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Connected but Alone. A Review

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Written by   222
2 months ago

“We expect more from technology and less from each other”, stated by Sherry Turkle’s “Connected but alone?” as she spoke about how technology has impacted our lives with communication. Communication is not how it is before. It became more complicated as the complexities of technology entered our lives. It is very evident for as we see each and every individual have phones on their pockets, starting to treat it as one of their basic necessities.

In this generation, people are drawn to technology especially using mobile phones. People prefer texting rather than having personal conversation. These little devices are psychologically powerful where it could change not just what we do, but who we are.  It is true that technology helps distant people to be connected but what’s beyond our knowledge is that it can also be the root of human disconnection.  Technology has always been there which made people fully dependent to it and gradually made us used to the term “Alone Together”, where people wanted to be with each other but then attention is elsewhere. However, we do not see that technology has caused us to be lonely. Turkle pointed out that if we do not have the capacity to be alone; we are going to be lonelier. I agreed on this statement since technology is one of our escapism. Technology gave us the care and the attention not any people could give. Were when technology disappears, we tend to feel lonely because we treat technology as our companion. We are in the generation where we expect more from robots but less on humans. We are lonely but we’re afraid of intimacy.  However, there is one reason that most of us can relate. Some people do get afraid of intimacies for the reason of being rejected. We are afraid to be judged. It’s sad to know that most individuals want to hide behind those screens in able to communicate and be acceptance. But what we are sacrificing is conversation over a mere connection which when time passed by we will be forgotten. We are forgetting the sense of communication to be fully understood, to reach out to everyone’s heart, and to show who you really are.

I believed that technology is gradually destroying our ways of communicating with each other. For instance, social media helps us communicate with others. We can control and customize what we want to say and what we want others to know. It also lets us present the selves as we want to be unknowing that we are hiding ourselves from each other. We get to edit, delete and retouch what we sent. In short, we can clean our imperfections through technology.

When we use social media platforms, we feel like we are connected with everybody else when in reality, we are subconsciously drifting ourselves away from everybody else that we are physically with. For instance, when I am out with my friends, we tend to be on our phones uploading pictures with each other and updating our social media platforms about the fact that we have met up instead of having proper conversations with one another. It is as if we feel the need to tell the whole world what we are up to or else we will somehow feel incomplete or not like ourselves, as what Sherry Turkle has mentioned in the video as well. "I would've listened to this argument and taken it to heart, but 19 minutes is a long time, and I kept getting distracted by text messages and the urge to check Facebook." This is so true. Honestly, it was hard for me to focus throughout watching the video as well and I was so tempted to get my hands on my phone. This shows how dependent we are now on technology.

It is true that technology is taking over our lives; it is already evident in the workforce or even when you see youths together. They do not talk, they are together but constantly busy on their electronic devices. She also mentioned that you cannot convey true emotions through technology or messaging online from personal experience. The message you are trying to tell people can often be misinterpreted when it is not said personally. I also agree that AI robots shouldn’t be a substitute or companion to humans because they aren’t humans. They don’t feel empathy nor emotions for they don’t have life; they don’t have capability to acquire human experiences since they are made out of mere batteries and circuits. Creation of this technology is another way to shows that humans are selfish that they can’t lend time for their loved ones. We should not overdo humanizing technology just in order to satisfy humans in experiencing care, attention, and interactions as it turns out people are holding on to fantasy. Everything is becoming faker. We are living in a world where humans are afraid to try, afraid to connect and afraid to open themselves to people. The world is not that cruel, not all the time you’ll be rejected and ignored. We just have to start by making a simple conversation. Try reaching out and later on, without noticing you just made a genuine companionship.

In summary, Sherry Turkle in "Connected, but alone?" presents a plethora of real issues related to technology specifically with regards to cellular devices. I certainly agree that technology is taking us places where we don't wish to go. The trouble in inter/intrapersonal relationships related to technology is a serious issue. To consider siri as a potential future best friend because one believes that no one is listening produces an unhealthy mechanical attachment. This illusion of companionship whereby the individual is in control fosters the idea of solitude as a problem. Being unable to be alone, people become addicted to their devices. We set ourselves up to be uncomfortable with isolation that fosters an overbearing sense of loneliness that is extremely problematic. I agree with her claims regarding technology and its' serious issues that need to be addressed. One needs to be more self-aware with oneself and with his/her relationship with technology. Otherwise the idea of conversation and true companionship becomes dead. Artificial and mechanical devices go against the grain of natural human interactions with others and with oneself. We must be aware of these problems so that they do not continue on with our ignorance of them. I found Turkle's talk to be enlightening and refreshing in the aspect that she does not just blindly accept technology as the best thing ever created, but instead works to illustrate its' negative capacities.

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Comments

This is truly a reminder for everyone. Let us not let technology ruin the relationships that we all have. We may seem connected to each other through different social medial platforms, however the question really is that are we really connected to each other? I wish that we all should connect from the heart. I love this article. This is very informative and mind opener.

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2 months ago

Thank you! This is a great write-up. I'm sure you can take inspiration from this article and I challenge you to post article regarding this topic. I would love to see it soon

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2 months ago