Can You Hear Me Now?

 

The following italicized paragraph is directly taken from the article.

 

And what of adolescence as a time of self-reflection? We communicate with instant messages, “check-in” cell calls and emoticons. All of these are meant to quickly communicate a state. They are not intended to open a dialogue about complexity of feeling. (Technological determinism has its place here: Cell calls get poor reception, are easily dropped and are optimized for texting.) The culture that grows up around the cell phone is a communications culture, but it is not necessarily a culture of self-reflection–which depends on having an emotion, experiencing it, sometimes electing to share it with another person, thinking about it differently over time. When interchanges are reduced to the shorthand of emoticon emotions, questions such as “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” are reformatted for the small screen and flattened out in the process.”

 

In Sherry Turkle’s Forbes article Can You Hear Me Now? Turkle mentions that the communication tools that we use these days such as instant messages, emoticons, cell calls with “check-in” and update features prevent us from having a dialogue about complex feelings and deep thoughts.

 

There is some truth to her statement but there are definitely some examples that go against her claim. Mine are mostly anecdotal and personal but there are many times in which I had very deep conversations with my friends through chatting for example. I also chat with my mother online as well because she lives thousands of miles away and sometimes I am at the library so we cannot video chat and a lot of the time the topic we discuss are very dense and futuristic.

 

There are people (because of the advent of technology) who definitely reflect more on what they do with their lives as well. A friend of mine, for example, writes on his blog about things that happen in his life that are interesting to comment and reflect upon. I feel like I see a lot of self-reflection and evaluation on the blog posts. Because people are aware that what they post online will be shared with the public, sometimes people are even more careful at what they say and how they say things, which definitely requires reflection and thorough thinking at times.

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About marialarahwang

Doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University.

6 responses to “Can You Hear Me Now?”

  1. bankcolumbia says :

    You review Turkle’s identity on your post. You are bringing her real life into virtual world. 🙂

    I am interested in your post about your futuristic conversation with your mom. My mom are also far from me. She does not even know what the U.S. looks like. In her mind, she always think that it is a cold country. And she feels worried about my health because of the cold weather. The first sentence, I always hear from her is “Do you feel cold (even we talk in Summer)?

    Do I really explain her about the real weather in the U.S.?

    NO, I LOVE OUR DISCUSSION LIKE THIS. I AM HAPPY TO BE IN VITUAL COLD WORLD TOGETHER WITH HER. IT MAKES ME FEEL WARM WHEN I TALK WITH HER. LOVE MOM!

    • marialarahwang says :

      HAHAHA! I love your conversations with your mom. They are so adorable.
      Maybe you can direct her attention to an online weather channel, especially in the summer to show her that you are in fact living in a rather hot place 🙂
      At least, I feel like then she might worry less (maybe not so much in the winter but we don’t have to tell her the details about the crazy snow storms that hit NYC once in a while….Just the summer stories… 🙂

  2. Sorachai Kornkasem says :

    I for one have many deep conversations discussing with friends over the on line mode, beginning from the bulletin board in the late 90s and the recent facebook group. Some of my friends seem to adopt the technology in different paces, slow to fast. But our meaning conversations have been taking places from many miles away(e.g. Bangkok to New York, to San Diego to Tokyo, to London, etc.)

    Also, you can see many reflection of their self identities from both back then when you knew them in high school or now when they are parents. The technology has not altered their identity, rather it helps continue the relationship among us.

    • marialarahwang says :

      Thanks Sorachai for your thoughtful comment!

      I especially like your last sentence about how technology has helped us continue the dialogue-based and communicative relationships that we have had all along. I agree. Technology has just helped us transform our conversations into different formats via different platforms but the conversations were always there. There could be cases in which some people have actually reduced the amount of deep and reflective conversations but I do not believe it is necessarily because of Twitter, emoticons, texting, etc. We simply adapt to the limitations of those tools but they to no eradicate the conversations we inherently enjoy having with others…is how I see it 🙂

  3. curiousstuff says :

    Good point! definitely there is still self reflection if not more (!??), because the online environments offer many opportunities and sometimes encourages to making it about “me”. And although sometimes we might be spending more time being connected than being face to face talking, I believe we’re getting better at communicating our true feelings through technology as we are mastering it more and more each day.

  4. curiousstuff says :

    Good point! definitely there is still self reflection if not more (!??), because the online environments offer many opportunities and sometimes encourages to making it about “me”. And although sometimes we might be spending more time being connected than being face to face talking, I believe we’re getting better at communicating our true feelings through technology as we are mastering it more and more each day.

    pinar

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