DIGITAL AMERICA

Technology and Self-Esteem

// Posted by on 01/20/2014 (2:49 PM)

I personally find the digital age in America to be somewhat sad and depressing. Interactions are less meaningful and the emphasis placed on technology is way too large. I worry about the future of the united states in many regards. The first being how our generation is far too obsessed with Facebook, Twitter, and in general bragging about experiences by uploading photo after photo. It has been proven that using these social media websites daily can contribute to lower self-esteem. We have been robbed of face to face (and in my opinion, more personal) relationships. Second, this reliance on media through the use cell phones, televisions, ipads, computers, etc. has created a divide in the relationships we have developed. It almost seems as if friendships and relationships are fake. Technology serves as a mask that we are all able to hide behind when communicating. We are so engulfed in social media that it is now a representation of who we are (or maybe rather who we want to be). I also have come to the conclusion that social media is a contributing factor to the failure of marriages. It is now MUCH easier to cheat through the use of technologies that connect us to anywhere in the world. We meet someone at a bar and can now pursue that person through phones, the internet, etc. In addition to this, social media/technology has given men the opportunity to be lazy. No longer do men pursue women and make an effort, it is as easy as sending a simple text. Compared to the courting men used to do, which involves meeting familes/parents, etc. technology has created an easy way out of having to do so. Lastly, technology has largely contributed to low self esteem and body image issues. Technology enforces an “ideal” but impossible standard of beauty through advertising models, makeup products, etc. This automatically has caused the world to be an unhappier place than it used to be. We cannot deny that we are all addicted to technology, and it is now a NECESSITY in our daily lives and routines. I don’t think it would be possible to live a day without it, which is quite sad and quite frightening.

These two links are articles about the possible repercussions using facebook can have on self esteem:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-addicts-may-have-lower-self-esteem-says-study/

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/10/04/facebook-happiness-and-self-esteem/

While technology has generated disadvantages in the world, I do think our country has benefitted as well. The progression of technology and technological devices is amazing, and has given us the capacity to do/research just about anything. It is incredible that we can connect with someone in Australia, or research online about an event that happened hundreds of years ago. Our culture has evolved into an extremely intelligent one, and we can accredit some of that to technology.

One thing I have found very interesting so far about the book is the protest and objection of technology by college students. You would think that they would embrace something so new and exciting, as it turns out they were very closed off to the idea. Talking about the advancement of technology with my parents has really put it into perspective. Life was so simple and to my surprise sometimes I think I would prefer to be technology free, and to be able to experience the simplicity they did. We are so often caught up in the lives of others, when we really should just be concerned about our own. It is troubling to think about what the future holds for our children. Will there be flying cars and cell phones programmed into our arms? It is scary to think about, but the fact of the matter is is that our parents’ generation had no idea what was coming, and we won’t either. I hate that I use expressions such as “fired up” and “strung out.” I don’t like the describing our living human bodies as a computerized, inanimate machine. It should not be this way.


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Comments:


Rachel said...

Though you say “interactions are less meaningful” and that use of technology “makes it easier to cheat,” I have to wonder where a lot of these ideas come from.

First and foremost, while it might be easier to pursue someone with technology, it’s also easier to get caught. I’m thinking (somewhat jokingly) about the SNL sketch “What Does My Girl Say?”, which references catching unfaithful behavior through social media and “The Cloud.”

There are also articles (I’ve linked to two from Wired) which suggest that social media is NOT responsible for poor self-esteem and that internet/cyber communication can actually improve communication and self esteem for some marginalized individuals.

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/12/ap_thompson-2/
http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/10/how-to-build-creative-confidence-daydream-play-video-games-and-more/

// 01/20/2014 at 7:44 pm

Rosatelli said...

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-10-most-annoying-concert-behaviors-20130114. The following link shows an article describing the annoying behaviors adolescents are now having when attending a concert. I completely agree with Emily’s argument about how technology is sometimes changing the U.S. in worse ways. I recently attending a concert and while listening to the lyrics and taking a look of the venue I realized everyone around me was on their phones. People today are missing out on the true concert experience. We are so investing in “Snapchatting, Facebooking, or texting” our friends about what were doing that we miss out on enjoying the opportunities that are in front of our eyes. If teens took more time being with the people around them and less time with there face in their phones they would realize the multitude of experiences that they are missing out on. People are so concerned with looking “cool” to their friends and others around them that posting things has just become a game, who can do it better. Put down your phones and enjoy the things going on around you. (from Eliza)

// 01/21/2014 at 8:58 am

Molly said...

I think it’s interesting to think of technology in terms of social and intimate relationships. I agree that as technology has found its way into every facet our of lives, and since then has consistently eroded the quality of human interactions and completely reinvented how we communicate with one another. Almost everything is done using some type of computational device. Instead of meeting with a professor with a question about my poor grade on the exam, I can cower behind an email, instead of asking someone out; I can hide behind my phone while simultaneously stalking his or her Facebook, instagram and twitter. Skype interviews (blazer on the top, flannel pajama pants and slippers on the bottom) have become the new norm, and why talk to a friend somewhere face to face, when I can just video chat her from the comfort of my bed? Why wait in that long crazy line at the airport when the boarding pass can be pulled up on my iPhone? Although these are all convenient and nice luxuries to have, in none of these instances do I acutually develop a relationship with these people on any substantial level, these people don’t actually ever get to really know me. To my professor, I’m just another generic student email begging for extra credit, and to that boy or girl I’m just the person they perceive me to be through my facebook account. What I’ m really getting at is that technology allows us an easy way out and perpetuates the lazy American culture. I also think our real identities are separate or at least skewed from our online ones. Social media is used to showcase lifes most exciting highlights and, according to my instagram I’m really fun and awesome all the time and love to eat gourmet food in cool and exotic places. When in reality the majority of the time I’m a couch potato who has a pizza profile on the dominos web app, which is not really all that instragram worthy. No one posts pictures when their spending the day playing bridge at the senior citizens club with their senile grandmother, or watching the Bachelor with pimple cream and a pint of phish food. Social media is not a full representation of who people are, just small snippets of a much larger, probably less glamorous reality. I do believe that human interaction is crucial to maintaining ones happiness and development. You can’t develop or maintain a real emotional relationship through cyberspace (or can you? See link below for trailer to “her”). For example, I have approximately 1,653 “friends” according to my Facebook, but I think I can really only count my real friends on 2 hands. Who the hell are these 1,640 other people? Random acquaintances, the weird kid who sat behind me in 7th grade band, Peter from spring break, and that estranged second “cousin” twice removed from Ohio (As I write this, I am indeed, defriending them all). What a term, “defriending” who would have thought ending a friendship could be so easy! Just a click of the mouse, relatively painless given they probably won’t even notice. The topic of technology is hard to comment on because I can’t seem to choose a side. Although I do agree that technology has overwhelming and probably unnecessary presence in our lives, it is not fair to discount the advancements in which we have greatly benefitted from. It has helped further modern medicine, facilitate globalization, allowed me to keep in touch with old friends, and served as a running photo album holding some of my most precious memories over the past few years. Technology may have overstepped its boundaries, but I cant deny it has been there for me as I definitely didn’t hate it on those lonely nights abroad when my entire family was only a face time call away, or when I forgot to pass in my hard copy senior thesis before Christmas break, or that time I got lost in the Turkish country side and needed, like REALLY needed Google maps. It’s a hard line to straddle, but I know my laptop won’t keep my warm at night (although this thing heats up like an oven when I’ve been on it to long). It’s important to talk to people and be present to make that social and physical connection. With that being, said, in terms of technology I think everyone would benefit from adopting the mantra “everything in moderation”.

trailer to “Her”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzV6mXIOVl4

// 01/21/2014 at 3:23 pm