Last Friday, September 28, Prof. Markus Appel from the University of Würzburg in Germany was the guest of the Department of Communication and Design and the Goethe Institute in Ankara.
In the morning, Prof. Appel discussed with COMD undergraduate and master’s students the impact of social media usage on our lives and how to measure that influence in a serious way. In the evening he gave a presentation titled “Digital Dementia? Myths About the Effect of Internet Usage” at the Goethe Institute in Kızılay. The event was moderated by COMD Asst. Prof. Lutz Peschke.
As background to the talk, it was noted that over the last 20 years, computers and online media have substantively changed the world we live in. This digital turn of events has been a cross-cultural process that has had different effects on different cultures, according how it has been perceived. A number of myths about the negative effects of digital media are current among the general public as well as in popular books and the mass media, concerning, for instance, the effect on learning and reading competencies. The question discussed by Prof. Appel both in his talk and with COMD students was, “Do digital media really make us thick, stupid, aggressive, lonely, ill and unhappy, as we commonly believe?”
As a follow-up to the day’s exchange, Prof. Appel and Dr. Peschke agreed to extend and deepen the collaboration between Würzburg and Bilkent universities.