EDER 679.25 Blog Post #3 – TED TALK Amber Case: We are all Cyborgs now.

While listening to Amber Case speak, about a million different ideas were zipping through my brain.  She spoke about computers and cell phones as extensions of our mental selves.  I often think to myself, “How would I get by without my iPhone?!?”  It holds my schedule, email, contacts, Facebook, reminders, task lists, photos and videos of my family, and those are just the things I use daily.  There’s also Apps for the every day little things that help me get by like Yellow Pages, flash light, coupons, meal planning.  The more technology I incorporate into my life, the more I’ve become dependent on it.  I only got a smart phone about 3 months ago and now I wonder how I got along without it.  The convenience of having everything in one place is irreplaceable.  I don’t have to carry around a giant bag with a camera, a daily planner, a grocery list, a phone book, etc.

But when we become to dependent on technology, what happens when it fails?  Do I automatically shut down when my battery dies?  Do my friends evaporate when my contact list is somehow deleted?  I’ve noticed at work before when the network goes down how the entire university seems to shut down.  We can’t work without our email, spreadsheets, databases, etc.  I worry about losing my phone or having my photos and files deleted so I am continually backing everything up.  I have a copy on my phone, which is synched to my computer, which gets backed up on an external hard drive, which I occasionally burn additional copies of important files onto CDs.

Amber Case also spoke about our “second self”, our online self.  This is a very important topic nowadays when so much information about ourselves is present online.  I know there is a new wave of people having 2 Facebook accounts:  one for personal and one for work.  We can connect instantaneously to anyone that we choose.  But with this power comes great responsibility, or so they say!  We need to manage, maintain, and present ourselves in certain ways to certain people.  We need to be aware of what information we are making available to others.  I have become very conscious of this since I had my kids.  Not knowing who is able to see pictures or information about them, I am very careful of pictures and other information that I choose to send out into cyberspace.

Technology has certainly made our lives much easier.  It lessens, or even eliminates the barriers of time and space.  Communication is instantaneous and almost effortless.  Storing information and files online is more efficient and eases access.  Technology is only going to continue to evolve, because as Amber Case said, it is adopted not because it works but because people use it.

TED Conferences, LLC. (2010). Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now. TED Conferences LLC. Retrieved August 23, 2011 from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html.

3 thoughts on “EDER 679.25 Blog Post #3 – TED TALK Amber Case: We are all Cyborgs now.

  1. Hi Stephanie,

    I generally agree with your post! I also have an iPhone and could not imagine functioning day-to-day with out it. In fact when I have traveled abroad without the luxury of a data network connection I felt crippled by my inability to access information instantly. I personally have found that I use my iPhone to access information to do daily tasks almost more so than communicating with people. When travelling abroad I have developed a sort of hybrid system, where I either pre-load information I know I will need (maps, reservations, ebooks, etc.) or rely on good old fashion hard copies (even those I try to create pdf versions when I can). Now days I actually find a bit of novelty in sending a traditional letter or postcard in the mail with an actual stamp.

    I agree that we need to be mindful of what information we post on the internet, but I also think there is more hype than is always necessary. Our lives are more public than ever before and there is great controversy about how that affects our daily lives. On the one hand we may not be comfortable posting certain pictures or information about ourselves, but on the other hand we can only speculate about the realistic consequences of what we post. We must be thoughtful about where to focus our efforts to maintain privacy and security (e.g. finances), but also not get lost in the paranoia that something we post will lead to our instant catastrophic demise. Nor should we be the person that reacts over-dramatically to things that celebrities and the like may post.

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    I can relate about the smartphone. It makes life a lot easier. Do you have those days when you forget your phone at home? It’s a very unsettling feeling. I also experienced a power outage at my work a few months ago. Most of the staff were just standing around socializing, as they could not be productive. Other than cleaning my desk, I found myself without work as well.

    As for your “second self” I think it’s great that you are consciously aware of the implications. I too was very cautious about my “second self” especially as a young educator trying to get a job with the local school districts, and I value my privacy. Millions of people are displaying their “second self” online, and if you go about in a safe way, it can be a very positive experience that brings people closer together.

    Thanks for your insights! Cheers.


    • I’m thanking myself for getting a smartphone at this very moment! My busy life often leaves me doing things like my blog responses at the very last minute. And of course as I turn on my computer tonight to start my responses, I get some technical message which I don’t understand other than the fact that I can’t connect to the Internet! Disaster!! What do you do when your computer doesn’t work? Or the Internet is down? Well now we don’t even have to worry about that because we have iPhones connected to 3G networks!

      I thought at first that it would be annoying and time consuming to try and look up the blogs and write responses on an iPhone but it has been surprisingly easy!


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