When Thoreau considered "where I live and what I live for, " he tied together location and values. Where we live doesn't just change how we live; it informs who we become. Most recently, technology promises us lives on the screen. What values, Thoreau would ask, follow from this new location? Immersed in simulation, where do we live, and what do we live for?
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APASherry Turkle Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=when-thoreau-considered-where-i-live-what-i-live-for-he-tied-together-location-values-where-we-live-doesnt-just-change-how-we-live-it-informs-who-we-become-most-recently-technolo
ChicagoSherry Turkle Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=when-thoreau-considered-where-i-live-what-i-live-for-he-tied-together-location-values-where-we-live-doesnt-just-change-how-we-live-it-informs-who-we-become-most-recently-technolo, accessed .
MLA"Sherry Turkle Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=when-thoreau-considered-where-i-live-what-i-live-for-he-tied-together-location-values-where-we-live-doesnt-just-change-how-we-live-it-informs-who-we-become-most-recently-technolo
It's a way of life to be always texting and when you looks at these texts it really is thoughts in formation. I do studies where I just sit for hours and hours at red lights watching people unable to tolerate being alone. Its as though being along has become a problem that needs to be solved and then technology presents itself as a solution to this problem... Being alone is not a problem that needs to be solved. The capacity for solitude is a very important human skill.
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Human relationships are rich and they're messy and they're demanding. And we clean them up with technology. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body - not too little, not too much, just right.
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You end up isolated if you don't cultivate the capacity for solitude, the ability to be separate, to gather yourself. Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don't have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we're not able to appreciate who they are. It's as though we're using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we're at risk, because actually it's the opposite that's true.
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These days, when people are alone, or feel a moment of boredom, they tend to reach for a device. In a movie theater, at a stop sign, at the checkout line at a supermarket and, yes, at a memorial service, reaching for a device becomes so natural that we start to forget that there is a reason, a good reason, to sit still with our thoughts: It does honor to what we are thinking about. It does honor to ourselves.
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One thing is certain: the riddle of mind, long a topic for philosophers, has taken on new urgency. Under pressure from the computer, the question of mind in relation to machine is becoming a central cultural preoccupation. It is becoming for us what sex was to the Victorians--threat and obsession, taboo and fascination.
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Human relationships are rich and they're messy and they're demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring.
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Technology is seductive when what it offers meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed. We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. We'd rather text than talk.
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Terrified of being alone, yet afraid of intimacy, we experience widespread feelings of emptiness, of disconnection, of the unreality of self. And here the computer, a companion without emotional demands, offers a compromise. You can be a loner, but never alone. You can interact, but need never feel vulnerable to another person.
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Teenagers talk about the idea of having each other's 'full attention.' They grew up in a culture of distraction. They remember their parents were on cell phones when they were pushed on swings as toddlers. Now, their parents text at the dinner table and don't look up from their BlackBerry when they come for end-of-school day pickup.
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It is painful to watch children trying to show off for parents who are engrossed in their cell phones. Children are nostalgic for the 'good old days' when parents used to read to them without the cell phone by their side or watch football games or Disney movies without having the BlackBerry handy.
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Pinball games were constrained by physical limitations, ultimately by the physical laws that govern the motion of a small metal ball. The video world knows no such bounds. Objects fly, spin, accelerate, change shape and color, disappear and reappear. Their behavior, like the behavior of anything created by a computer program, is limited only by the programmer's imagination. The objects in a video game are representations of objects. And a representation of a ball, unlike a real one, never need obey the laws of gravity unless its programmer wants it to.
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