Mastering the Medium

June 29, 2017

Our newest Counterpane blog post is here!

RTT Director of Programs, Bruce Coffey, suggests how and why we can learn to stay present in our digital age.

“I believe there’s a wave cresting and I think you want to be on it,” he says, offering a solution for how all of us – adults, teenagers, and students – can untether ourselves from screens, social media, and the constant pull of being connected.

In the post, he references recent essays and appeals that question the dominance of the iPhone. Additionally, he references recent long-form literature – (that means books!) – that explore the effects of information technology and the Internet.

Coffey draws on his experience as a Middle School teacher, explaining that the way we talk to students about how to engage with technology also suggests how we should examine – and perhaps change – our own behavior as well.

Yet, we live in a world that is has become more dependent on digital media. We cannot ignore it. Rather, Coffey argues, we must learn to control it – master it – so that it serves its its users, and does not control us.

Coffey tells his students, “Armed with this information, they must understand that the computer (and the iPhone) are both a tool and a temptation.  If we understand the temptation, then perhaps we can learn to use the computer as a tool.”

It seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is working together. Coffey writes, “I think if we join hands – if we’re willing to broach the concept – in our work environments, on our dates, in certain social outings, and especially with our families – we can regain what was lost ‘before the Internet’.”  We must help each other to learn how to be Masters of the Medium.