In David Theo Goldberg’s article “If Technology is Making Us Stupid, It’s Not Technology’s Fault,” he efficiently lets the audience know about how the effects that technology could have on the future generation’s education in a social environment. He presents prospected effects that can happen if the younger society gets too trapped within this system by conducting defined organization and adding unique comparisons. Through his article, Goldberg imparts rational arguments to persuade the audience to support his view.
By using numerous comparisons and disputing popular arguments against technology, Goldberg applies the assorted literary elements of ethos, pathos, and logos to better strengthen his argument and oppose rebuttals.
The article begins with Goldberg quoting popular media outlets and presenting their proposed arguments. Goldberg argues that “Computers don’t define how they are taken up socially, people do,” to fight people’s arguments believing that technology is to blame for students failing school (Goldberg 301). Goldberg uses this quote to structure his main points throughout the article.
He separates them into sections about different elements in the situation. In one section, Goldberg presents the internet and computers and then presents the enduring social fears using discoveries to support his claims. For example, he discusses the French philosopher Jacques Derrida and the false dilemmas by examining the modern world’s youth society and the effects. Questions such as “Why children’s reading habits are deteriorating,” Goldberg strives to compensate the audience by conveying that the youth extract their knowledge from the internet.
As he progresses, he investigates questions using references from books and online. Goldberg concludes his article with a call to action by citing more researchers and ending with a note that social conditions are at fault and not technology.
The use of statistics implemented by Goldberg is antithetical to what he thinks is right. For example, he discusses a five-year study of the North Carolina middle school kids. Duke University researchers, Jacob Vigdor and Helen Ladd discovered that exposure to computers at a young age caused children to spend more time playing computer games and less time working on homework. Goldberg introduces this example to demonstrate how technology, especially computers, is causing children to have lower-level basic educational skills. He compares his discovery with another study by David can books. In Brook’s findings, he discovered that children who were sent home with books from school had higher educational skills than others. Goldberg compares these two statistics so that the audience can get an idea of Goldberg’s reference of how technology may be the cause. The statistics demonstrate that there may be other reasons for the lowered educational skills among children in the United States. He can prove that technology is not the only element to blame for the issue.
Goldberg presents another comparison of issues that relate to the application of computers as a source of distraction for students by comparing this issue with the use of television and automobiles. Goldberg alludes to that “when television became socially widespread in the 1950s the concern was that it would undermine learning,” in which he then concludes that television did do what was intended but not on a concise level (Goldberg 301). For an already lazy society, television did provide an outlet to be even lazier, but it also supplied an educational outlet. Television gave rise to multiple educational-based programs such as Sesame Street, and the Discovery and History Channels. Goldberg compares this television crisis to the computer by presenting that the similarities can be used as an educational outlet for children. Goldberg’s comparison helps provide to his audience that the facts and concerns on a broad view could hinder any potential computers can add as an educational outlet. He uses a comparison of automobiles and letting a child drive for the first time. Computers need to be observed and used responsibly to make get the most potential out of them.
Goldberg uses ethos to build a solid argument and provide strong credibility. For example, he quotes researchers from Duke University and can effectively rebut them. In the quote, “In a five-year study of North Carolina middle school kids, Vigdor and Ladd found that introduction of computers in homes led to children spending less time on homework and more time on recreational games,” Goldberg continues to acknowledge a rebuttal by quoting, “improved computing skills… that are used for future employability” (Goldberg 301). Goldberg also implies that these discoveries are “overshadowed by the stress on what they identify as the computer-related failing” (Goldberg 301). Goldberg uses the element of ethos to demonstrate that Vigdor and Ladd are from Duke University, which builds credibility, and he presents Vigdor and Ladd’s research without hindering for people to emphasize only the negative data, besides the positive. He remains clear giving formidable claims and strong credibility
Goldberg maintains a responsible manner by implementing the element of pathos. He calls out Brooks, Carr, and the media for longing for the manipulation of people by being tyrants of social standards. In Goldberg’s subtopic, “A Call to Action”, he expresses that people like Carr and Brooks accredit assessments that hinder the intelligence of a person and the media mega-critics selectively source the “central study from which they wish to conclude” to reveal to the public (Goldberg 303). Goldberg mentions Carr and Brooks who are highly educated people branding media commenters as media mega-critics revealing antipathy towards these types of people. Goldberg emotionally tries to reveal how these certain people and the media can manipulate and give false information giving authority to the public.
Goldberg demonstrates the element of logos by implementing valid reasonings to support his claim. He uses his critics’ arguments and analyzes the false dilemmas to strengthen his argument. Goldberg points out that there are “things wrong with the premises… first, they presume not just that one model should or does fit all but that model presupposes at least a solidly middle-class environment” (Goldberg 302). Goldberg’s claim of how the media emphasizes the negative is further strengthened by the generalization that media commenters have said and only reveals the negatives in the situation. He can reveal logos through the rebuttal of his critics’ comments.
Goldberg can create his argument in his article with the help of comparisons and his use of ethos, pathos, and logos. He uses comparisons between different elements on a wide-range spectrum and builds his argument on his critics’ rebuttals. He used ethos to establish his credibility and present in an orderly, intellectual manner which shows he has done the necessary research. His use of logos is expressed by the way he analyzed his disputer’s remark adjudging his argument. Also, he uses pathos to extract the feelings of the audience to better realize there are always two sides to any argument or media source. Goldberg can efficiently express his ideas on the matter and prove them with the help of rhetorical elements.