Thesis: Technology in "Can You Hear Me Now?

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Technology

In "Can You Hear Me Now?" Sherry Turkle explores the changing relationships between human beings and technology. Turkle claims that communications technologies have created a "tethered life," because we are perpetually tied to cell phones and laptops. Even though communications technologies help us stay in close contact with friends, family, clients, and business partners, we may be cutting ourselves off from what is real. Turkle's analysis is cogent and well written. The author makes several valid points and observations of how technology has transformed human identity construction and communication. However, Turkle comes across as being unnecessarily alarmist. The last two sections of the article relate to robots and are non-sequitur.

Until the last two sections, Turkle does make valid claims about the "tethered life." Certainly we are tied down to technology, constantly checking our phones for incoming text messages, or checking our emails and online forums. As Turkle puts it, "our devices have become more closely coupled to our sense of our bodies and increasingly feel like extensions of our minds." Moreover, Turkle points out the ways that technology alters the way human beings interact with one another. An avatar on a forum and a Facebook profile are the ways we present ourselves to the world.

Turkle is correct. Yet the author could have easily framed the "tethered life" as being a positive feature of current human communications, rather than a negative. Turkle comes across as being fearful of change and technophobic. The degradation of the argument into one about the difference between animatronic and real animals makes little sense, especially in light of the author's intelligent exposition of communications technologies. When the author explains the little girl's reaction to the real Galapagos turtle at the Darwin museum, Turkle fails to understand that the girl's sympathy with the creature was genuine. In fact, the girl's sympathy with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Technology in "Can You Hear Me Now?.  (2009, February 22).  Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/technology-hear-now/118392

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"Technology in "Can You Hear Me Now?."  Essaytown.com.  February 22, 2009.  Accessed November 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/technology-hear-now/118392.