Monday, October 26, 2009

Jared in the D News again...

The Deseret News interviewed me for an article in today's paper about Facebook and Internet addiction and whatnot.

I should have sent them a picture of me or something.

Given this whole meta-reporting business, I thought I'd include the transcript of my entire interview, for folks who really want to "peel back the curtain."

1. What kind of technology do you use? Internet? Cell phone? How often do you use it? Can you go a day without checking your e-mail or other things?

I use a cell phone and wireless Internet from my laptop. I recently terminated Internet access to my cell phone because I was primarily just using it to cheat on crosswords or look up pointless minutiae on Wikipedia that I didn't really need to know. I do have a GPS on my phone, without which I would be intractably lost driving around the Washington area.

2. Do you think it's easy for people to become too dependent on technology? Why or why not? What's the ideal amount of time spent online?

For the last four years, I have not had a television in my house, and have not missed it because of the Internet. When I have to really get work done on the computer, I go into the one room in my house that cannot get a wireless signal, so I'm not tempted to perpetually check my email or Facebook or the Drudge Report or whatever. I think if there's a purpose behind your use of technology, then there's no problem. Since there are so many different ways for the Internet to entertain, inform, and connect an individual, anyone can drown in this great ocean called the Internet.
Some people, who for example become addicted to MMORPGs, end up spending entirely too much time online.

3. Some people argue that social networking sites actually tend to isolate people and make them lonelier. Do you think that's true? Or, do you find you're better able to connect with people and maintain contact with friends? Why do you use social media like Facebook?

It could, but I am inclined to disagree with knee-jerk rejections of technology. I find, for example, with my church friends that I have much more to talk about with the active Facebook users on Sunday than otherwise. "Oh, your trip to Boston looked cool!" or "Hey, great job with that marathon." I'm able to maintain contact with friends from high school on the other side of the continent whom I'd never talk to otherwise.

Facebook is incalculably valuable to me both personally and professionally. Since I'm in political communication, it's important for me to understand how people use this technology and to network with colleagues, not just in Washington, but back home in Utah as well. Moreover, if you're Facebook friends with someone, you don't need to keep track of their contact information when it changes (cell phone number, email), because they're so easy to contact via that platform.

1 comment:

Kate said...

1) You're right . . . you should have sent a picture. It was a year ago this past weekend that my picture was posted in the Philadelphia Enquirer and I can say from experience that it was an exciting moment.

2) Congratulations on your frequent D-News appearances.

3) How come you didn't tell me "good job on that marathon"?


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