This chapter was almost as disturbing as the last one we read. I think I found this one easier to digest because it was about people more in my age bracket, with a little less focus on middle school aged children. However, there were definitely aspects of this chapter that really hit home for me. I really agreed with the authors diagnosis of the shift from face to face friendship to almost exclusively online interactions. It’s funny, but while reading this I kept thinking about my own experiences. I had never really thought about before how many situations I’ve been in throughout my life where online interaction was so key.
I particularly identified with the author’s discussion of online flirting as opposed to talking to romantic interests in person. When talking about a high school senior Turkle states, “Amy barely says a word to boys at school or a party, but she rushes home to talk to them online.” Amy’s explanation for her actions is that “in person conversation can get out of control, go flat, or stop dead,” while online she has the opportunity to present her best, most edited self. This immediately had me thinking about how I would interact with boys as a shy fifteen year old. I felt so uncomfortable around them in person, and just like Amy would barely talk to them while at school. But I remember staying up till 2 or 3 in the morning Facebook messaging my first boyfriend like my life depended on it. I would write something and delete it, write something else and delete it, on and on till I found the perfect thing to say. I think these sorts of online communications can be good for self esteem, but I also think they come with a whole load of problems that we are only just starting to notice. Turkle does an excellent job at getting to the root of the problems, and I’m sure she’ll continue to do so.