Connectivity and Its Discontents

Media and technology are an everyday use of connection people use to communicate with one another. Some people are obsessed with technology being their communicator source to ‘keep in touch’ with their friends, and others simply do not mind or care about technology. Sherry Turkle’s Connectivity and Its Discontents, is about how people are  interviewed with how exactly they use technology, and how a lot of people use technology almost every second of every day. Turkle interviewed Ellen in Paris about what she used to communicate with her grandmother in Philadelphia, which was Skype, “an Internet service that functions as a telephone with a Web camera” (619). Whenever Ellen would Skype her grandmother, she would always talk to her for an hour, with it being free, and would secretly be looking at her e-mails or other stuff on the internet without her grandmother knowing. She was distracted, and did not really pay attention to the conversation between her and her grandmother. What she did is called multitasking, which is doing two or more things at once. Everyday, people do this, and I think it is rude because some people are excited to talk to their friends when their friends do not have a care in the world; some friends’ excuse could be that they ‘have something better to do’ than to take the time by talking to their friends. This most often leaves to broken friendships. I have encountered this before when I was talking on the phone with my friend, he was playing videogames while talking to me, and I felt like he was not paying attention to the things I was saying to him; it was rude and hurtful. This is another reason why people can lose their friendships, for example, not texting back could cause conflict with somebody and make them think, “Oh, I hate people who don’t text back within an hour when they I text them back the next minute!” I almost always feel like this, and I always feel selfish and rude because he/she could be busy with something, for example, my boyfriend works 24/7 and when he does not text me back I get mad. I know I should not get mad because technically he is not supposed to be texting during his work.

Another TV show I watched called Kourtney and Kim Take New York, relates to the BlackBerry revolution Turkle talks about in this argument. It was show about Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian running their business in New York City. Kim is new to Kourtney’s business at the time, and with her arriving to help out Kourtney with their store Dash New York, Kim was on her blackberry cell phone all the time to check her e-mails not knowing it was rude to her sister Kourtney, but also thinking it was O.K. Kourtney got upset because that was all Kim did; there was not one time she would put her phone away when it was time to work. Long story short, Kim eventually stopped her bad habit of being on her BlackBerry all the time because Kourtney told her to stop because it was a huge distraction. Now, Kim barely looks at her BlackBerry. Turkle talks about this meeting, how everybody in the meeting was on their cell phones, no social interactions with one another, and states that, “They complain about the BlackBerry revolution, yet accept it as inevitable while decrying its corrosive. They say they used to talk to each other as they waited to give presentations or took taxis to the airport; now they spend that time doing e-mail” (620). Cell phones have got to be the biggest part of technology people use nowadays. Talking and texting on cell phones is perfectly fine; being addicted or obsessed with doing so is the problematic part, which I believe Turkle is trying to get across her argument. I agree with Turkle, that we are connected to people in a way, but not in the social way in person. She is not against technology and it being bad and never says that it is bad, Turkle only says it can be problematic and could only get worse as technology progresses. I try my best to avoid texting other people when I am with my best friend because I feel that it is rude to her. This does not only happen in the United States, it also happens in other countries as well. It will take a person a lot of faith to step up and say something to make the change, just like Sherry Turkle.


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