Digital Issues in the News Today

When I get up, I try to scan the various news and blogs sites I frequent to see if anything happened over night. I have also been on the lookout for digital related issues since I am in the process of locating ideas and issues for my new Digital History class. Today, what caught my eye was that there were 2 articles on CNN.com dealing with digital memories. The first was an article by John Sutter entitled “My week of recording a ‘digital memory’.”  He spent a week recording every moment of his life in an effort to document his life. It seemed that he ahd mixed feelings at the end of the week. As he said:

  • “After a week of testing out Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell’s theory of “Total Recall,” I’ve decided it has potential — but also serious limits. Bell argues in a recent book that people are developing “e-memories” to supplement the finite and fleeting info we store in our brains. For a decade, he recorded most of the details of his life in an effort to compile a searchable, digital memory.”

When I finished that article and then returned to CNN’s main page, I found an article under the Health section by Elizabeth Landau entitled “Do digital diaries mess up your brain?” This article also had mixed feelings on the subject:

  • Relying on the Internet for answers does have its advantages in terms of brain stimulation. A recent study from Small’s group at UCLA found that Internet searching among middle-aged and elderly adults who don’t have much experience with the Web had increased activity in key areas of the brain after searching the Web for an hour each day for two weeks. “But recording everything you do takes people out of the “here and now,” psychologists say. Constant documenting may make people less thoughtful about and engaged in what they’re doing because they are focused on the recording process, Schwartz said.”

So, the verdict on digital memories and their impact/effect seems to be out.

RSM

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