Saturday, 5 May 2012

I Share Therefore I am

Recently Sherry Turkle did a TED talk & follow up article in the New York Times concerning the idea of being connected, but alone.

Turkle highlighted,

1. We’re letting technology take us places we don’t want to go.

2. Little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful they change what we do & who we are.

3. The ‘Goldilocks Effect’: Can’t get enough of each other, only if we can have each other at distances & in amounts we can control.

4. We need to develop a self-aware relationship with technology and with ourselves.

5. We need to focus on how technology can help bring us back to our real lives, our own bodies, our own communities.

We even text at funerals!

We expect more from technology and less from each other.

We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.

The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ makes us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.

When people are alone, even for a few moments, they fidget and reach for a device. Here connection works like a symptom, not a cure, and our constant, reflexive impulse to connect shapes a new way of being.

Think of it as, “I share, therefore I am.” We use technology to define ourselves by sharing our thoughts and feelings as we’re having them. We used to think, “I have a feeling; I want to make a call.” Now our impulse is, “I want to have a feeling; I need to send a text.”

Technology appeals to us where we are most vulnerable.

I spend the summers at a cottage on Cape Cod, and for decades I walked the same dunes that Thoreau once walked. Not too long ago, people walked with their heads up, looking at the water, the sky, the sand and at one another, talking. Now they often walk with their heads down, typing. Even when they are with friends, partners, children, everyone is on their own devices. (Sherry Turkle)

Perhaps one of our roles in the neighbourhood is to look up, to be present & available ourselves so that the abundant life Jesus offers can really be seen & experienced...  

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