Is Technology Controlling our Lives?

This week I watched Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk Connected, but alone? I really enjoyed listening to her presentation for several reasons. One thing I have realized about myself, is that I am addicted to my phone. It is always either in my hand or my pocket, and I am always connected online. This has had many benefits for me because I am now able to communicate on a daily bases with my friends from different cities and provinces, but it has had many consequences. As Sherry said in her presentation, people want to be together but not present. This is very true in my own life, I find it very difficult to engage my friends in conversations, when all they want to do is be on their phone communicating with people who are not there. I have had to work hard to become less and less dependant on having my phone with me. Whenever I have a family supper my mom has a strict no phone policy for my brother, dad, and I. Honestly speaking it is really nice to have those break from being online.

I think my favourite quote from Sherry’s presentation is when she is discussing why people like to be online so much because “we get to edit and that means we get to delete”. Online people aren’t really who they are, they are presenting the version of themselves that they want to be, not who they truly are. Just take a moment and think about this quote. An example of this is my blog. There are so many people who are extremely different in person compared to online. I will admit that I am one of these people. Online I find myself a lot more reserved in what I say and share for a couple reasons 1) I am not able to explain my thoughts, and I do not want people to take what I say out of context 2) I do not explaining ideas when I am typing on my phone. If I have a story to tell someone, there is a 95% chance that I will call them instead of typing it.

I thought it was interesting when Sherry mentioned that people wanted Apple to make Siri someone who they could have a conversation with. Even typing that sentence felt wrong because Siri is Artificial Intelligence, not a person or a “someone”. When iPhones started to get big I was in Grade 8. Only one kid had a cellphone and it was an iPhone. We were leaving Agribition in November of 2012 (loooong time ago). I remember there was a group of five of us using her phone talking to Siri, having a weird conversation, that really didn’t make any sense at all. Now when I try to have a conversation with Siri, all she says is “sorry I don’t understand”, then gives me options of frequently asked questions. I think Apple recgonized that people were using Siri as a substitute to human interaction, and realized the risks associated with it.

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