This is an excellent presentation by Sherry Turkle that delves into the social implications surrounding the pervasiveness of today’s social networking tools. As an aspiring geek and blogger, I find it very interesting and on point. It’s an almost 20 minute commitment to watch. Can you give it your full attention for the duration, without looking at your smartphone? I couldn’t! And it wasn’t intentional. It was out of habit and I caught myself.
Some personal, if fragmented, observations:
- It’s easy to see the allure of texting. Sending out a ping and getting a pingback. It’s an immediate validation. But it is also definitely a control thing. It shields you from the unknowns of face to face interaction and demands of thinking in real-time.
- I’ve always felt the 128 character texting limit was something that would degenerate the art of conversation and reduce the ability to think in a comprehensive way.
- As a Boy Scout leader I have seen for years how a group can be together yet entirely separate from one another as each disappears into their individual I-Pod worlds. Much of one’s ability to perceive their surroundings and bond with one’s cohorts is lost in this digital fog.
- Smartphones are seductive toys. I play with them as well. I believe that for people of my generation there was suddenly a demand for real-time information that was spawned by the horrors of that day on September 11. Suddenly, in the face of those events, there was a desperate need for and lack of information about friends and family. Was more coming? Where? That day was a pivot point in many, many ways. And with it, access to real-time information became a critical survival tool.