Are the tools of digital media impeding or expanding our knowledge?

The tools of digital media are expanding our knowledge and impeding it. The world is changing on a daily basis and the use of digital media is keeping us up to date. The internet is a mass database that we instantly have access to countless information. These tools are expanding our knowledge because we’re exposed to so much information. We’re able to search for any information or questions we have. Another positive effect of digital media on the advancement of our knowledge would be the ability to learn new skills. We can learn how to code, play an instrument, cook, etc…, the opportunities are endless. In the field of education, digital media plays a significant role. When it comes to interactive learning, it improves a child’s learning process. Consider what would happen if the internet didn’t exist at this vital period of the coronavirus outbreak. How well it enabled individuals to stay virtually linked with their loved ones and to continue studying even when schools and institutions were closed.

On the other hand, the consumption of digital media is impeding our knowledge and has negative effects on our society. A negative effect can be seen in Jeffrey Rosen’s New York Times article, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” when he discusses privacy issues in the age of digital media. He states “where the Internet records everything and forgets nothing — where every online photo, status update, Twitter post and blog entry by and about us can be stored forever.” This can result in individuals being held accountable for information posted years ago that can affect certain opportunities. People may learn to hesitate before releasing information as they continue to encounter the difficulties of living in a world that never forgets. Another negative effect of the use of digital media on our knowledge would be companies and institutions sharing and selling our information. This idea of invasion of our private information is explored in Tom Owad’s article, Data Mining 111: Finding Subversives” when he states, “Today, it is increasingly easy to monitor ideas. And then track them back to people.” There should be restrictions and laws set in place to protect our information. Its mind-blowing how our own information is being targeted back to us.

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