Education and Values: Interface on the Internet

Scenario 4

The Cocoon Syndrome

You are the dean of students at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. You begin getting reports from faculty that a student (Arthur) has not been attending classes. In fact no one has seen Art for a number of days. You discover from other students in the dorm that he has been ordering in pizza and has left his room only to use the lavatory. You decide to pay Arthur a visit. He is slow to answer the door but does let you come in. This is his story. Arthur has broken up with his girlfriend. He is very depressed. As you begin talking to Arthur about his problem you suddenly realize that Arthur has never actually met the girl he has broken up with. It is a completely “online” relationship. His only mode of communication with the girl (or whoever it really is) is through the keyboard and mouse.

- In what ways has ICT changed campus culture?
- Do you have similar accounts of what is now called “cocooning?”
- How is ICT shaping our thinking about “relationships,” “community,” “friendship,” etc.?
- Is this our business as administrators and faculty?

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Last Updated 1/23/02
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Questions: Mark Bailey -