The Challenges of Constant Connectivity
An Interview with Sherry Turkle
Development in communication technology according to Turkle is making students reluctant in the learning process. They are detached from human pleasures enjoyed by earlier generations on how to critically analyze works and create own thoughts. Their social interaction has also been made worse by many people who settle to for text messages as opposed to face to face communication (Nieman Reports 1).
The young people are faced with a lot of information day in day out making it difficult for them to concentrate on a single job and clear it successfully. They also find themselves having to multitask sometimes, compromising on the quality of their output. Turkle has additionally different rhetorical measures to effectively pass on this information. Therefore, this paper analyzes the tools.
Tools of Persuasion
Three rhetoric tools must be utilized by a speaker or an author for a persuasive argument. The tools have to appeal in terms of audience emotions, convince them of the author’s credibility and have undeniable logic. The tools used include pathos, logos and ethos. Ethos refers to the credibility of the speaker. She must convince target audience that she has the right qualifications academically or otherwise to have a say on the subject of discussion.
Pathos on the other hand is the ability to impress to the emotions of audience while logos call for substantiation of an argument using logic or fact by a speaker. Turkle has therefore successfully used these three in this interview.
The Rhetoric Tools
The credibility of Turkle is reputable when she conditions that she has been a professor for more than thirty years at MIT. She goes ahead to provide an account of the way in which students under mentorship have come to gradually change in their attitudes towards communication and education because of rapid communication technology development.
The instructors are additionally at a loss on how they can stimulate students to strive for learning. The youngsters are also not interested in thinking on complicated things because available technology has made learning easy for them. Sherry is therefore left wondering whether educational and human purposes are served after getting help from technology (Nieman Reports 2).
Technology enables students to do exciting and dramatic things including PowerPoint presentations. The presentations are an incredible mode of passing information but they cannot substitute critical thinking. Critical analysis of literature works and concepts is the expertise that modern generation lacks because of technology. They are more concerned about getting and staying connected at the expense of actual communication.
Turkle also appeals to emotion of audiences by her assertion that current generation prefers to communicate via text as opposed to face to face communication or text messages. She states that this is enhanced by the need to have companionships without necessary going through the pressures of intimacy or friendship. Staying connected also enables them to build free relationships with other people in a natural environment.
Teens on the other hand are in constant panic of being disconnected as illustrated by the example of one misplacing an iPhone. This teen defines the experience of the loss as that of an aggrieved person whose loved one has just passed on. These people are therefore not in a position to express feelings unless they are connected. It is more of the fact that machines are part of them.
Additionally, their actions are guided by technology related activities and not their feelings. It is like technology arouses their feelings and without it, they feel empty and dead on the inside. As Turkle explains the role of technology in robbing humanity ability to concentrate on one thing at a given time, she appeals to logic. It has made many people less efficient in their operations because as they start stay connected, they can be in different places at the same time.
For instance, they may be in a lecture hall and a seminar at the same time physically on social networks via phone and also stay connected on emails on their laptops. Therefore, having solitude is quite difficult yet it is an essential pre-requisite to having an ideal personal identity. She also alludes to Erik Erikson, the psychologist who recognized stiffness as an ideal way to ensure creation of identity amongst adolescents (Nieman Reports 3).
She says teens in many occasions bombarded with information that makes it difficult to have stillness. Additionally, they are not given an opportunity to live deliberately but to resign to the way things unfold. Freudian opinions on sensitive value of seclusion are also cited by Turkle.
She insists on the fact that humanity is starting to learn technology use in constructive ways. She is however adamant that, deliberate living virtues, solitude and stillness should not be done away with in favor of technology. The use of rhetoric tools also enables Turkle to make a solid argument on the negative impact of technology in learning environment. On the other hand, she feels that there is opportunity and room to reverse the trends.
“Nieman Reports | Digital Demands: The Challenges of Constant Connectivity.” Nieman Reports, 2010. Web. 8 Feb 2014. <http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=102403>.