Last updateFri, 23 Mar 2018 1pm


Nostalgia Against Progression within Technology

Nostalgia Against Progression Within Technology

In a debate that’s been raged exceptionally throughout the last decade, but perhaps through all of human history, it’s hard to present it with a wholly new outlook or message than what’s been already said. Technology has, as a principle, advanced and improved since its conception, and in today’s modern, fast-track digital age, it is truer than ever.

The main conflict is the same as ever, but today it is framed within a turbulent shift in the way our media and information is presented. Our information has gradually digitized for decades now, and some methods are very absolute while others persist solely due to the preference of the individuals that use it.

The current symbols of the debate are the creased, faded pages of a paperback clashing with the sleek, evolving platform of the tablet. However, the debate goes deeper than merely book versus kindle; it is about the entire spectrum of digital media and how it influences our generation.

Dr. Mihaela Moscaliuc, an assistant professor of English and a career advising mentor, said, “digital media allows us to get intellectually lazy. We make less of an effort to acquire and deepen into knowledge because we believe it’s right there, at our fingertips.”

“Part of me though, appreciates and takes advantage, in major ways, of the accessibility afforded by digital media. Because of it, I am more productive than I used to be--but only because I am very strict with myself about how I use it,” Moscaliuc continued.


The usage of technology, not just the practicality and ability of it, but, the viability of digital media over-taking print is not up to what’s more efficient, that much is obvious from the beginning. The main issue is the usage of new technology comparatively with how we utilized the old.

Such a concept of using print media and digital media similarly is hard to gauge evenly. So much is down to preference of the individual, that it tends to blur the lines between deciding which medium is best.

Michael Mottola, a senior English student, strives to find the balance between the two. “I definitely find digital media more efficient, as with a single touch of a screen, I have access to essentially whatever information I want. It is my preference, and is more efficient overall.”

“With that said, there is a certain nostalgia factor when it comes to using newspapers or any sort of print media. I prefer handheld books to a digital form, such as a Kindle. I think it’s important for us to have a healthy mixture of both print and digital in our lives,” Mattola continued.

Such a balance is definitely ideal, but the sustainability of the print medium has to be called into question. If both sides of the debate are equally viable in a personal sense, then what about professionally?

Alex Stantzos, a junior history student, said, “I think it’s better for students to learn via print media be-cause it is easier for them to engage at a deeper level with the material they’re learning about.”

“It’s easier for students to high-light, annotate, and take notes on material whether it’s writing with a pen or drawing pictures in the margins. It could be more affordable or efficient for students to receive digital copies of media, but it’s much easier to retain and digest information when reading physical versions of text,” Stantzos said.

A commonly unthought-of perspective is the physicality of print media and its own, unique advantages when it comes to research and other work that digital text and information cannot match. It is difficult to analyze just how and why we prefer different mediums of in-formation for different reasons.

Dr. Courtney Wright-Werner, an assistant professor of English whose research area is digital writing and rhetoric, said, “Digital print is definitely more ‘efficient’ from both a publication perspective as well as a consumer perspective…however, that doesn’t mean we should completely eschew print media.”

Werner continued, “We’re still learning how the human mind processes digital information. There have been studies showing our comprehension suffers when we read digitally, but for the same reason, we have not had as much time to learn to process digital media. We’ve had centuries to learn to process print media.”

Despite the concept of old vs new technology, digital media as a viable, nuanced thing is still relatively new. The cliché of ending a debate with a middle ground statement stands, but the only real answer is to work with what works for you.

Dr. Werner adds, “Embracing both modalities and learning how we can individually use each more effectively is a boon.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Yasir Alsaedi

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