Formerly SpringBlog

Friday, April 1, 2011

Personal Responsibility: A Novel Concept?

Throughout our discussion of the digital age, more specifically the rise of digital social technology, it seems that we have come to a crossroads in how to deal with the vast and ever-increasing information that we are exposed to that hurls itself at the speed of light towards us. "With great power comes great responsibility." If you are any kind of nerd like I am, that line has been used to sum up an overarching theme within the Spiderman universe that has at times crossed over into the mainstream. Perhaps its popularity resides in its simplicity. Every great technological innovation usually has led to great praise and at times severe consequences. So I see no difference in how social media has brought both of these issues to the forefront. Perhaps what is most important to understand is that a powerful and innovative social tool can breed many darker aspects. The automobile gave rise to the birth of mass transportation in America, allowing them to traverse the country on their own terms, perpetuating our need for freedom and independence. However, it also allowed criminals in the twenties and thirties to rob banks and make speedy getaways from slower police vehicles. On a much broader scale, automobile accidents and fatalities rank much higher than any other forms of transportation. I would doubt however, that many people see the automobile as an innovation that has plagued society.
What we have come to understand is that risk will always be involved. Every time you crawl into an automobile you run the risk of severe injury or even death. While federal regulations have stepped in to reduce this risk in terms of speed limits and safety standards, what matters most is personal responsibility. So as we have come to adapt to the fast-changing world of social technology, that need for personal responsibility is even more important. This is due to the fact that our government, being a democracy acts extremely slow to new innovations, and the speed that technology is traveling has exacerbated that problem. However, an individual can act much more quickly in deciding how best to use this ever-increasing digital information and spread the word to others. The power is right there in the technology itself.

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