Paper #3 Final
Mar 13th, 2015
The Technology Movement
Technology has changed society profoundly; it not only brings great changes to human material lives, but is also reshaping the nature of the world. It facilitates education, promotes economic development, improves the general standard of living and much more. However, it is undeniable that though technological advancement has brought humans many benefits, it produces some adverse effects on human life to some extent. In Sherry Turkle’s essay “Alone together,” she introduces some of these negative effects such as how robots and social media are impacting human lives and how they can have an impact on defining intimacy and relationships based on her fifteen-year observation of human lives on the digital field. She also mentions that people are replacing one another with technology, and they prefer social media over face-to-face communication, which reflects their attitudes of intimacy has changed due to technology. Also, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the difference between traditional activism and online activism in his essay “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” He suggests that traditional activism has changed society more effectively than online activism since it has strong ties among people, while online activism has difficulty reaching a consensus of people because of its weak ties. Today, humans rely too much on technology, and although they have common habits and behaviors of using it, it cannot truly bind them together because it has no authenticity and it challenges the intimate relationships as well as human attitudes.
While technology does provide advanced information and better communication measures, it challenges the intimate relationships between people. As technology develops, social media such as Instagram and Facebook have attracted more and more attention and recognition in society; they provide people different ways of communication such as video chat or sharing pictures online which bring a lot of convenience and fun. But regardless of this, technology keeps people away from reality. As Turkle says, “ We create ourselves as online personae and give ourselves new bodies, homes, jobs, and romances. Yet, suddenly, in the half-light of virtual community, we may feel utterly alone. As we distribute ourselves, we may abandon ourselves” (273). Technology takes people away from intimate human relationships and even themselves; as a result, they become something unrecognizable. Nowadays, most teenagers, and even adults cannot put their phone down even during a thirty-minute lunch. People pay too much attention on social media, taking a look at their friend’s and acquaintance’s life online rather than talking to the person who sits right next to them. They immerse themselves in the virtual world so deeply that they are too blind to realize real life is so far away from them. Similarly, Gladwell also argues that online activism, which is based on social media has weak ties among humans by saying sarcastically: “The evangelists of social media don't understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend” (P138). He suggests that what makes traditional activism so successful is human ability of creating strong ties to act effectively together in the world. But in online activism, relationships that are built through social media are not personal relationships; most people do not even know other people’s real name. People who do things like “share” certain issues on Facebook believe that they are making a change in society; but in actuality, they are not doing anything to help or fix the problem because there is no intimate relationship between each other, so they are less likely to take a real action to give their voices to those certain issues. Therefore, technology has brought high-convenience as well as brought new challenges to the intimate relationship....
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