The technology is changing rapidly in the twenty-first century. However, as technology takes the course to influence the new and young generation, the debate on media’s influence intensifies. The main concern in the debate is on the advantages and the disadvantages. However, the opinions vary from one person to the other. According to Professor Sherry Turkle a director of an MIT Initiative on the Technology and self, in her article known as ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ she argues on the effects of technology to young people. Technology has changed how people view things that are affected by the influence of the use of technology including, the internet, social networking, media and laptops. According to her argument, I agree that the internet has a negative effect or has harm to the users.
However, although I agree that the internet and new technology has a negative effect or cause harm to people, it has got its bright side. To most users of technology, the benefits it has are undeniable. First, technology creates a platform where people can explore and learn new things. Through the interaction with the social media, one becomes educated. There are things that we can learn and understand best in the social media rather than reading books or from our friends. Also, it is through the technology where people get to meet new people. For example, use of Facebook, Twitter, skypes these are pages where people interact and meet other new friends. The main purpose of introduction of technology was to improve the quality of life. However, Turkle argues that instead of using the technology productively, people are tied by these devices.
To start with, Turkle argues that use of technology has changed how people view themselves and how they view their lives. Think of the user of a BlackBerry watching the BlackBerry movie that is a movie for him. He watches as someone watching a movie that is taking a life of its way. A person may say, “I don’t have enough time alone with my mind” and another person says, “I artificially make time to think”. Therefore, people have become alienated from their experience in life and become anxious to watch another version of their life. A version that is scrolling very fast than one can handle it. People are not able to keep with the unedited or the real version of their life that they are responsible for. Also, people can make the deliberate choices either to disconnect from their real mind or the virtual world. For example in life, a person tends to look at their watch to see time. Another may use their BlackBerry to get or see the sense of their lives.
Besides, in the new technologic era, most children are denied opportunity to learn to be self-reliant. They cannot be alone in making a decision. However, they believe that someone must be with them to make decisions. In early days, there used to be the first time to visit the urban place between ages twelve and fourteen. That was always the first time to navigate the town alone. This communicated that “you are on your own and responsible If you feel frightened you have to experience these feelings”. With the technological era, Turkle argues that children do not learn to develop confidence and be independent adults as they used those days. In these days, adolescents do not think independently. They depend on the decision of their peers and friends. For an adolescent to decide in these days, they will look for the ideas and attitude of their peers. Therefore, this means that they are not independent on their own. Again, the adolescent has the freedom to interact with social media, laptops, therefore, in case they have an issue they need to decide, they rely on the internet. Through this freedom, it makes them lack confidence with their reasoning.
In the contemporary life, there are cases of people ignoring those people they are within a meeting. There is split attention, whereby instead of paying attention to the important things, their priority is online things. Chatting online and watching online has become relevant audience than the one supposed to focus. For example in class, students email during the class time. Instead of the students paying attention to the tutor, their attention is to the emails. In a faculty meeting, instead of members being attentive during the meeting proceeding, the attention is on email. At home, parents talk to their children as they email. Instead of giving time to understand their problem, they rush through a problem for chatting and emailing. Young people along the streets walk with their phones in hands, either chatting or emailing. At home, children are with their laptops throughout the day and night watching a movie. The behavior of self-splitting in various parts of the world has normalized. Instead of one to concentrate on the important things in life, the mind is tied to technology. This is not only seen among young but even among adults. For example in online games, people tend to partner with “non- player characters” artificially they are linked to these players. Too often people put their trust to these characters. People give attention to these players than other essential aspects of life.
The new technology and the media have significantly both young and old than it was thought to be. While the technology company came up, that was not their intention; they never imagined that the situation could be worse as it is today. People have become entangled to their devices. This has led to blurring the line between the device and the self. To sum up all these, introduction of technology has changed things from normal to abnormal. The technology was meant to promote quality life as people interact with it, but this has been the opposite. Days have become quiet, whereby people sit the whole day contemplating of what they see in the media. Their phones make their sense of lives instead of them deciding for themselves besides, young adolescents can no longer be dependent rather, and they depend on others. They lack self-reliant, hence depend on their peers and friends. Also, the technology has brought about the split attention. Whereby, people, no longer concentrate on essential things rather they are forever on their laptops, emails, chats. Parents have neglected their responsibilities for phones and laptops. I wonder that, if this is the new trend in the society, how will be the society to be like in some ten years to come. The children will be completely dysfunctional. Therefore, members of the society should be concerned since no one knows about the future.