In his book Watkins (2009) talks about anytime, anywhere media. Wired writer Nancy Miller (2007) stated, “We now devour our pop culture the same way we enjoy candy and chips – in conveniently packaged bite-size nuggets made to be munched easily with increased frequency and maximum speed. This is snack culture – and boy, is it tasty (not to mention addictive)” (para. 3).

With the advent of smart phones, tablets and laptops, we can be connected 24/7. But is that healthy or does it feed an addiction? “No matter where we are, fast entertainment is generally just a click away” (Watkins, 2009, p. 157).  Social media, such as twitter and facebook allow us to stay connected with family and friends like never before. Social media also allows one to share anything that is on their mind.

Social media is not limited to only twitter and facebook – there is also YouTube, blogs, and so much more. In addition to social media, there are also online games such as World of Warcraft, Second Life, etc. For some, these games can become addicting to the point of taking over their life. During his research, Watkins (2009) interviewed and followed a number of individuals who played role playing games such as World of Warcraft (WoW). When asked how many hours Curtis (one of the participants) played  WoW, he responded “Oh my, too many. I’d say on an average day, eight to ten hours” (Watkins, 2009, p. 113). Through in-depth interviews Watkins (2009) found “many of the WoW users acknowledge that playing the game incessantly interferes with their social lives and personal relationships” (p. 141). While there can be benefits to engaging in relationships with others via games, such as WoW, face-to-face interaction is also important.

Watkins (2009) reminds “now that anytime, anywhere technology and fast entertainment are pervasive parts of our cultural environment, deciding what to pay attention to is more challenging than ever” (p. 168).  How we manage our attention is up to us.

How has the availability of “anywhere technology” affected your own life? Would you consider yourself to be addicted to your technology? To social media? To online gaming? Have any of these had a negative impact/effect on/in your life? Please explain.

Please note: Respond directly to this post in the comments section. Your responses must be submitted by noon, Monday, Sept. 24, in order to receive credit. Also, leave your name at the end of your post so I know who wrote the comment.

Works Cited:

Miller, N. (2007). Minifesto for a new age . Wired, 15 (3). Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.03/snackminifesto.html.

Watkins, S.C. (2009). The young and the digital. Boston: Beacon Press.

Image from http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~rhan/CSCI_7143_Fall_2011/ipad-iphone-android-windows-phone.jpg

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