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Blog Response to Turkle , Chapter 13 : Anxiety September 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — michellemcmanus @ 3:43 am

When Turkle says “Anxiety is part of the new connectivity” she means that today people are using technology a lot to communicate and now that we can use technology for communication we are forming habits that are putting anxiety into our lives. Throughout Chapter 13 , Turkle uses the lives of young people and why they believe that the new connectivity comes with anxiety.

The first person Turkle uses is Julia , a sixteen year old girl whose parents are divorced .Julia has not talked to her father in four years and she needs him to sign a permission slip in order for her to go on a trip to Guatemala and she worries he won’t sign it . However , he signs the form and gives her his email address. Julia has just gotten a new cell phone . She explains that she can only text people on Verizon because it is free and texting to other service carriers cost money. Julia’s phone is always with her . Knowing that she has a text makes her anxious and worried , she feels that she needs to read the message.  After reading her texts of people just saying hello  , Julia says “This makes me feel foolish for having been so scared.” Julia’s life explains how anxiety is a part of the new connectivity because she is always on her phone and if she is in class and gets a message than she starts to worry about what it says and can’t wait to read it.

Another person Turkle introduces us to is Lisa ,  a seventeen year old girl who feels like she has no friends. Lisa says “I come home from school and go online, and I’m feeling okay , and I talk for two hours on the web. But then I still have no friends. I’ll never know who I spoke to. They are “chat people.”…” .  Lisa wonders what her online hours add up to . This explains how anxiety is a part of the new connectivity because chat lines can keep people on forever and they don’t even know the person they are talking to.  People start to become so involved in these chats that they lose their friends and “chat people” are the only people they have to talk to and they start becoming anxious to talk to them.

Then we are introduced to Hannah , a sixteen year old girl who is a member of Internet Relay Chat . She says how she has met some people on this chat but the people are not nice. She said her online friends mock and abuse newcomers and sometimes turn against their own but she does not think this will happen to her ; but she is still not comforted by this. This explains how anxiety is a part of the new connectivity because Hannah has to worry and hope that her online friends won’t turn against her. New members to groups have to worry that people won’t say something just because they started using a certain social networking site.

In the section Hide and Stalk , Turkle introduces us to Chris , a nineteen year old boy that explains how stalking becomes a source of anxiety . Today almost every phone has  a camera and people take pictures all the time and post them on Facebook. Chris says that stalking can be flattering and creepy at the same time but then again everyone has all types of pictures online. He also says that he finds himself stalking pictures of girls to find out who she is friends with , if she is popular and if she has a boyfriend.  Turkle says ” Even when you are alone , you know that people are seeking you out”  A way this explains how anxiety is a part of the new connectivity is that things that you post online can always be visible by somebody , so if you don’t want someone to see something that you post then don’t post it.

Then Turkle introduces us to Hester  , an eighteen year old girl who has started worrying about the things she puts on the internet and that it is too late to take away. Hester says ” That’s the one bad thing about online life. On a typewriter,  you can take the paper out and shred it . But if it’s online , it’s online. People can copy and paste it ; people can email it to each other ; people can print it … You need to be careful what you write on the internet because most of the things … if you put it on the Internet , that’s it. A lot of people … they may or may not have access to it , but still ; it’s there. ” This explains how anxiety is a part of the new connectivity because people are beginning to worry about what they put on the internet because what is out online is online forever . When seniors in high school start to apply for colleges , the colleges can look up everything that have put online and that may affect whether they get in or not.

The last person Turkle introduces us to is Brad , an eighteen year old who knows that online life is not private . Brad usually doesn’t think about it but his friends use “chat logs” and this bothers him . He says ” Anytime you type something , even without your having done anything or agreed to anything , it saves it to a folder. ” Brad did not know about chat logs until a friend brought it up to him .  Brad says he does not see online life as a place to relax and be himself any longer  “because things get recorded… It’s just another thing you have to keep in the back of your mind , that you have to do things  very carefully.”  Anxiety is a part of the new connectivity by Brad’s life by him now knowing that he should be very careful of what he says on the internet. People are starting to worry that it is always possible for people to be saving the things that is said for a proof there is a mistake.

“Anxiety is part of the new connectivity” is related to Michel Foucault’s  discussion of panopitcon because people should monitor what they say and do on the internet  because someone might always be watching you and Michel Foucault’s discussion of is about how if the structure is a prison  , the inmates know the guard can potentially always see them , so they try not to do anything they know will get them in trouble.


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