Resource Proposal #1 (more on proposals)

Type (Biz, Gov, or Soc): Business

Name of Resource and Citation: Nielsen, “Millennials: Technology = Social Connection.” Online.  Accessed: April 13, 2015.

Topic for Paper: Smartphone Addiction: how millennial obsession with technology can better serve society

For my white paper, I am examining our generation’s current uses of technology and exploring how they could benefit our society in new ways.  In essence, I hope to show that while smartphones strive to connect us to distant friends and family members, they are disconnecting us from the people and environment that surrounds us.  I will prove that, with some minor adjustments, this behavior can actually help solve some of our worlds biggest problems.  I will also touch on the similar ways corporations might be able to adjust their own technological capabilities to become more sustainable and socially responsible. I think this topic will allow me to highlight some interesting trends that are happening all around us, while also providing some guidance on how they can help our society.

The business source I have chosen is a report from Nielsen, a highly acclaimed measurement and information company. These valuable insights will allow me to better understand our generation’s relationship with modern technology and therefore provide more accurate suggestions for their adjustment. I really like this source because it does not just tell me how much we use our phones, but in what ways we use them. As opposed to presenting simple statistics, it explains them in a very straightforward manner. Another aspect I like is that the study was only conducted about 1 year ago. Having relatively up-to-date information is crucial due to the rapid rate of change in today’s technological world.

As I further explored this source, I realized that Nielsen had conducted an even larger study on this subject, and has a report that is available for download.  It mainly discusses myths about this generation but has a pretty sizable portion dedicated to our use of technology. I will also use some material from this report, which is titled, “Millennials- Breaking the Myths.”   Not only will these two sources give me a great base of information from which I can launch my argument, but they will also provide me with interesting details to help strengthen my points.

Can you get all Nielsen reports for free?  If some is behind a pay firewall, you may be able to use Bucknell to get access.

I am thrown by how to classify this source.  Yes, Nielsen is a for-profit researcher.  But, do they have a stake in this issue?  Like, Nokia or Motorla producing knowledge about how people use technology would be a very clear business source in the sense that the producer has a stake in the outcomes…

See if you can find that kind of business source… even as you find more Nielsen reports. Gartner is another research firm that works in this space.

You could look into Sherry Turkle’s work on this too.  Pat blogged about it on our blog.  She has been writing about community, identity and technology for more than 20 years and has shifted from saying “there is community in cyberspaces” to worrying now that we are too much “alone together.”  

Resource Proposal #2 (more on proposals)

Type (Biz, Gov, or Soc): Soc


Name of Resource and Citation: Alone Together

Turkle, Sherry.  Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic Books. Jan 11, 2011. Ebook.

Topic for Paper: Smartphone Addiction: how millennial obsession with technology can better serve society

After reading your comments, I looked more into Sherry’s work.  She has a lot to offer when it comes to exploring the connections we share with technology and our behavior both in person and over the internet.  I read some of her book and think it will be a valuable resource for me going forward with my paper.

I thought a lot about this topic and think it will be interesting because of how closely it relates to our world today.  Sherry’s book, Alone Together, does an excellent job of exposing many ways we use technology and the effects they have on us as humans.  I really enjoy her tone, which is casual but informative, and the way she uses Second Life as proof of her theories.  This offers a nice connection to the class but also to my paper.  Finally, in a world that is obsessed with what technology can do for us, Sherry explores what technology can do to us.

This information and insight will help my paper immensely.  Using this book, I will be able to much more fully understand our interactions with technology.  Specifically, I plan to focus on how devices are “always on,” how we expect many connections to come to us, and how smartphones interrupt our lives.  These, along with many other behaviors, present opportunities for change.   As I will discuss in my paper, knowing them is only half the battle.  Finding ways in which they can benefit society is the real challenge.

Great.  By the way, usually we say “Turkle.”  I taught you a bad habit with Ed and Milton due to their last name similarity.  She has a TED talk too, I think.

Resource Proposal #3 (more on proposals)

Type (Biz, Gov, or Soc): Gov

Name of Resource and Citation: Government Information Quarterly

Lorenzi, D, J Vaidya, S Chun, B Shafiq, and V Atluri. “Enhancing the Government Service Experience Through Qr Codes on Mobile Platforms.” Government Information Quarterly. 31.1 (2014): 6-16. Print.

Topic for Paper: Smartphone Addiction: how millennial obsession with technology can better serve society

Is this journal actually printed by the government?

For my last proposal, I looked hard to find a source relevant to my topic.  While this was challenging, I did find an article from Government Information Quarterly that relates pretty closely to what I am trying to explore.  It is not directly from the government, but it is a recent article and it takes a different side than my other sources, which I think will help me develop my argument more.

Broadly speaking, the article examines the use of technology by the government and the challenges this integration brings about.  As we adjust to a more globalized world, so do our organizations and our government.  The latter, however, has many things to consider throughout this process due to the likely severe consequences if something were to go wrong.  For example, implementing a new system of healthcare or homeland security might cause millions to not receive the correct treatment or sensitive information to be exposed should the technology fail.

More specifically, the article I chose addresses the government usage of Quick Response (QR) codes as effective ways to communicate various different types of information to the public.  These codes are essentially a stamp or design that, when scanned by a smartphone camera, immediately triggers some sort of action.  When someone scans a QR code business card, for example, the phone extracts the cardholder’s information and might even create a contact for him or her.  Clearly, this is a very useful and powerful way to communicate that embraces, and actually requires, the smartphone.

In the article, the authors use two separate examples of ways the codes could enrich citizens’ connections with the surrounding world.  One of the cases in which they demonstrate the benefit of using these inexpensive, sustainable codes is in national parks.  Rather than use a GPS that requires a signal and might lose battery, for instance, the codes could give map coordinates to visitors who scan them along any given trail.  A second example, which I found more closely relates to my topic, is the gamification of park activities.  In ways I will explain more fully in my paper, QR codes would strengthen the connection between park visitors and the environment by allowing them to interact with it in new ways.  Instead of hiking to the top of a hill for the view or maybe even a picture, imagine hiking to the top of a hill, scanning a code, and instantly receiving information on that area and even earning points toward a reward of some kind.  The possibilities are endless.

I really think this source supports my topic. Rather than focusing on the harmful effects of smartphones as my other sources do, this one offers a way to use them effectively. Though it did not come directly from the government, it takes a new approach to the second half of my title, how the addiction to smartphones can actually benefit society.

What is the key difference between reliance and addiction?  We would never say “Luke sure is addicted to Oxygen.”  Also, is it in the interests of the phone carriers or hardware makers, or others (app makers) to tap into our psyche and behavior to induce heavy use?  Or are the addictive behaviors you are identifying an unfortunate consequence?



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