University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Is Facebook Making You Mean?
Technology has taken over in the 21st century; the influence of the internet cannot be underestimated. Life is not as it used to be-the communal relationships that thrived before the internet age have been replaced by secluded living. Undoubtedly, technology has changed the conventional trends of human relations and processes into liberal and dynamic patterns.
Sherry Turkle in Connectivity and its Discontents explores how technology has extended the distance between people; technology controls the connections between people. According to Turkle (p. 619), “Technology makes it easy to communicate when we wish and to disengage at will.” Human relations are characterized by confusion today, as people do not distinguish between being close and apart. Even in an audience, people are busy with their technology gadgets; though the physical presence is evident, the conscious is far away. An analysis on Turkle’s article explores the dissociative nature of technology, and it effect on humans. Historically people confined in one another but nowadays technology has become the new way of defending people from loneliness (Turkle, 619).
The effects of technology are not only being felt in human relationships, but also in our cognitive abilities. As Nicholas Carr puts it in the article, Is Google making Us Stupid? “The internet has become the universal medium through which information flows through my ears and eyes to the brain.” (p. 1) Carr’s article highlights that the internet has eroded the capacity of humans to concentrate and contemplate on what they read. Instead of reading texts for comprehension, technology has transformed people into passive readers who skim over literature; the vast information on the internet allows them to access content easily; hence, avoiding the conventional long reading. Carr points out on Scott Karp, an online media writer who confesses of having stopped reading books because of the availability of information on the internet (Carr, 2). An analysis of Carr’s article and the contemporary trends show that people are shifting to online reading to avoid the traditional reading. Even with online reading, numerous people are reading quickly through titles and contents without having deep comprehension. Thus, the capacity to interpret texts in a deep and meaningful way is slowly fading away because of massive internet use.
Lauren Tarshis in Is Facebook Making You Mean asserts that social media has given young people a platform to connect and share ideas, but the liberal online space can be detrimental if it is not used in the right way. According to Tarshis, jokes on Facebook can go far and hurt feelings of people especially when posting offensive and embarrassing comments. Teenagers should learn to be more sensitive while posting comments on Facebook (Tarshis, 18). An analysis of the article draws the conclusion that without the physical connection between people, it is often easy to overlook emotions in online communication. Offensive comments and perceptions stem from the lack of physical and emotional touch between people.
The three articles connect with one another by exposing the effects of technology on human relations. Technology has contributed to passivity in human relations as advanced by Turkle and Tarshis. Technology creates an emotional and physical distance between people, which can translate into hurting one another as elaborated by Tarshis. Moreover, technology contributes to individual passivity where by people are not in a position to read texts comprehensively and interpret meaningfully. Indeed, technology is a medium of massive influence on modern man; only time can tell to what extent it will affect human relations and processes.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic. The Atlantic, July 2008. Thurs. 13 June. 2014.
Tarshis, Lauren. “Is Facebook Making You Mean?” Scholatic.com/scope. Scholastic Press. 5 Sept. 2011. Thurs. 13 June 2014.
Turkle, Sherry. “Connectivity and Its Discontents.” Fields of Reading. Ed. Nancy Comley et.al. Boston: Bedford, 2013. 619-623. Print.