Photo taken from Bob Mackin: (GlobalCirc2/objects/articlePicture.pbo)
Our privacy is completely being invaded as the internet is never truly private; once something is posted on the internet it can be accessed by anyone who knows how to acquire such information. There is little ‘private’ life online and that can even be questioned in the future. Authority figures like businesses and Police officers have even resorted to researching an individual online to confirm of any suspicious acts or inappropriate behaviours. This makes it more difficult for an individual to get a job when perhaps their past may come back to haunt them.
The internet focused generation is losing compassion and emotion through online interactions. Sherry Turkle’s idea of online identity suggests that there is less face-to-face social interaction as a result of individuals losing patience as well as listening skills (2012). Such habits can also hinder our personable relationships by teaching new habits like portraying oneself with a desired image or defining ourselves (self-fulfilling prophecy) and being able to edit, delete or retouch such information online (Turkle, 2012). Not to mention the misinterpretation of wordiness and tone are often misread via text as one must assume what is being heard. This idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy brings up a similar point that Ellison and Boyd (2007) made in regards to individuals not being able to attain an ‘authentic’ profile; considering that fake profiles are made regularly, as well as social and technological uses will indeed shape one’s practices and uses (Pg. 220).
Not only is there a social downfall but also the academic debate of attaining the appropriate writing skills and communication approaches; individuals are introduced to a new ‘computing vocabulary’ of new terms and short terms of words (in which can also be considered as laziness) during technology discussion (Albrechtslund, 2008); accordingly, contributing to individuals losing grammar, punctuation and spelling (as everything online spell checks or corrects instantly).
I found Turkle’s point about not ‘teach[ing] children to be alone as they will [not] know how to be lonely’ (2012), very significant to my future research and theme of youth development. This concern only adds more issues around the rising depression levels and mental illnesses in children as feeling alone is a common occurrence throughout maturity and the life cycle. As being constantly connected to others gives us a sense of comfort to know that there is always someone or something to talk to/be there.
On a minor yet significant note, I can only assume our generations will have more neck, spine and carpal tunnel problems than ever before!
Albrechtslund, A. (2008) “Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance.” First Monday. 13,3.
Boyd, D & Ellison, N. (2007). “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.” 13 (1), 210–230. Received from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy.library.brocku.ca/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x/pdf
Turkle, S. (2012). “The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review.” April 21, 2012. Received from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all
Turkle, S. (2012). “Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012”. Received from: http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/