As I read through my blog posts, I noticed that I was able to analyze and provide opinions on the impact that technology has on society, a topic I never previously thought about. My posts reflect how taking this class opened my eyes to the negative side of technology. I was exposed to many ways technology harms us as a society, and I think that came out in my posts.
Although a majority of the class was spent learning and reading about these negative impacts, a common trend of my posts was me trying to take the negatives and spin them into a more positive light. For example, in my first post, I comment “Targeted ads require invasive technologies, and sometimes don’t work well, but I would rather get a relevant ad some of the time than random ads all of the time.” This statement, in addition to the YouTube video I use, gives a positive outlook on something potentially annoying. In my next post, I take GIFS to be used as educational tools that look cool and can help keep a class engaged” instead of a tool for digital blackface. And finally in my third post, I took the unethical tradition of spreading misinformation on the internet and discussed an example of how it can be done in an relatively harmless way.
Reading through again, I noticed my last two posts no longer had a hint of hopefulness and positivity found before. In my post about AI and algorithms, I state that our readings “acknowledge the algorithms and AI themselves aren’t alarming” but they are never found by themselves. The people using them, typically large corporations, are the cause for concern, and we can’t escape them. This post almost had a positive swing to it, but ultimately ended up negative. My last post about QAnon had no attempt to be positive at all. I actually remember having to actively try not to go on a rant about how absurd the conspiracy theory is. I think this change in tone of my posts was caused by the increasingly pessimistic outlook of our class. It became harder and harder to see the positive aspects of technology when we discussed how and why it was wrong daily.
A big part of that discussion was holding someone accountable for what happens online, an idea that came up in several of my posts. Technology itself cannot be to blame since it was created by people, but often times we attempted to place blame on technology anyway. I discuss this in my post People and things “get creative” to disturb kids, but I’m surprised I don’t mention this in my post about conspiracy theories. Places such as YouTube and Reddit are breeding grounds for conspiracies, and have interfaces that allow these theories to spread easily. This issue could’ve been consider in all of my posts, but I either did not think of it at the time, or had to omit it due to word restraints. Either way, I think it is definitely a topic worth revisiting, especially considering how technology will continue to advance and affect more people.