Computers the Good and the Bad

Computers Hold So Much Information; Sometimes Causing More Harm Than Good After reading a few short stories and conducting research on the subjects, I have found some interesting facts about how the computer has changed people’s lives. Computers have become the basis on which our society now depends; they are the key to communication, business, and success for many. Problems can arise however and privacy can be a major issue especially when it comes to certain websites such as MySpace and Facebook.

Some people feel they have been violated of their rights and this is when the computer can become your worst enemy, not to mention how the computer has changed people’s ways of thinking and dealing with everyday tasks. “If it is a public forum that is accessible to others, then presumably the police are welcome to participate, as they would be welcome to enter a shopping mall or something like that”(Rotenberg). There are millions of users on websites such as Facebook and MySpace, these people are posting pictures, comments, and even communicating with friends and family.

What many don’t realize, is that they are posting it for everyone to see. There have been incidents where the law has been involved in using these websites to catch criminals or even people who have been accused of a crime. “MySpace has encouraged it’s users to be aware that what they post on their profile is available for the public to see” (Mathew Grossman). MySpace and even Facebook have made it very clear that its users be aware of the risks they are taking by posting any personal information. They have settings which can be used to block certain users or to make your profile private.

That way you can control who you want to see your page and interact with. The law has become involved in catching criminals or people involved in criminal acts by searching public profiles. They can read posts and even see pictures that an individual has posted, making it easier to get the persons personal information. They can get names and locations from the profile just by searching the page. And some are not aware that they are being searched this way. There have been issues with employers and their employees when it comes to the postings that are taking place for the public to see.

Employers need to be aware of potential liability for employee’s publication of private information on Facebook and MySpace. For example a woman was convicted of cheating on her husband and accused of contracting an STD, her MySpace profile revealing these comments by others who claim it being true and stating it for everyone to see even other employees in her workplace. Working in the medical field where other employees were capable of retrieving her medical records she was now being tormented at work. The woman claimed invasion of privacy and took the case to court.

The court suggested that since MySpace is public and considered a social network they cannot hold her employer liable for any accusations being brought against her by the employees on her profile. The MySpace page she claimed was made against her will and that her coworkers were to blame. This being questionable and not having proof as to who had actually posted it, nothing could be done. “Machines are being designed to serve explicitly as companions, pets, and tutors” (p 553, Turkle). Machines meaning computers are not only needed but we rely on them to do everyday tasks, we even depend on them to curve our boredom. At every step we need to ask, as educators and citizens, whether current technology is leading us in directions that serve our human purposes” (p 554, Turkle). Computers are used today to conduct work for businesses, pay our bills, communicate with others, even to play games and learn. Have they caused us to forget who we really? We spend hours upon hours on the computer and we sometimes can get so lost in the machine. For example, Susan a neuroscientist questions, of whether and how our current use of computers is changing the way our brains work.

Susan finds that the visual stimuli we get from computers is so different from what is available in previous generations that certain areas of our brain may be affected in ways that can change personality and behavior. Few argue that when they turn from a computer back to a textbook they notice their concentration is lacking causing them some trouble to stay focused. The real problem caused by computer use is that we as human beings do not need to work as hard because the computer can do it for you, and the information is right there.

This can be a problem especially for our youth, they will not have to do what it takes to use their brains and they will not have the thinking power or level of concentration we adults once needed. They will depend on the computer and computer only, to get things done. The Writers of these articles and short stories are showing their concern for the negative side of computers. They explain how people are being affected in certain situations due to issues of the computer and how their lives have been negatively affected. Each writer gave valid points and stated facts on the subjects when it came to using a computer.

They explained the situations of each subject and the outcome of the issues being discussed. They supported the cases of how an individual can become a victim of false accusations on a profile and then being harassed by employees whom became involved in the woman’s personal life via MySpace or Facebook, and how the computer can damage our past ways of thinking and concentrating thus making it a lot harder to focus on everyday tasks that involve logical thinking. The writers clearly showed their concern and found existing facts on why a computer can and will affect people’s lives. The writers show that a computer must be used responsibly or there will be consequences.

Works Cited 1. Alex Koppelman, MySpace or Ourspace? (p546-557) ;The Bedford Guide to College Writers(X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, Marcia F. Muth) 2. Sherry Turkle, How Computers Change The Way We Think? (p552-558) ;The Bedford Guide to College Writers. (X. J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, Marcia F. Muth) 3. www. fredlaw. com , (1995-2010 Fredrikson & Byron P. A. ) 4. www. bbc. co. uk , (BBC News) ; Changing The Way We Think. (Susan Greenfield)

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