Considering progress

I thought we had some great conversations today about progress and our personal responsibility in shaping what we see as progress. I’m reminded of three things this morning as I consider this: 1) A student in class the other day said that without technology he would not have been able to email me over the weekend about a paper due on the upcoming Monday. Is this progress? As a professor I would rather that student start working on the assignment earlier and have them talk to me in person about the assignment so that we could really delve into his thought process for the paper. But now, with technology, I lose the face-to face time which I think is unfortunate. 2) I also have lost some important “ho-hum” time with my newly acquired iphone. As I mentioned in class I had a flip phone until last October, which I had for 9 years. It was quite traumatizing to have to get rid of it and I was concerned that I might change my habits if I did get an iphone. While I’m not on it all the time, I do find myself turning to it for entertainment when I’m bored rather than just sitting with my thoughts….and I’m not sure this is healthy. Which brings me to 3) Louis C. K has an awesome clip about iphones and technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c

If you get a chance to watch it, let me know your thoughts. Also, as you make choices today, consider why you make them. Are we making choices in the name of progress?

happy 3rd day of NI Week!



  1. i still have a flip phone so i don’t understand the hype of smart phones. they just aren’t a necessity for me. the video was funny though, cant watch it in the library though (too loud)

  2. On behalf of the iPhone:
    I do acknowledge the potential for a smart phone, or technology in general, to detract for “ho-hum” time or personal reflection etc. To juxtapose this point, I would like to give credit where credit is due. My personal experience with the iPhone has been positive. It increases my ability to connect with humanity; via phone call, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangout, Gmail, and Snapchat allow me to meet my friends on their preferred mode of communication no matter where they are in the country or world. The contact I have with people through these modes is rewarding, and a decent supplement to being in their physical presence. Amid the hustle of millennial life, my iPhone helps me connect to people, slowing down all of our lives, for just a few moments.

  3. I agreed with much of Louis C.K.’s argument against phones, particularly when he discussed what overstimulation does to our collective consciousness. More and more it seems that people are anxious when they aren’t being entertained. Constant entertainment takes away any possibility of “ho-hum” time because it has become extremely difficult to be still rather than seek easy pleasures. This behavior seems especially prevalent in children, of our generation and younger usually, who are growing and branching into a world where social interactions define one’s life without sufficient roots.

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