On Monday, I went up to Fordham University to have an interview with Dr. Paul Levinson, professor in the Communication and Media Studies program. I first found him through the book Real Space: The fate of physical presence in the digital age, on and off the planet. I became interested with his thoughts in chapter four where he discusses how we now live in a world with technology that interrupts or lives in our “real space.” (He even discussed how it interrupts dinner conversations.)
From our conversation, I discovered that Dr. Levinson thinks technology is amazing. The new media we have is very exciting, but it is also each persons responsibility to find a balance between their use of technology. We can’t tell people how to use their smart phones or computers, but they will learn from behavior and reactions from peers and others. It is an evolutionary process, just as we learned to live with older media like the radio or telephone.
Dr. Levinson pointed out that technology does amazing things. From amateur YouTube videos becoming famous to self-published authors on the Kindle, we are able to reach large audiences with the help of the advances in social media. For example, if I discovered Dr. Levinson’s book back in the 1970’s, and I had a questions about his work, the best I could do is send him a letter. It would take weeks to get to him and even longer for me to get a response. With e-mail I was able to send him a message instantly and receive a response. This is the immediacy that technology provides us and a perfect example of how we use it for our benefit.
Below you will find a document of questions I used as a guideline, important sections of our conversation, and important take-aways.