In the article “Can You Hear Me Now?” Sherry Turkle argues that children do not learn personal
In the article “Can You Hear Me Now?” Sherry Turkle argues that children do not learn personal responsibility as quickly as they should because they are in such constant touch with their parents via cell phone? Do you agree or disagree with this stance? Write an essay in which you respond to this claim, perhaps using personal experience to construct your argument.
You did not read this essay for class, so refer to the relevant information below if you need to do so. This is from the subsection “The Tethered Adolescent” in the article:
Kids get cell phones from their parents. In return they are expected to answer their parents’ calls. On the one hand this arrangement gives teenagers new freedoms. On the other they do not have the experience of being alone and having to count on themselves; there is always a parent on speed dial. This provides comfort in a dangerous world, yet there is a price to pay in the development of autonomy. There used to be a moment in the life of an urban child, usually between the ages of 12 and 14, when there was a first time to navigate the city alone. It was a rite of passage that communicated, “You are on your own and responsible. If you feel frightened, you have to experience these feelings.” The cell phone tether buffers this moment; with the parents on tap, children think differently about themselves.
Adolescents naturally want to check out ideas and attitudes with peers. But when technology brings us to the point where we’re used to sharing thoughts and feelings instantaneously, it can lead to a new dependence. Emotional life can move from “I have a feeling, I want to call a friend,” to “I want to feel something, I need to make a call.” In either case it comes at the expense of cultivating the ability to be alone and to manage and contain one’s emotions.
And what of adolescence as a time of self-reflection? We communicate with instant messages, “check-in” cell calls and emoticons. All of these are meant to quickly communicate a state. They are not intended to open a dialogue about complexity of feeling. (Technological determinism has its place here: Cell calls get poor reception, are easily dropped and are optimized for texting.) The culture that grows up around the cell phone is a communications culture, but it is not necessarily a culture of self-reflection–which depends on having an emotion, experiencing it, sometimes electing to share it with another person, thinking about it differently over time. When interchanges are reduced to the shorthand of emoticon emotions, questions such as “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” are reformatted for the small screen and flattened out in the process.
James Gleick writes in “Inescapably Connected: Life in the Wireless Age” that computing has become pervasive, that—in technology, at least–the meaning of the word “pervasive” has shifted:
I’m hearing it [the word pervasive] all over Silicon Valley, and without the usual pejorative overtones. Pervasive computing is both a buzzword and a new field of study within computer science. It means computers in the walls, in tables and chairs, in your clothing. Computers in the air, when engineers can figure that one out […] Computers fading into the environment.
Do you agree or disagree with this claim? In other words, do you see the pervasiveness of technology as a good thing or bad thing? Write an essay setting forth your stance.
In the summer of 2008, Nicholas Carr wrote the essay “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” about the influence of the Internet on our thought processes, writing that this global network “promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition.” And these effects, he worries, are not good.
Although we have easy access to more information than at any point in human history, Carr writes, our thinking is perhaps more shallow than it once was as a result of our constantly hopping from one tidbit of information to another.
What if our reliance upon the Internet–represented by Google in the essay’s title–is actually “making us stupid”? Write an essay highlighting your stance—maybe you believe Carr, or perhaps you’re skeptical of his argument.
4. One way to understand social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace is to consider that younger digital natives are not necessarily being exhibitionists when they post photographs of themselves and share personal details there. Instead, these users are living a life in which consciousness is spread out evenly over two platforms: real life and the Web. Rather than feeling schizophrenic or somehow pathological, digital natives understand that these two realms divide the self much as speech and the written word divide language, a division that humans have lived with for a long time without going bonkers.
(Sarah Frere-Jones, “Living on the Radio,” The New Yorker, April 20, 2009)
Do social-networking sites such as Facebook enhance a person’s social life or serve as a substitute for a real social life? Compose an essay in which you develop your point of view on this topic. Support your position with arguments and examples drawn from your reading, studies, experience, and observations. You might want to refer to the film Catfish.
What are your opinions on text messaging and literacy? Do you see text messaging as a positive thing, something that can only contribute to the English language? Or do you see it as a negative thing that will only contribute to the continuing decay of English?
Here are some additional instruction:
This attachment is so that you can prepare for the exam by way of locating sources material (if applicable), identifying and preparing the material you want to cite by way or citations and in-text references (if applicable), and compiling notes. This is for preparation only; you are not meant to write this complete essay in advance!
You can bring in materials for reference on the day of the exam, and any notes you have created. You can also bring in laptops. Remember the essay has to be double-spaced regardless of medium chosen. I can not promise that the lab will be available that day, but it should be if you choose to write it there. As last time, you would need to let me know that you plan to type it in the lab.
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Comments from Support Team:
Cell phones make children irresponsible
Cell phones are usually used by the family members to keep them in contact with each other. Through the cell phones, the family members are able to find out where the other family members are and what they are doing…………..
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