QCQ 5 – Baym


“Such Direct effects of technology may be strongest when technology is newer because people do not yet understand it. Rather than ”using” it, people may be “used by it” (Fischer, 1992:12).


Though a lot of the sources referenced in Making New Media Make Sense by Nancy Baym are old and what we’d call outdated by modern standards, they touch on many key elements that were missed in teaching people to harness the technology they’re using. What Fischer states I think is correct in the fact that when we are first learning to use the internet and social media, we are learning how to use the platforms but, we’re not touching on how they operate. It’s much more controlling than you may think. Most of the information we see or search for is shown through an algorithm used by the developers that track and analysis our interests. Ex: If someone were to google “How long do elephants live” and it’s done often, the algorithm will start to memorize what you might be searching for so you only have to type “How” before your question pops up. There are also privacy issues that we are exposed to without knowing how it happened. Stalkers and hackers are easily able to make contact with you without making contact with you and take control of your information on the internet and social media. There’s a safe way of going onto the technology we’ve created and USE IT as its intended purpose, however, the casual user hasn’t learned what to do and what not to do. As stated by many of the cited authors in the passage, they think the purpose of technology had good intentions, but it’s not been used properly consequently making new problems with regards to socialization, face-to-face contact, and ability to be normal human beings outside of our face in a screen.


Where do you think we’ve gone wrong and is it fixable on today’s platforms or are we better off starting over with a new way of getting information?