Nowadays we are busy creating new communities and new lives around ourselves online. We are socializing online and share every single aspect of our life to people around us. This gives as an advantage to build a visible record of ourselves and we don’t usually question ourselves about the real implication of this for the concept of identity.
In the reading by Sherry Turkle “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” I’ve understood her main point about the effects of technology. The writer says that today our generation has reached the point where children are living in robot times. They delegate important human relationships and the best time of their lives such as childhood to technology and robots. Therefore, “the robotic moment” takes away children’s vulnerable memories. She sees the technology as something negative and if you like this type of game – you are playing with fire. In her book, Turkle is particularly concerned about children and how they are becoming more and more tethered to their mobile phones. Receiving calls, IM, social media, Internet surfing all of that are now an integral part of our everyday lives. The daily use of smartphones often neglects more important things like driving just to check the new notification one just received. As there are almost no separation between the children and their parents, young people tend to “rebel” and ignore their parent’s phone calls and messages. Young generation is using social media to socialize with their friends so physical contact is not valid anymore as well as creating a new life in Sims or Second life video games. I strongly believe that the writer has a valid point that technology has a negative effect on our lives but in some cases it helps people to be in contact and not to be and feel alone if you are a shy person in real life.
In contrast, the sociology book “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” by Erving Goffman talks about the concept of dramaturgy and how the imagery of the theatre is important in human social interaction. According to Goffman, social interaction can be seen as a theater where people are actors. They perform on stage and react to other people’s performances. He uses ‘front stage’ as a stage before the audience and their behavior can impact the actor’s role that he should play. In addition, the ‘back stage’ refers to a stage where actors can relax and be themselves in front of others.
These readings have really opened my eyes for many modern communication issues. In my opinion, we are at the point of no return, however, it is not a bad thing. We just need to accept these issues, think them over and consequently moderate the use of smartphones. We need to accept that we do experience changes in the way we communicate with each other and we need not to lose our sense of empathy due to it. Moderation is the key, in my opinion.