Innovation, be it social, economic, or technological, is often hailed as the panacea for all our troubles.
Smartphones are everywhere. In 2017, more than 67 percent of Americans owned a smartphone, and researchers expect that percentage only to increase over time. But how might this phenomenon, of always having our phones and access to social media at the tips of our fingers, impact the experience of being human? Should we be at all wary of technology's rapid rise?
Sherry Turkle, a sociologist at MIT, thinks so, arguing that technology is "transforming what it means to be human." In this interview with Vox, Turkle worries that our extensive use of technology might make us less empathic. This degradation results from two aspects: that social media and texting often replaces face-to-face communication, and that on sites like Facebook, users put out a "curated" version of themselves that excludes the imperfections of their lives. In this way, technology might actually get in the way of people's ability to forge "authentic" connections, since "being empathic" demands that we step outside of ourselves.
But what do you think? Do you suspect that technology is making us feel more alone and isolated too — and to our detriment?
Read Turkle's interview with Vox here: