I agree with Sherry Turkle that social media has led to social isolation and technology alienates people from each other. She presents a strong case on how social media leads to self-exclusion and creates an illusion that there is indeed communication between individuals, which she argues it’s normally an act. Although the TV host tries to defend the importance and relevance of technology of communication, he is unable to give a convincing argument to counter that of Turkle’s.
According to Sherry Turkle, social communication websites have led to social isolation. On the contrary, the station’s has a contradictory idea. Generally, she believes that people should give each other full attention when having a conversation, a factor that is often violated when individuals use social media websites for communication or over-engage in them. To elaborate, she gives an example of people chatting on their phone when they are in private events such as weddings, thanksgiving, or funerals, where ordinarily, a person is expected to give full attention to the attendees (The Colbert Report). Generally, in these events, people expect to have a personal communication with each other in ways that cannot be expressed through social media. Communication in itself entails the use of various features besides words, such as facial expressions, movement of hands to illustrate, a variation of tone, and general body language (Duffy and Pruchniewska 843-859). Most of these forms of communication cannot be fully illustrated when using social media. Moreover, when people are having personalized communication, such as in a funeral or a birthday, how a person behaves, expresses himself/herself, and talks are often the main important feature in the communication. Otherwise, these individuals can simply share information using social media.
Interestingly, Turkle notes that the excessive use of technology for communication alienates people, especially those who live together. Her argument that family members feel excluded and neglected, especially small children if their parent’s keep using social media instead of communicating with them clearly illustrates the significance of technology in alienating people. Actually, the station’s host satirical remark that the children should update their status in Facebook to “Abandoned” shows that he understands the significance of Turkle’s argument.
The host’s argument that technology leads to more communication is weak and not properly founded. In fact, he agrees with Turkle’s argument that after long use of technology in communication, it results in quick response words and statements, which illustrates that it does not result in in-depth and personalized means of people sharing information (The Colbert Report). In addition, since most technological forms of communication infringe on a person’s privacy, there is always a limit to the extent of information that a person is willing to share. As a result, the form of information shared through technology forms cannot be proved on its accuracy. Moreover, people often fake or fail to reveal some important information through this means of communication. In this regard, the Colbert Report host that technology has a lot of information since it gives people access to some private information is weak. Except for the few people who are unaware of the risks in the use of technology for communication, most of the information in this channel of communication is often sieved and does not give a clear picture of what exists in reality. Accordingly, this form of communication is often acted.
To sum up, I agree with Turkle’s argument that technology alienates people since she makes a strong case which shows that people often fake through acting when using technology. In addition, it results in people neglecting those who are near them and failing to focus on them during communication. Finally, there are significant features of communication such as facial expression that cannot be communicated through technology.
Duffy, Brooke and Pruchniewska, Urszula. “Gender and self-enterprise in the social media age: a digital double bind.” Information, Communication & Society, vol. 20, no. 16, 2017, pp. 843-859.
The Colbert Report. Sherry Turkle, Doesn’t Want to Get Rid of Technology, But she Thinks it’s Time to Put it In its Place. Season 7/ Ep 8. 1/7/2011. Available from: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/kd5rmr/the-colbert-report-sherry-turkle