Does Social Media and Instant Communication Stifle Imagination? Essay

Pages: 3 (927 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

Social Media & Imagination

Fr. Adolfo Nicolas in his address to representatives of Jesuit Universities in Mexico City in 2010 puts forth the argument that instant and global communication technologies impede serious thought, tending to reduce intellectual contemplation and stifling imagination. Fr. Nicolas's contention is that "when one can access so much information so quickly and so painlessly" critical thinking gets short circuited. He calls this the globalization of superficiality.

The danger of this globalization is many ideas which are inherently shallow, or promote fundamentalism, fanaticism, or various ideologies often go unchallenged. Moreover, the ability to think creatively, imaginatively, and apply critical analysis to a problem is becoming lost. Unfortunately in today's world, with the multitude of issues we now face, merely following slogans or repeating rhetoric will not bring lasting solutions. Creative and imaginative thinking is needed to inspire active dynamic responses to real questions.

Discussion

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This assertion is especially alarming if one interprets Fr. Nicolas's remarks as a warning about the establishment of a herd mentality among the people. We are in an age of flux unlike any in the past. Fear and greed have spawned such things as the "Patriot Act" and our current global economic crisis. Individual freedom is becoming overshadowed by the need for state security, and few are questioning this process. This is dangerous for when a society overlooks the needs of the individual justice is at risk. In an Egalitarian Theory of Justice (1971) John Rawls discusses the elements necessary for a society to be just for all. He begins with the supposition that in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are not based on social circumstances, financial position or authority.

Essay on Does Social Media and Instant Communication Stifle Imagination? Assignment

Rawls defines society as an association of individuals who recognize certain rules of conduct and behave accordingly in order to advance the good of the participants. This arrangement harbors an inherent conflict. On one hand social cooperation makes it possible for individuals to live a better life than if they were to live solely on their own efforts, on the other hand because individuals are not indifferent as to how these greater benefits are distributed they will naturally pursue a larger share. Rawls claims that this phenomenon requires that a set of social principles be established to ensure justice so that the advantaged do not unfairly gain by their position. He goes on to say that these principles must be chosen "behind a veil of ignorance" so that "no one is advantaged or disadvantaged in the choice of principles by the outcome of natural chance or the contingency of social circumstances" (p. 675). However, in America today the richest 1% now own 35% of the nation's wealth and the top 20% own 89% leaving the bottom 80% only 11% (Domhoff, 2012). One may… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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