Reeves, Byron, and Clifford Nass. 1996. "Ch 1, The Media Equation," pp. 3-18 in The Media Equation. Cambridge University Press.
I found this article to be very interesting, but I felt like I had a million thoughts running through my mind as I read it. I was thinking about so many different scenarios where I’ve seen these things happen, both to me and to my students. It really made me think about how I view technology.
To sum up the idea of the “media equation”, I thought this line from the chapter was perfect, “In short, we have found that individuals’ interactions with computers, television, and new media are fundamentally social and natural, just like interactions in real life” (Reeves & Nass, 1996).
After considering the idea of the “media equation,” I feel like this topic does impact my study on the digital divide. Actually, I think it impacts any sort of study on any topic dealing with technology.
I think that the concept behind the media equation, the fact that humans interact with computers as if they might be humans, is becoming a huge part of our society. I think this because of how technology is a huge part of our society and most people’s day to day lives. A perfect example of this is how people don’t really write letters as much as they used to, instead we write emails. The computer is now our source of communication, much as a human would be if they were in front of us, and in the same form, meaning that the response is almost immediate.
This concept is very applicable to the idea of the digital divide, because it effects how different people communicate, due to having technology or the lack there of. “Like all other tools, it seems that media simply help people accomplish tasks, learn new information, or entertain themselves” (Reeves & Nass, 1996). If this is the case, then those people without access to technology are at a disadvantage.
My wonder now is, do people who do not use technology very often, respond to computers the same as people who use technology many times in one day? Do they still treat computers as humans?
I think my favorite part of this entire article is on pg. 8, where it talks about how people don’t want to make the computer feel bad. Throughout the article it also talks about how, on a survey, people don’t want to rate the computer bad, if they are taking the survey on that same computer…basically because they don’t want to hurt the computer’s feelings. At first, I was laughing about this. But, when I actually thought about it, I would have done the same thing! J This article is humorous and very true!