Staying connected seems easier than ever. Most people either have a phone which allows them access to the internet, a laptop or a tablet; and in most cases people tend to have 2 or 3 of the above mentioned. While reading an article titled The Flight From Conversation by Sherry Turkle it becomes evident that most of us yes are connected; but we tend to loose all forms of communication (Turkle, 2012). Yes I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. therefore I too am guilty of this. It begins to make sense when thinking back to high school when I had many, many friends; Now I am almost in my mid-twenties thinking of all the friends I had, then I think to myself when was the last time I actually had a conversation with some of these people. Yes I know that Laura just came back from school abroad, Yes I know that Julia just got engaged. But I am lacking the true substance in which a real conversation has. Although I may know what is happening in these people’s lives I truly no longer know them. I don’t know any of the interesting stories that happened to Laura when she was at school in Australia, I don’t know the guy that Julia got engaged to, or even how he treats her.
When I really started thinking about the differences with staying connected and having a conversation I knew I had to have a better balance between public, the private and personal social media I use. As I stated above the main outlets for social media which I use are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and obviously this Blog. When I think about the idea of public, private and personal social media it makes me ponder on the idea of which self am I on each social media outlet. When reading another article written by Sherry Turkle titled Cyberspace and Identity. In this article Turkle speaks about parallel lives which we all live when we are online, we are all able to create our own persona or have role plays (Turkle, 1999). When I’m using Facebook and Instagram I would consider it to be more of a personal use of social media. I consider it personal use for the simple reason that most of my family members are close friends are my “followers”.
When I think of it this way I can truly only be the REAL me. While I may have some tweaks added, for instance on Facebook I tend to only post happy pictures, pictures of me on vacation. By doing this it could appear to others that I live a happy life and I’m enjoying life on vacation with my boyfriend. While this is true I do live a relatively happy life, and yes I do enjoy going on vacation. That is not my everyday life. I am not always happy, I’m not always on vacation; but it’s a way of getting others to see me the way I want them to see me.
When I’m here writing on this Blog I consider this to be a public outlet. Although I would consider this a public outlet as Turkle puts it it’s “a place to ‘work through’ significant personal issues.”(Turkle, 1999). Which is exactly what I would love for this Blog to become; A place where I can work through my personal issues with the help of other individuals going through the same problems, but also a place where readers of my Blog can work through their own personal issues that may be similar to mine.
Therefore the balance which I try to obtain is considered to be the “Goldilocks effect” as Turkle describes it in an article titled Places We Don’t Want to Go. Turkle describes the Goldilocks effect as “giving people the right amount of attention, not too much, not too little, just enough” (Turkle, 2012). This to me is the idea of putting so much thought into something before posting, or sending a message. The idea of writing something good, then erasing it all together for the thought that it may be too much, might not be enough. Re-writing over and over until I consider it just right.
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, Until Next Time.
Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012