our licenses plates to just a code? Like I said, this article confused me.

Multitasking:

In the article “Multitasking Can Make You Loose…Um…Focus”, it states that multitasking adds to stress & it breaks up people’s train of thoughts. I use to think I was very good at multitasking. I don’t know if it is because I have aged a little bit but now I’m not so good. I could text and listen to someone talking at the same time, I thought I could, until I read this article and it told me that it is impossible for the brain to do. I use to retain information while multitasking but now I can’t anymore. I need to do one thing at a time.  I can only read and write in silence. Any sort of noise throws me off and distracts me. I feel as if I am missing out on something if I don’t follow that sound. Multitasking could not only be distracting but dangerous. If you multitask at the wrong time (i.e. while driving or walking near traffic) it could be lethal.

Texting while driving is a HUGE debate right now and it has been since texting became possible. Too many people are dying in-car accidents that are related to texting. When we will get it? I can’t act like I don’t do it because I do, but I’ve at least been more conscious and more aware that I am doing it and then I stop. The text can wait, or just pull over.

Alone Together Readings:

(Side note: I really enjoy reading from Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together. The chapters are more than just information, they are people’s stories. It makes the readings more interesting.)

Always On & No Need to Call

It starts off by talking about the 1996’s MIT Cyborgs. Cyborgs were tech students that were constantly connected to wireless internet. They were always ONline but away from desks and cables. These students behaved this way almost 20 years ago and look, today, everyone has a mobile wireless device that they carry with them wherever you go.

The title ‘Always On’ could be interpreted two ways, 1. that we always have our cell phones and computer ON, or 2. that we always carry them ON us. Turkle discusses how different our society has become because we are always doing something on the internet. We aren’t being ourselves 100% on social media sites, we are talking using Instant Messanger because it’s easier to say how you feel hidden behind screens, and we text because we do not like to hear each others voices anymore.

In the chapter “Always On”, I was extremely intrigued by the story about Pete & Jade. Pete is a middle age man, and is married with children. His marriage isn’t the happiest but he hasn’t left his wife. INSTEAD, he lives life through his very own avatar on Second Life. That is the website that he met his cyber wife Jade. They even share a part of the story that describes Pete being at a park with his kids, on his phone, and he’s communicating with Jade. Isn’t there something wrong here? I wrote in my notes “Pete+Jade cheating?!?!” I think it is. All these websites, email, texts, they all allow humans easy access to hide and be promiscuous. If Pete didn’t have Second Life he would either A. Be working harder on his marriage with his wife or B. He would have divorced his wife and would have another REAL LIFE relationship. Sherry Turkle asks him if he would ever meet Jade and his answer is no. Pete even accepts the fact that Jade could be a woman or a male but he doesn’t care. He just enjoys going on to Second Life and sharing a virtual life with this other person. It gets him through life. It’s pretty sad if you think about it. Pete is addicted to his phone and the internet. Pete needs to be ALWAYS ON.

The second chapter we read in “Alone Together” was ‘No Need to Call’. The chapter says it all. Ever since instant messaging, texting, and email were available to the public no one makes phone calls anymore. The reason for no more calls? We are just too busy. At one time it was cool to sit on the phone and talk to someone for hours. Now it’s cool to sit behind the computer and type. It is now the new “Life Mix.”

The topic of Avatars comes up in the chapter as well. I really liked the conversation Sherry had with the young girl Audrey. They talk about our online avatars, they profiles or images that we make up for ourselves. They are our “Little Twins On the Internet”. Audrey brings up the point that no one is 100% truthful about themselves online. We only put the nicest pictures of us up. We make up fake names. We manipulate our photos so that we are thinner. The lives online aren’t real nor truthful. So why do we waste so much of our time creating them?

The quote below really made me think. I would like to know what you guys think.

“But is loving your life as an avatar the same as loving your life in the real?”

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