A friend forwarded a link to a review of the book ‘Alone Together’ by Sherry Turkle. ‘Facebook makes us less human’ read the title of the article. Inside - some examples of people’s behaviour that is ‘less human’. I haven’t read the book and I hope the authors of the abovementioned article got it wrong. But I’d like to respond to some arguments anyway.
Simone Back has announced suicide on Facebook and none of her 1082 helped. This is a very sad story. It is and it will be. But is it Facebook that made people less human? How about that tax office official in Finland who died at his desk and was not found by his colleagues for two days? This was not on Facebook, but in the office, amongst people who were alive. And what about the man who was dead for four years in a house with his brothers and sisters? I don’t even think they’ve heard of Facebook, let alone used any of the modern technologies Sherry Turkle is talking about.
Somebody was checking messages on his iPhone during a funeral service. Obviously, the guy doesn’t have manners. But it would be more appropriate to blame his parents and school for this rather than Apple. People always get bored at funerals. If they have no iPhone at their disposal, they will study other ‘guests’, solve puzzles in their head or doodle in the Gospel books.
My heart leaps in joy when I see the name of my love in my newsfeed on Facebook because he updated his status, posted a picture, liked a page or became friends with someone. Does this make me less human?
I don’t think modern technologies and social media make us less human. On the contrary, I think they powerfully and painfully reveal just how human we are!
Electricity kills if you don’t mind the safety. Car accidents take lives. Do we think of abolishing them? No. We just learn how to use them safely and teach that to our children. That’s exactly the way to deal with social media. What about our humanity? We just need to be more human. Everywhere.
Love Macy's last album The Sellout! Macy Gray - Beauty in the World