A J-Term challenge from Dean Collado

Yesterday, Dean of the College and Chief Diversity Officer Shirley Collado posted on the One Dean’s View blog. Her article, “The Disconnection of Being Connected,” offers an interesting point.

Concerned that too many of us are glued to our phone and computer screens, Collado warns, “The face-to-face conversation, the hand-written note, and the reassuring touch have given way to the casual, distant interaction that sometimes comes with living life virtually.”

As I noted in JP’s 2010 list, we are an increasingly plugged-in population. We know the benefits of Facebook and email, but the costs are what Collado asks us to consider:

I worry that this may be the first generation without sufficient experience in making human connections, that we are encouraging the development of individuals who will not know how to talk directly to each other and resolve conflict across human lines. We may run the risk of simply becoming observers, passive non-participants in our own lives. I worry that technology, to some extent, is pacifying and paralyzing us.

Commenter Kya A agrees, saying, “It’s crazy. I gave up facebook for a few months twice last year and missed an engagement, a birth, and several birthday party invites. I felt like I had just come out of a mini-coma.”

What would happen if you lost your Internet connection for a week? Could you give it up for that long while on campus? Just 24 hours?

“But why wait for a power outage before you disconnect? Try it. Tell me how it went,” Collado challenges.

Sounds like a J-Term project. I’m considering it for a day or two. Anyone else?

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3 thoughts on “A J-Term challenge from Dean Collado

  1. The question Dean Collado doesn’t ask is how we make better use of our tech tools in a conscious way and how we learn to be literate in a “program or be programed” world. Surely there is lots to be gained from unplugging occasionally, but even better is examining how we consume (and increasing how we produce) in the digital world. So resolve not to give up texting but rather to take stock of all that facebooking and find examples of how to get more from our connectivity (and take it offline to further impact).

  2. Sometimes I wish I could disconnect from Shirley Collado’s blog posts. Her post about dinning hall dishes was literally posted everywhere and a link to this one was sent in an all student email.

  3. Ryan, you’re right Dean Collado asked a different question. You’re just ignoring her question and asking your own. It seems that you are either unwilling or unable to disconnect, much to her point.

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