In Sherry Turkle’s 2012 New York Times Op-Ed, “The Flight From Conversation,” she suggests that while we still need connection as much as ever, we have become averse to sustained in-person conversations (as well as time alone) because of our reliance on social media and electronic communication like text and email messaging. Has social media and electronic communication shifted our capacity for or interest in interpersonal interactions, and conversation? Has it shifted our capacity for intimacy with friends, family, colleagues, and others? A narrow thesis will not just say yes or no in response to the paper prompt, but will specifically indicate (and subsequently analyze in the body of the paper) why and how social media and electronic communication has impacted our relationships with others positively or negatively. Sample: Social media ultimately should make it easier for teens and college students to communicate, however it only hinders their ability to form positive relationships and maintain connectivity because….
Both in the “The Entire History of You” and “The Quiet Sorrow of the Instagram Blogger,” we saw that changes in our expectation of privacy have shifted our expectations of the truth—in some instances we are exceedingly truthful, in others, we are selective. We have broader audiences and greater transparency available to us, but what are the effects of this? How have our expectations of privacy changed, and why? Is this new transparency positive or negative?
Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) has both benefits and detriments–it allows us to connect broadly with more people who we know well and do not know well, allows us to build a brand, document and archive our experiences, and be emotionally present. It can also be distracting, addicting, and can feed our obsessions and play a role in our self-esteem. Choose one of the aforementioned platforms, and create a thesis expressing why it is beneficial or detrimental.
You may use as your evidence:
The Entire History of You (Black Mirror)
“The Flight From Conversation,” by Sherry Turkle (New York Times)
The Last Question by Isaac Asimov
“The Quiet Sorrow of the Instagram Blogger” (Spectator)
Summary and analysis of photographs and captions from Instagram celebrities or influencers
Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat posts and feeds from notable personalities, or influencers.
You may also use examples from these that are relevant to your thesis from lesser known personalities, as long as these are summarized and contextualized appropriately. Text and email conversations are usable as anecdotal primary sources, as are documentaries, and examples of the use of technology as in television, film, literature, and art
A bibliography is required, in MLA format.
• March 8, Thesis Proposal
• March 15, Body of paper and Subtopic Outline due in class, typed (without intro and conclusion, just thesis and subtopics) via hard copy and in class.
• March 19 Student Conferences
• March 22 In-class workshop
• March 26, In-class workshop
• March 29 Final Draft Due
• Spring Break