Can you imagine a world where you wake up in the morning, and you go to your doctor’s office without ever leaving your house? Instead, you plug your blood pressure cuff into your computer and you insert your saliva sample into an analytical drive. The analysis is sent to a virtual physician who lives a thousand miles away. He diagnoses an illness that requires surgery. Lucky for you, the surgeon drone is not terribly busy that morning, and you are able to have your gallbladder removed early in the afternoon. The drone arrives, gives you anesthesia, and by employing ultrasound technology, your doctor can operate by remote control. Without interacting with a human at any point in the process, you have an organ removed in your own home.
For many people, the idea that a university could appear in your living room was equally hard to imagine. Yet, Walden can provide you with a world class education without physically sharing a space with fellow students and teachers. Today online learning is a more common experience, and you are bravely doing what was only a dream 20 years ago.
What wonderful uses of technology! Yet there can be a dark side to technology and the virtual world. Texting while driving isn’t the only thing that can cause an injury. Many people get news of an end to a relationship via text message, cry about an ex’s post on Facebook, or find out about an affair by cyber sleuthing. We must learn to navigate the positive aspects of technology (1 in 3 marriage licenses in New York City were to couples who met online) while dealing with the perversion rampant online.
In this week’s Discussion you will use the Week 1 Notes and Readings to explore what it means to be human in a virtual world. Reference the resources in your post and response. You do not have to formally cite a source, but if you are relating an idea or building upon the readings, poems, or videos, please identify the source.