Authenticity - Slater vs Turkle

Topics: Sociology, Social network service, Facebook Pages: 4 (1371 words) Published: February 23, 2012
Final Draft: Slater vs Turkle
How can Turkle’s concept of “authenticity” help us see Slater in a new way?

Both face-to-face interaction and social networking sites (including Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook) are forms of staying in contact with friends and family. While Nora from Turkle’s “Alone together” communicates her engagement and wedding date via email to her closest friends and family, she could have easily announced it face-to-face, at a party or through a Facebook event. While there are many ways of communicating information, the authenticity of these interactions as well as its importance is up for debate. For Turkle, face-to-face interaction is to social networking as the tortoise is to the robot: some can be moved by authenticity of the tortoise (face-to-face interaction) while others may find “a shame to bring the turtle all this way from its island home in the Pacific...[when] they could have used a robot.”(Turkle, 265) To be authentic is to be “accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable”. It is an attribute that according to Turkle can only be found in face-to-face interactions. In calling social networks  "a deliberate performance that can be made to seem spontaneous,” she adds another dimension to the definition for authenticity: spontaneity. Turkle finds that face-to-face interactions is marked by spontaneity, allowing you “to be upset in front of someone else” as opposed to giving you the time to compose your thoughts and thus hide your true feelings.  (Turkle, 264) Ironically, Turkle’s notion of authenticity is more readily apparent in social networking than in face-to-face interaction; by giving control and fostering transparency, social networking builds more authentic relationships and diminishes the need for face-to-face interaction.

Given the technology involved in psychosurgery, the first impulse would be to find threads of similarity with social networks rather than with face-to-face interaction....
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