The Growing Relationship with Computers

Julie Hodges

The relationship individuals have with their computers has drastically changed over the past decade. In the American society today, majority of households have a computer in their home and many even have handheld computer devices. The new generation of students is more connected to their internet devices both mentally and physically. Reliance on these devices is continuing to change our relationships personally and in the workplace.

The accessibility to these technologies with a wide range of information available has shaped beliefs and personalities. Sherry Turkle writes in “Who Am We” about how her book “Life on the Screen” discusses these issues. Turkle states that her book discusses how “the computer profoundly shapes our ways of thinking and feeling, how ideas carried by technology are reshaped by people for their own purposes, how computers are not just changing our lives but changing our selves.” (1) The media has influenced many aspects of our decisions by constantly praising celebrity’s clothes and attitudes. Political standpoints and tough issues have been reconsidered because of what the media has put out to the public. Technology has the power to control what a person believes or supports by displaying those who are admired on certain standpoints.

Turkle explains “the internet links millions of people in new spaces that are changing the way we think and the way we form our communities.” (1) New communities are forming because of the easy access to internet. Discourse communities are able to form without ever meeting face to face. Because the internet is free to post any variety of topics and opinions, it has changed the ways in which people think. Individuals are also able to acquire new hobbies and interests through the internet’s access to information. This causes people to join new religions and take new political standpoints because research is at our fingertips.

The internet has made humans more social beings. Things are not real unless the internet’s research validates that they are so. The internet has made people feel important through the communities they have joined and the virtual simulation of a conversation. Businesses find it an important aspect to update their internet social media pages to advertise their company’s products. Many products are only exclusively sold over the internet because consumers will find this more convenient. The computer and internet is even involved in our learning process to provide us with more information and feedback. Turkle states that this was never the case and that computers were thought of as just “calculating machines.” (1) Turkle often mentions the virtual reality computer game “Sims” and how it is changing young minds perception of reality. Computers are becoming so part of everyday life that it is not far off to imagine that they could soon have their own thoughts and ideas to add to conversations.

Relationships with computers and technologies have grown significantly and it can be concluded that it will continue to change just as drastically. Technologies will continue to grow and integrate into our lives in new and unimaginable ways. Dependency on these devices is unavoidable to new generations and should be accepted as best as possible.

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