Final Draft: Slater vs Turkle How can Turkle’s concept of “authenticity” help us see Slater in a new way? Both face-to-face interaction and social networking sites (including Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook) are forms of staying in contact with friends and family. While Nora from Turkle’s “Alone together” communicates her engagement and wedding date via email to her closest friends and family, she could have easily announced it face-to-face, at a party or through a Facebook event.While there are many ways of communicating inforWhat does psychotherapy include?mation, the authenticity of these interactions as well as its importance is up for debate.
For Turkle, face-to-face interaction is to social networking as the tortoise is to the robot: some can be moved by authenticity of the tortoise (face-to-face interaction) while others may find “a shame to bring the turtle all this way from its island home in the Pacific... [when] they could have used a robot.
”(Turkle, 265) To be authentic is to be “accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable”.It is an attribute that according to Turkle can only be found in face-to-face interactions. In calling social networks "a deliberate performance that can be made to seem spontaneous,” she adds another dimension to the definition for authenticity: spontaneity. Turkle finds that face-to-face interactions is marked by spontaneity, allowing you “to be upset in front of someone else” as opposed to giving you the time to compose your thoughts and thus hide your true feelings. Turkle, 264) Ironically, Turkle’s notion of authenticity is more readily apparent in social networking than in face-to-face interaction; by giving control and fostering transparency, social networking builds more authentic relationships and diminishes the need for face-to-face interaction. Given the technology involved in psychosurgery, the first impulse would be to find threads of similarity with social networks rather than with face-to-face interaction.
However, evidence shows that psychosurgery emerged in response to deficiencies in face-to-face interaction.Psychosurgery involves the severing or otherwise disabling areas of the brain to treat a personality disorder, behavior disorder, or other mental illness. Due to the "violent tendencies" of inmates, people in the law enforcement and the medical departments began to pick up interest in implants during the 1960s. In 1968, officials at California's Vacaville prison performed electrode surgery for the first time on three inmates (including a minor) with the assistance of military doctors. Implants thereby helped prisoners succeed in having face-to-face interaction without the threat of violence.Psychosurgery is thus arguably an enhanced version of face-to-face interaction. It follows that authenticity or lack thereof in face-to-face interaction also applies to psychosurgery. On the other hand, social networking provides strong supplemental support to other forms of communication and it allows easier and more convenient forms of online collaboration .
This is clearly stated in Sherry Turkle’s “ Alone Together ” They were on their laptops and their phones... around the globe”.
(Turkle, 275) To create an authentic relationship one needs first and foremost authentic individuals.A 45 year old lady in Turkle’s “Alone Together” struggles with finding genuine people, finding friends exhausting and unable to gage “how another person really feels. ” While Turkle believes that face-to-face interaction fosters authenticity, Mario actually puts his authenticity at risk by undergoing psychosurgery. The nature of the changes he seeks (temporary and dramatic) are the primary culprits.
The changes are for one temporary: in simply “adjust[ing] the settings, turning the frequency, current, and pulse up or down,” one can go from feeling “revved” to having a “peculiar wash of sadness. (Slater, pages 2-3) In “evening” Mario out in such a way, it is clear that psychosurgery is inducing superficial changes that lead to inauthentic interactions. Even the wife notes the extraordinary change in Mario, remarking "You're like the Energizer Bunny” upon seeing him go from a person who would back up at the sight of “golden smear of shit” to one who can now “hear her breathe..
. unafraid to hold her hand. (Slater, pages 1-3)” The dramatic nature of these temporary changes is in fact what is most troubling.In “Who Holds the Clicker,” Heath performs electrode surgery on a homosexual man.
By firing electrodes in his pleasure center while having him watch movies of heterosexual encounters, he is able to turn said man (identified as B-19) into a “newly made man” (Slater, pages 1)within 17 days. Although the electrode surgery on the homosexual man was supposed to be a good deed, in actuality the homosexual man did not conserve his individuality. As such, one can see that striving to forge face-to-face interaction comes at the expense of yourself.In contrast, technology like Skype, Facebook and/or texting enables human beings to clearly present themselves on their social networks while allowing human beings to create or keep connections with others. Facebook profiles are a reflection of what “pleases us” and what “we want to be;” it is who we are and thus a harbinger for authenticity.
(Turkle, 274) Striving to have face-to-face interaction not only results in the loss of self, but also in the loss of control. Loss of control refers to a situation mired with uncontrollable event(s) which lead to anxiety and/or depression. As a result, feelings of helplessness develop.By definition psychosurgery requires a loss of control. Slater’s Mario was cognizant that Greenberg's fingers had the power to change who he was neurologically by merely “tapping on the keyboard, adjusting the current, the pulse duration, and the frequency. ” At a point in in Lauren Slater’s “ Who holds the clicker,” Mario is “a little too happy on the wire, ” (Slater, pages 1-3) eager to talk, doing things he would not normally do.
In subjecting themselves to psychosurgery and thus losing control, people lose authenticity: prisoners turn less violent, homosexual men turn straight, etc.In contrast, social networking enables human the freedom of choice and thus implicitly helps build more authentic relationships. While face-to-face interaction is limited to just real life, forms of communication such as Skype, an Internet service which is equivalent to a telephone with a Web camera, gives you increased flexibility. (Turkle, 275) For example, even though her grandmother lives in a different city than her (Philadelphia), Ellen is still able to contact her via Skype. This not only shows the optionality of social networking but also shows a genuine motivation on her part to continue to develop that relationship.
In summation, one finds that in having control of ourselves as well as over the communication, one is better able to form authentic interactions. With the invention of the Internet and Social Networks, the possibilities for new ways of communication are endless. These new ways of communication allow human beings to stay in touch with our family and friends without the need for physical interaction. Social network allows families and friends to share events, images, and thoughts in real time, during the course of any day with the human being thry about.Another positive effect of social networking on the Internet is that social networking sites is helping people to practice and improve their social skills.
Also human beings feel more comfortable and are able to response easier than face-to-face interaction Also, social networking sites are also useful for people with special needs can express themselves, including thought and feeling, more easily and without fear of being teased or rejection they may have in real life. By using social networking sites, human beings will get a great experience with initiating and maintaining online friendships.They will become more confident and improve their social skills, which they may carry over into real life and give them courage to maintain friendship in real life. Social networking is good opportunity for them to experiment with greetings and response other humans Lastly social networking are still popular for their great functions and features.
Specially, creating a comfortable entertain atmosphere, helping people improve their social skills, and providing interesting information for users to learn and expand their knowledge.