Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts
“Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts” (The New York Times, 2011) is an essay written by Jonathan Franzen. The essay is basically about the effect of what technological progress is doing to the modern society. Jonathan Franzen is not against technology but he is against what it has done to the technology users. He thinks the progress has turned the youth into narcissists: “But if you consider this in human terms, and you imagine a person defined by a desperation to be liked, what do you see? In more pathological cases, you see a narcissist – a person who can’t tolerate the tarnishing of his or her self-image that not being liked represents, and who therefore either withdraws from human contact or goes to extreme, intergrity-sacrificing lengths to be likable.”- Page 9, Line 95 to 105. His declaration is very offensive and it can make him seem like a narrow-minded person because he only has one outlook on media users – as narcissists. You can either love or be a media user who invites people to see the person’s “[...]private hall of flattering mirrors” (Page 10, Line 138). Jonathan Franzen describes consumer technology products as attractive but isn’t the reason for the attractive appearance obvious? People won’t buy something that appears ugly to the eye and the consumer technology products are not human which make them unable to any kind of self-promotion beside their appearance which is also why advertisement is important when a new kind of technology is on the market: “The message, in each case, is that if you love somebody you should buy stuff.”Page 9, Line 75 to 77. Jonathan Franzen also states that consumer technology products “[…] built-in eagerness to be liked is a built-in eagerness to reflect well on us” (Page 9, Line 123 to 125). It can also be another way for Jonathan Franzen to define what he finds a destitute addiction – the addiction of being liked. He thinks that the concept of wearing a mask to the...
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