Is technology your BBF?

18 May

Picture reference: http://www.instantshift.com/2010/07/23/make-web-not-war/

Hello readers!

Technology is all around us. That’s obvious. Almost everyone owns a cell phone and keeps it close. With a cell phone, the world is at your fingertips. It is a very powerful feeling. You can stay connected to the world from a small device that fits in your pocket. Privacy and dependence on technology is something that I have been hearing about lately, so this assignment is well timed :P I think that for all that technology is good for it is also bad for. It is like a double edged sword. Technology and the need to stay connected has almost become a basic necessity such as eating and sleeping. As a matter of fact, I know of people who sleep with their cell phones and eat dinner with their phones sitting beside their plates; it is because it is the last thing they use before they sleep and the first thing they look at when they wake up.

Yes, technology has made life ‘easier’, and has helped in many different aspects but at what cost? People have become so dependent on their technological devices that it has replaced human contact. I remember a time where I would memorize my friends phone numbers or programme them into my home phone because if I wanted to get in touch with them I would need to phone them or speak to them in person. Verbal communication has been replaced by texting or tweeting. I know that within my own circle of friends I will very very very rarely talk on my phone tp them.  For me, it is just more convenient to text or Facebook someone because I know that they will answer. With a phone call, they may be too busy to answer.

I believe that I have a fairly good balance between my public, private and personal life in relation to social media. My public life is, well public. My private and personal life stays private and I share it with only the people I choose. Online life becomes tricky because the lines between what is public and what is private can be blurred. The online world is technically public. It was created to be able to connect with anyone and everyone. There are privacy settings that can be turned on but skilled specialists can probably find a way through if they really wanted to. Now a days, people place a lot of trust in the internet and give up a lot of private information by using online banking and purchasing items online wit credit cards. I know that these systems were built for convenience, but how private are peoples lives if everything is online?  I think that the more technological the world gets the less privacy we will have.

What I believe is most appealing to people about an online life is the fact that you can choose how you can portray yourself and you have the ability to edit-nothing is set in stone. You can choose to be whoever you want to be. An online life also allows us to be connected with everyone but also be alone. Technology is a way for us to have a voice but there are some things in life that I believe technology cannot teach us and we must learn them through trial and error.

Sherry Turkle mentions that there are people that are hopeful that Siri (iphone technology) becomes more advanced so that she will be more like a best friend. I think this scenario speaks volumes to the way that technology influences us and in what aspects we use it. It seems that we have more faith and exepect more from technology than we do from one another. Sherry Turkle said it best during the 2012 TED Talks: “we are designing tech that will give us the illusion of friendship without the demands of companionship” (Turkle, 2012).

Is technology your BFF? It is time to break up and find a new one, preferably of the human variety.

Hppy blogging!

 

References:

Cyberspace and Identity Sherry Turkle Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648. http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.brocku.ca/stable/pdfplus/2655534.pdf?acceptTC=true

Sherry Turkle. The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all

Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012. http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/

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One Response to “Is technology your BBF?”

  1. DavidOnlineSecurity May 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Ola, (publish this one)
    You make a good point about how texting or Facebook is becoming more convenient than simply phoning. I wouldn’t agree that this is a negative thing though; I like to think of it as a strange time where we are still adapting to all the technology. Looking a few generations back, you could imagine people reacting to the telephone in a similar manner.
    I also really enjoyed that you said that the more technological the world gets, the less privacy we will have. This is certainly the case with law like SOPA and CISPA almost being passed. I believe that it will get a lot worse in the future, but hopefully one day we will finally have very strict laws governing corporations from sniffing our personal data. This is most likely very naïve of me, but it sure would be nice.
    While I feel for our generation a AI BFF is not yet socially feasible, it could be a real problem for the younger generations. Sherry portrays a robot BFF in a negative light, but I have a hard time agreeing with this unless it gets to the point where all your interaction is with robots. There could be many benefits to an intelligently designed robot, Jetsons anyone!
    Thanks for you blog post, I found it very interesting and though provoking.

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