With today’s technology it is becoming more and more easy to communicate at anytime and anywhere. The problem that arises with current technology arose with the change from oral communication to writing things down. With using such things as e-mail and text messaging can the sender ever be sure the receiver will truly interpret the message the way it was intended. In the Phaedrus by Plato Socrates makes the same argument about writing instead of presenting an oral argument. I argue that technology weakens our interpretations and our thoughts.
Communication today has lost a lot of its value with transmission. In Socrates’ time just switching from speaking to writing became a big deal in loss of meaning. To make his point, Socrates brings up the myth of Theuth to criticize writing. He states writing increases forgetfulness rather than memory. Instead of memorizing and understanding things, students will rely on writing as a tool for reminding. Students will be taught many ideas without properly thinking about them and put their trust in writing. Thus, they will have an “appearance of wisdom, not with its reality” and “for the most part they will know nothing” (275b). Writing can also be misunderstood by different people and can’t answer questions to clarify. Like paintings, writing has no understanding of itself “continues to signify just the same thing forever” (275e) which leaves the material open to be interpreted in many different ways instead of the intended way. Also once something is written down it is available for anyone to see, “it doesn’t know to whom it should speak and to whom it should not” (275). Writing always needs help of its writer against criticism and judgment, “faulted and attacked unfairly, it needs it’s fathers support; alone, it can neither defend itself nor come to its own support” (275e). Because of all these weaknesses in writing Socrates argues that Oral speech is superior to writing.
Many of those ideas apply in...