We rely on machines to direct our calls, authorize our automated bill payments, and social media dominates our online entertainment. We truly live in a world where social media dictates our personal lives and diminishes the quality of the interpersonal communication and relationships; as the anthropomorphizing of artificial computerized systems becomes all the more common, the more comfortable human beings are becoming with it. It is these tangible and visible examples of technological concerns that make Sherry Turkle absolutely correct in her argument that social media and dependence upon modern technologies are dangerous and have many negative effects on people of all ages.
It is no secret that people of today are very attached to the technological devices that allow them access to the “online life.” People spend more time engaged in social media than with actual people even when they are in the physical company of another person. The nature of communication has changed since human beings first started communicating. As people began to spread farther and farther across the world communication was far less easy, sometimes downright impossible. The post office innovated mail, the telegraph made messages faster, and finally, the telephone brought people together. They encouraged human communication, where communication might not otherwise exist. Telephones and human conversation are still available today, but we are no longer comfortable or invested in them the way we once were. Today people want to socialize online, in text and type, with symbols instead of facial expressions, and abbreviations, like “lol” instead of real laughter. This is not necessarily having a positive effect on people and it is something we need to reevaluate and monitor (Chandra 1). This is exactly what Sherry Turkle is presenting in her work; social media technology is less of a tool and is becoming too much a way of life. Social media was originally intended to enhance people’s ability to interact and make connections with people all over the world; effectively broadening people’s horizons and encouraging greater diversity among its users.