In Sherry Turkle’s Ted talk she covered many points about our relationship with technology. Sherry is a psychologist and is interested in our connection with our technological devices. One point Sherry made was that we can no longer have conversation. We use our phones to text and send information, but Sherry believes that this does not count as an actual conversation. People are much more comfortable with texting than talking to someone else. Sherry says that this is because a conversation is in real time, we cannot edit or delete a conversation. Relationships can be complicated, while technology is simple. Sherry goes on to say that technology has become our companion. Sherry did a study in which she brought robot companions that did not speak but would just listen to elderly people. This was successful because people do not listen, while the robots do. We also use social media, like twitter, in order to get our ideas out to a lot of listeners. Another interesting point Sherry talks about is how we feel that being alone is a problem. We feel like we need to have a conversation in order to be connected. When we are alone we will use our phone to text someone or scroll through our newsfeed. Sherry says that we do this in order to feel like ourselves. We be ourselves by spending the evening on our computer rather than going out into town.
I agree with Sherry’s ideas that we use technology as a companion. In Deborah Lupton’s article, “The Embodied Computer/User”, she discusses the close relationship between humans and their computers. Lupton’s article supports Sherry’s ideas. Lupton’s idea of how the computer has become humanized is closely similar to Sherry’s idea of technology being used as a companion. Deborah explains how, “Advertisements for personal computer equipment make particular efforts to represent these inanimate, hard-textured objects as warm, soft, friendly, and humanoid” (426). How we see computers is similar to Sherry’s study of how the elderly were able to talk to the robots as a friend. I agree that our technologies, like the computer and phone, are like a friend. You can see it everywhere, people use Siri on their phone for just about everything. It is like having a friend with you at all times. Our technology is a substitute for a friend. Both of them give us information and interact with us. The main difference is that our phones and computers do not talk back to us.
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