Alone Together?

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Experience & Identity
maxresdefaultAccording to Sherry Turkle, (TED Talk February 2012) I should have more “Real Time” conversations, you know, the one on one, face to face chats! After watching her short TED video I find myself agreeing with what she is saying but at the same time I completely disagree.

Maybe Sherry Turkle is just hiding away from the fact or in denial that society is constantly changing and to be quite frank there isn’t anything we can do about it. Everything she has mentioned in this video I do on a daily basis! This doesn’t mean I’m always happy to do be doing it but at the same time I’m so used to doing it that I don’t even know I’m doing it! It has become innate, a natural and integral part of my communication. I know it shouldn’t necessarily be this way and I agree that face to face communication with all the body language and facial clues, is a much more natural way of talking. But the world is changing and we have to change with it. She talks about being ‘alone together’ but at the same time I believe we are connected together for the better. If I take a stand and refuse to communicate through texts then I am as good as mute. All of my friends (and even my parents) text to communicate and I would feel I was missing out on the technology that allows us the freedom of communication without the ‘real contact’.

Then again… she has a point. My texts should be reflecting me, not reconstructing me. I change, adapt and sometimes never send texts I write. I do have a ‘text persona’ that is different to the real me and that is something that I wasn’t really aware of before. I think from now on I will try to make my texts more reflective of the real me rather than the persona I want to convey. That will be an interesting experiment!

Over the next few months, I think I’m going to have to think about technology and media in a way that I have never thought of it before. But at the same time Technology is a part of our life and we are adapting to it and around it every day. Maybe we are alone together but if I can talk to whoever I want, when I want and share memories with people on the other side of the world, then maybe being alone together is not such a bad thing! We need people like Sherry Turkle to allow us time to stop, think and re-evaluate. Technology is an on-going rush and we would do well to take the time to make sure we are controlling technology rather than technology controlling us.

  1. sherryl wilson says:

    This is a thoughtful refelction on Turkle’s argument. She does worry about something that yoi have not mentioned here though which is that e-communication is creating a separation between us, rendering us unable to connect at a deep and emotionally meaningful level. Perhaps this is where you might disagree and why you see a difference between your ‘text’ self and the ‘real’ you (although, of course, it could be argued that they are both versions of you anyway).

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