Most recently, there has been a noticeable social decline. Whether it’s due to the incline in cell phones and their capabilities, the various social networks available, the newest forms of entertainment, or the many forms of technologies available for communication and innovation, there is a clear disconnect among the masses. This is understood to be a civic disengagement; while entertainment technologies are factors, they are not the sole reason for the decline in civic engagement. Technology offers everything one could possibly require or desire, it is constantly evolving and limitless. This brings both problems and benefits to the individual and the collective, which is termed as a digital divide. As a result; trust, economic equality and politics are greatly impacted.
I suggest that technologies should be limited, in the interest of the growing generation that only knows their best friend through instagram, or ‘likes’ Barak Obama on facebook because he has a great smile. It is evident, that we live in society that is not able to function without wifi access or cell phone towers; however, we also live in a society that does not vote for their leaders, but complains about their leadership, we live in a society where childhood obesity is dealt with in the masses, because it’s no longer a case of concern for just some parents. City Mayors, Provincial leaders etc., need to invest more in pushing early childhood education into a far less technological dependant way of living, because it is Generation X that is leading this divide, and it will be up to the next generation to change the circumstances.
This paper will examine, discuss, and explore the many dimensions of society and how it impacts civic engagement and is affected by civic engagement or the lack thereof. Through dialogue of politics, the individual, and our youth, this paper will aim to provide an understanding of the impacts of technology, both communicative and entertainment on society and its progress. It will also aim to explore solutions to this decline, or ways of living with and changing the way we receive a consistently evolving form.
Carpini, Micheal. “Gen.com: Youth, Civic Engagement, and The New Information
Environment”. In Political Communication. Political Communication, 17:341-349.
Taylor & Francis, 2000.
This article focuses on civic disengagement in American youth as they distance themselves and disconnect from public life, as a result of current technologies and internet access. The article then suggests how the aforementioned can instead improve the state of affairs. I chose to use this article as it discusses that which my paper aims to explore. It is imperative to have a clear perspective on youth and how they effect and are affected by technologies.
Norris, Pippa. “Digital Divide Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and The Internet
Worldwide”. In Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation. Prometheus: Critical
Studies in Innovation, Vol. 21, No. 3. Cambridge University, 2003.
Norris’ article discusses what is meant by the term “digital divide”, in that current technology and the internet brings forth a digital divide in society as it brings both problems and benefits for masses, and the function of a community. Norris discusses the various states of this divide, and attempts to find a balance among three particular aspects of the divide in order to calculate what is in store for the future. This article brings an in depth understanding of “digital divide”, and its central position as to why there is such disconnect and why society functions with said divide without protest or question.
Jennings, M and Stoker, Laura. “Social Trust and Civic Engagement across Time and
Generations”. In Acta Politica. Acta Politica, 39, 342-379. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.,
This article looks at three generations of Americans and discusses the decline in social trust and civic engagement, and how they are