Therapeutic Ethics In The Digital Age

Therapeutic Ethics In The Digital Age

When the Whole World is Watching

By Ofer Zur

July/August 2012

No matter how much time we spend at our computers, or how much we love our adorable iPhones and iPads, for those of us older than, say, 45, the Digital Age is a foreign country. Unlike those "digital natives" who were born into the Internet world, learning how to click their tiny thumbs on devices and play smartphone games by age 1 or 2, we are and always will be "digital immigrants," never entirely at home in this new land. Our analog past clings to us and how we think, just as an old-country accent shades an immigrant's speech.

Of course, not all digital newcomers are created equal. Some are enthusiastic digital immigrants, who thrive in the new country (think of Bill Gates and other 40-plus techno-aristocrats). Others are reluctant digital immigrants, who adapt reasonably well, but never with complete fluency and comfort. Then there are the avoiders: whatever forced compromise they make with digital technology, they'll go to their graves vastly preferring the modern technological equivalents of quill pens.

Digital natives, in general, tend to communicate differently from us immigrants. We still prefer phone calls; they prefer texting or online chatting. Even e-mailing is too slow and antiquated for them. They rarely use voice mail. We still read books and (get this!) hard-copy magazines. They surf through various multimedia sources-Facebook, online magazines, political blogs-reading in short, paragraph-sized bursts, often interspersing this…

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1 Comment

Sunday, August 5, 2012 4:33:38 AM | posted by Ed Appler