Technology has played an important role in many lives; however, I am not one to make it my priority unless it correlates to work or school. The most I spend on my phone or online is when I watch my favorite shows or movies but not beyond that. In her talk “Connected, but Alone?”, Sherry Turkle emphasizes the idea of self-presentation from, what she calls, the Goldilocks Effect which specifies that people can’t get enough of each other only if they are the ones in control. This allows individuals to begin controlling who they talk to online so they could begin to build the persona they want others to perceive of them on social media.
I have two older sisters who can’t get enough of TikTok or Instagram posts despite the amount of free time they actually have and three younger siblings that only speak to me if they aren’t glued to their phones or tablets. Before we even had our own phones or technology of any kind, my sisters and I would constantly talk and gossip about school or family issues we were eager to discuss about. This was a time when our source of information or entertainment was not YouTube or Netflix but rather the time we spent with each other to laugh about a dad joke a teacher had made that was genuinely funny. Now, we only communicate through a group chat on Instagram or by texting each other about anything new or important.
I won’t excerpt the blame to technology but rather the fact we’ve grown up. I don’t mean this to say that as you get older you by force have to implement technology in your life, only that we are no longer able to sit together in one room and begin imitating a vine or play clue on the dining room floor because we no longer have the time to spend with each other. Us texting or talking in our group chat is no different from when we were younger since, according to John McWhorter, texting is “not writing at all” but writing how we speak. We communicate exactly how we used to and even video call at times but the only change from then to now is our method of communicating with each other.