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Honors Program panel discusses digital technology and millennials

Last updated on February 17, 2015

Volunteer State Community College had an Honors discussion panel on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 12:20 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen Library.

It consisted of a panel of students who, when given questions from other Vol State students, would voice and discuss their answers and opinions.

The moderators of the panel were Shannon Lynch, assistant professor of philosophy; and Melissa Tyndall, instructor of communication.

The questions and the discussion were based on Digital Technology and Millennials.

Those panelists were: Honey-Rae Swan, vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA); Elena Cruth; Ariel Cornett; Cliff Taylor; Timothy McCall; Michael Clark, president of the Artisanís Alliance; and Adam Parks, online editor for The Settler.

The first question for the panel was, ìIs there an overblown stereotype of Millennials and their obsession of Digital Technology?î

ìIt is unavoidable to not use technology,î said Cruth.

The consensus of question one was, while some may over use technology, it is an important part of our society that continues to grow.

The second question was, ìDo you think that Digital Technology/Social Media encourage Millennials to be inauthentic online?î

ìI believe it gives people the opportunity to show their true selves,î said Parks.

ìIt literally gives you an opportunity to edit your life,î said Clark.

As the discussion continued, the next question asked was, ìIs Digital Media altering language? For Example: Is LOL or texting acronyms leaking into our everyday language use?î

Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program, expressed his opinion about the subject matter and discussed how the line of formality in student emails has begun to dwindle.

The panelists agreed that words are evolving due to technological advancements and its impact on the younger generations as well as older generations.

Out of 10 total questions, five were thoroughly discussed.

The ones not asked were according to the panel print out, ìHow is Digital Technology changing the way we document history? Is Digital Technology (search engines and social media) making Millennials lazy and also contributing to the spreading of misinformation on the internet? Where do you think ethics, in Digital Technology, should be practiced?, etc.î

McKinney and Clark provided additional comments after the lecture concluded.

ìI will say that a sure sign of a good discussion is that the participants and the audience wanted to keep talking after the presentation officially ended,î said McKinney.

ìThe questions were amazing! They really made me think about the way I use digital technology and its importance in todayís society.

ìThe questions had a lot of audience response, in fact some of the questions were discussed before they were asked,î said Clark.

“I think it was crucial for Vol State to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions on this issue, especially because people in academia are often bombarded with just the negative stereotypes about the Millennial generation,” said Tyndall.

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