Sunday, March 6, 2016

Is Digital Media Hurting Civilization?

This is Amanda DeBuse, and I decided to re-work my original argument to one that is not so broad. My original argument was that we should put aside digital media, not completely put it away, but to a point where we are not hurting our personal relationships. I outlined the evolution of the book, starting with how early church leaders wrote religious books to teach from, how the printing press came about because these books were in high demand, and how the new technologies came out that allowed people to read from devices, and how that started this huge influx of mass media that we have today, and how said mass media is hurting personal relationships. I still want to keep the evolution element to my presentation, but say that while the digital/mass media is hurting personal relationships, it is also hurting civilization because of relationships are dwindling.

Communication now is largely given by means of mass media, be it Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, text message, phones, etc., and that is pretty much how our culture works and communicates now. Civilization has changed in that we now communicate with all this mass media mostly, and face-to-face pretty much when we want to step out of the comforts of media and look people in the face. History has allowed this, with the inventions and books evolution that I explained above, and was the foundation of what we have now.

Interpersonal relationships and relations with people is what makes up a society, community, and civilization. When this mass digital culture came in, these relationships were hindered because it is on the personal level that a civilization starts, and with that foundation being hurt, civilization is hurt. I think digital media is a great thing, but it should not get in the way of these forming face-to-face personal relationships that make that solid foundation for a great community and civilization.


  1. You hinted at what I'm about to say so you probably already know this, but I'll post it just in case because it goes perfectly with your argument. Karl Marx said (exactly as you have) that a society a sum of interrelationships. Or as you said "Interpersonal relationships and relations with people are what make up a society, community, and civilization." In that sense, it appears that our state and national societies are degrading, and the international society is booming.

  2. I'm going to play the part of the evil counterargument here, and ask: Are new forms of communication truly ruining relationships, or are they just changing them? And is that change bad?

  3. You have a sharpened thesis, one about which people may productively disagree: "while the digital/mass media is hurting personal relationships, it is also hurting civilization because of relationships are dwindling." This relies upon a fundamental causal connection you are making between interpersonal relationships and civilization. You'll need to find evidence to hold that up. Tommy is helping point you to some historical grounding with Marx. Perhaps you can find others, too. And -- in the spirit of Katelyn's challenge -- you must be very careful not to fall into facile comments about the end of the world coming because kids are on Twitter (or something like that). In other words: How can you really back up the claim that relationships are changing due to the new media (broadly enough to influence the foundations of civilization)? How can you support the idea that the breakdown of relationships equals the breakdown of civilization?

  4. I really like this idea. I think that if fits really well with the overall class concept. this is taking another spin on digital comminiation in that your claim is that we need to have less of it rather than more. Personaly I think this is a great idea that will really help in adding to the overall theme.