For example: Theme - Communication
Researched Reality: Positive - Having a cell phone on silent saved a woman when she was carjacked - she was able to dial 911 without the carjacker hearing the keys, and then was able to lead the 911 operator to her car.
Researched Reality: Negative - Having a cell phone on silent made an expectant father miss the first two hours of his wife going into labor with their first child - he arrived fifteen minutes after his baby was born.
Lack of communication leads to an increase in our sense of fear, especially after 9/11. If we cannot reach someone on the phone when we think he/she should be available, we often worry, especially with youngsters and the elderly. Phones on 9/11 allowed loved ones to speak for a final time, or know that all was well.
I find that having a way to contact my daughter or her ability to contact me is invaluable, especially if something is happening where she is and she needs to get home.
The phone causes a negative effect with teens who are forever attached to their friends and always in someone else's business. It causes a great deal of anxiety, self-doubt, sharing of secrets, bullying, etc. The computer does this as well. With every advantage in the technological world there is a disadvantage: this is only one. In this case, it's too much information. My daughter has decided to carry her iPod instead of her phone so she can get a break: her idea. I'm delighted.
The Internet does provide us with knowledge at our fingertips. We can be better informed regarding educational changes, medical information to better know our bodies and health before going to the doctor or having surgery, being aware of why gas increases with trouble n Libya, even though we don't get much petroleum from them, if any.
The Wiki-leaks is disappointing, and the accessibility to child porn, or accessibility to our children by predators. This would not happen so easily if there were no Internet. It is a double-edged sword.
Consider what happens when severe winter storms knock out communication. Telephone lines, cable TV lines, and power lines often go down under the weight of accumulated ice. People who are snowed in without portable radios or a means to charge cell phones are cut off from communication.
The negative effects are numerous. Emergency help cannot be summoned, and family emergencies can't be shared. People can't conduct daily on line business. Not knowing what is going on in the outside world can produce anxiety in many people.
As for positive results, being cut off from the habits of daily communication (email, surfing, texting, etc.), forces people (or allows them) to spend their time in other ways. Books can be read and naps can be taken. Being outside the loop of constant communication gives people time simply to slow down and to think. Snow-bound families can reconnect, talk, play games, and generally enjoy each other's uninterrupted company.
The greatest lack of communication comes from the news media on which certain channels either filter information or entirely omit it. One not too recent event was the shooting at Ft. Hood in which CNN neglected to give out important information in order to remain politically correct. It was not until another news station disseminated this information that CNN put it out because the ratings went down.
Often, if it were not for the internet, there would not be certain information disseminated in this free country of U.S.A. On the other hand, there is also much misinformation that comes from unreliable sources on the internet.
positive-Cell phones, Internet usage, social networks make it easier to expand our "knowledge" of other people, places, cultures, and etc.
negative-We assume that we "understand" other people, places, cultures, and etc. better when we don't. These technologies lead to a decline in many social skills such as actual written communication, tone of voice, facial expression and body language that help us understand better those elements with which or about which we are communicating.
I always find it interesting/sad to watch kids do even less interacting face to face whether it is texting or various other types of messaging. The way that they struggle with social cues and with other things that seem so basic to someone as "old" as me.
It certainly makes some things easier but in general, easier is in fact worse in my mind and my experience.
To develop #4, I think the massive changes we are seeing in communication thanks to the internet and so on has the potential to change communication for the worse and it is already doing so in terms of making communication incredibly shallow and not deep. Texting of course is just one symptom, but now, for example, I will send a very quick message to a friend, perhaps leaving it on their facebook wall, when previously I would have called them to speak to them and had a proper conversation. It is hard to escape the irony of the fact that in spite of all the ways we have to keep connected, communication is becoming shallower.
Positive - It provides a quick method of transferring information. A great way to get someone a message that does not require a response. If someone is in an accident, then you can send the whole family a text message and let them know if everyone is okay. Text messages are great for making announcements - birth announcements, new businesses opening, school closings, etc. People may "feel" more connected with those they do not see very often.
Negative - A generation is emerging that does not know how to speak, spell, or write correctly. School papers, business documents, etc. are not professional, but rather written in "text language." People seem less aware of the tone of conversations. Text messages can easily be taken out of context because they have little or too much emotion. Maybe the saddest part is too much communication and too little converstion. Parents and children text message all day and feel no need to sit down and have face to face conversations with each other.
I am going to discuss Amber Alerts. I think these are an interesting example of communication done well and gone awry. For example, when a child goes missing it is necessary to get the information out as quickly as possible, so that if anyone sees the child he or she can tell authorities. The problem is that this also results in too much communication, since the police have to investigate hundreds of leads. Having communication is good, but too much communication can be just as bad as none.
If we're talking about real life events, how about Pearl Harbor? There was a message that was sent from Washington to the military authorities in Hawaii warning them that there might be an attack. But the message was sent by telegram and was not delivered until too late. If they had had modern communications, who knows what would have happened.
What about the world wide web !
The whole world is just connected through one network! Communication has become so easy today. video chatting and e-mails make our life so much easier...
But on the other hand there are loads of trouble created by this facility. Misscommunications caused due to the written messages and also falling into trouble by associating unknown people who meet through the Internet.
My partner just retired after 40 years working for the phone company and was the wizard of all emergency call-outs. You are quite right about people's anxiety often increasing when they are cut off from the world.
In fact, the government is so concerned that this anxiety may turn ugly, caravans of phone company trucks and of power company trucks are usually directed to drive about in formation. The idea is that their presence will ease tension. Alas, it is an empty gesture. Until the fallen trees are butchered or the ice melts, or until new cable arrives, neither the phone nor the power company can fix anything.
It reminds me of Bread and Circuses.