Sex, Drugs, The Internet, and a Reflective Finale

So we are finally reaching the end of the semester, and I have to say this class could not have come at a more perfect time in our collective lives. As I worked my way through the last week of readings, Rheingold’s had many moments that caused me to pause and think. He talks about how we all prefer to answer calls, texts, email, and whatever else we do technologically before we finally interact with those that actually matter the most in our lives. For him his wife and daughter, for me my family and friends more generally, but the sentiment was one I honestly hadn’t thought much about. What kind of message do we send in that moment of ignoring our loved ones in favor of responding to work emails? I can’t imagine it is a good one, but it seems like just another part of the routine now according to Rheingold and I have to say I agree. His message that we have to learn how to organize our attention efficiently and for our own good was one that stuck with me.

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

This class has been truly fun for me, and I do appreciate how helpful and understanding our awesome professor has been! (pandering? no. Thankful? yes.) We have all had a tough and often times lonely year, and this has exacerbated many of the issues that we covered in this course related to the internet. It has certainly made me even more reliant and overindulgent of it as social isolation can definitely drive one in that direction. Thats why this class has been such a breath of fresh air. More than educating on things we had never encountered, it taught me a lot of lessons that I knew were true intuitively but hadn’t ever thought to do. The importance of staying safe online and maintaining your mental wellbeing in the face of the internets negative effects can be hard, but is always necessary. At a time like this, these reminders are important and should be required learning for everyone coming up in this ever changing digital world. Cheers to a winter of using the classes material to better my own interactions with the internet. I’m going to reduce my screen time, reset my privacy settings to reflect my own personal standards, and continue to interact with others in creative and professional settings that are conducive to the kinds of positive feelings that the internet CAN provide. More than anything, the class has taught me that. There is an infinite amount of good to be found online if you know how to find it, and especially when you can avoid the bad as much as possible.

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Senior at the University of Minnesota, Studying Political Science

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Carter Dosmann

Senior at the University of Minnesota, Studying Political Science