The Technological Universe is not a Black Hole

There are two specific subsections in the chapter “The Public Square” that made me take a step back and think deeply. Firstly, the section called “A State of Emergency” opened my eyes to the amount of times I have called something in my life an emergency. Just yesterday, I texted my friend about something so miniscule, but to get her attention immediately I said “Code red text me I have to tell you something!” The fact that I called a small piece of gossip a “code red” situation was eye opening to me. Have I ever really experienced a code red emergency or disaster? Not one that I can think of. The word emergency is defined as being a serious or, unexpected, and often dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. What I had to tell my friend did not fit any of this criteria. I agree with Turkle in her claims that the term has evolved into something so easy and light when in reality the word is a serious one.

The second section that caught my attention was “The World Without Privacy.” I thought about one specific example from my life when reading this section. In my freshman year of high school, everyone would play computer games during boring classes. Since they were school computers, people would just go on the incognito tabs on the Google Chrome web browser. Back then, having an incognito screen made you completely safe from any type of supervision. However, Turkle made a statement in this section which changed my mindset. “These days, the desire for privacy is considered suspicious and limits your ability to have it.” I never thought about this concept. Is there a chance that incognito windows exist solely to catch shady internet behavior? How can we ever know that? Privacy has become rare in our generation, and it is frightening. My mom always tells me that if I think about posting something online, wait a day, and see if you still want to post it. If it is not appropriate or necessary, do not post it. Online footprints are a scary thing, especially for young children who do not understand that social media universe is not just a black hole, it is actually a large filing cabinet in a sense.

This chapter was one that opened my mind greatly, and I am very impressed with the approach that Turkle took to explain these concepts through examples that many in my generation can relate to.

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