Sorry if you were expecting a fashion post, but i’ve moved on…you should too. In the meantime we have more important matters… On a recent afternoon walk, my son Alex and I were discussing architecture and economics, when the conversation turned darker.
It was a simple enough question… “Why is cursing bad” he asked. “hell if I know” I replied. Kidding aside, the reason cursing is wrong is it makes people uncomfortable! I don’t do it in front of my children (much), don’t do it at the office (much), or with friends. But I do use many fun words on Twitter! Granted I only follow three people, but they’re the funniest bunch of _____s I’ve ever seen.
Recently, I’ve been reading a book for my masters program at DePaul University. It’s called “Alone Together“ by Sherry Turkle, 2011. This book wonders why we expect more from technology and less from each other. The following paragraphs are a culmination of her thoughtful insights and reviewed from my perspective.
Cursing leads us to
my personality dis-order. Online I post family stuff, pictures, ice-cream, trumpet practice, and occasional selfies. On Twitter, I curse like a sailor and re-tweet NFL vulgarities. On Linked-In I’m passive-aggressive professional. At home, I’m comfortable relaxed and wise. Then at work I’m passive-aggressive professional again—WHY? How will I keep all these personalities apart? What if I forget and tweet images of Cap’n Crunch to my boss? “Oh bother” —swears Pooh; lets dig deeper.
Before social media, your image consisted of “please don’t ask me what I do on weekends.” Image was genuinely inescapable and steadfast protected. Face to face conversations are what mattered most. When you meet someone and look them in the eye–you realize that life is real. But on the internet, image is crafted. When we text, skype, post, and email, we communicate with robots. Essentially we’re multi-tasking and we’re taking care of the network, in return the network learns about us…
On the net we create avatars to project a certain type of image. We set a stage to gain audience then perform with our pre-determined, and carefully crafted up-to-date personality. On the net we can have talented children, we can look younger or older, we’re smarter, faster, more powerful — bionic! We are traveller’s, we’re too busy to eat, we eat, we’re sexy, mysterious, we’re adventurous and socially adept. The net is a tool for the constant and methodical melioration of our image… One day I aspire to become my avatar!
Look at my handsome profile..that is me…right? It’s a slightly blurry version (from a distance), but only because that’s me in action!
We love social media. But only because our lives are so darn busy! Net conversations are efficient and easy! Texts are pre-thought up with perfectly crafted responses. People pause an instant to respond with just the perfect reply. Texting is way easier than an actual conversation. Real interactions are difficult and require too much of a commitment. Telephones are the new paperweight. During the course of a day I get a hundred emails, a dozen texts, and 2 phone calls.
We go to airports and sit in a lobby with hundreds of people – only so we can be alone with our I-phones. In meetings we type emails to people sitting next to us. Public venues were made so that people could connect socially, but our insecurities nudge us to tend to the more powerful and confident internet-self. We might even not take chances with the real world. Sometimes that’s a good thing…if you’ve ever been approached by a creepy dude at a bus-station. – yeah, me neither.
Actually meeting someone somewhere? That takes work. Think of the time and commitment to actually go somewhere, sit down alone with someone…damn… Alone Together… Better bring my I-phone just in case…