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Lecture 24

English 2017 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Jean-Paul Sartre, Waking Life, Cyborg

Course Code
English 2017
Nigel Joseph

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Lecture 24
Alone Together - Sherry Turkle (Page 97)
Book is about students at MIT who are exploring what it is like to be always connected (internet)
‘Cyborg dreams’
Just like brain cant function without sensory input, your internet connection are like feelers → sending
things out to the world and drawing this back… Internet is an extension of your mind
People go online and carefully present themselves → for ppl who are shy, this is a fascinating new
form of interaction
Social comfort, absence of awk
Online self is the idealized self
We are all cyborgs now’ - being connected makes you a cyborg (this is an accepted idea)
Parents can track kids - makes parents feel secure
Cyber friends are nice, but they will never come to you and join you (even when your parents die…)
The large debate about using electronic media as a whole revolves around authenticity and “being really
human,: on the one hand, and connectivity and convenience on the other. One group argues that relying so
heavily on electronic media (screens, a mouse, text, images) cuts us off from face to face , corporeal human
interactions.We become addicted to our devices (their convenience, their efficiency, their ability to shield us
from the embarrassment, potential awkwardness, and “risk” of face-to-face encounters) and eventually using
these devices becomes the norm. We become isolated, socially inept quasi-humans, obsessively texting and
messaging each other, increasingly depressed, frustrated, and lonely, and incapable of love, affection, and
genuine feelings of any kind.
Extreme case - applies to people who are obsessively relying on these forms of connection
Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other by Sherry Turkle
Strange fact that most of us would rather text some of them then talk to them
Texting offers the right amount of access and control
People take comfort in being in touch but also at keeping at bay
We are terrified of closeness - extends to partners as well
Without connectivity friendships can fade away
Don’t see friend for 10 years and don’t connect with them on social media → probably vanish
from your life
Romantic relationships - use texting, social media and face to face interactions
2002 Study
Web surfing was most popular
Women are slightly more prone to use the internet then men
Extension of the home - use social media in the way women have traditionally looked after the
house → “cyber housekeeping”
Use social media to pull families together
Extension of domesticity into the cybersphere that typically men don’t want to do
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