Analytical response Paper #1 I have found that both “Kick Back and Endure Being Bored and Uncomfortable” by Clive Hamilton, and William Deresiewicz’s “The End of Solitude” can be efficiently summarized with the great social psychologist, Erich Fromm’s quote, “If I am what I have, then I lose what I have, who then am I? ”. Hamilton’s article reflects his view illustrating that he views modern technology as a deterrent for people’s natural ability to not only accept, but to appreciate absolute gratification of solitude.
It is this concept of people’s growing disvalue of solitude that both I, and Deresiewic concur with (demonstrated in his essay). I feel that the ability of people’s easy accessibility to social media is nothing more than a barricade to individuality, preventing people from realizing their true self; in doing so they fall victim to what I would like to call “True loneliness”. This concept of “True loneliness” I characterize by a constant bombardment of social interaction occurring solely through technological means.
Deresiewic’s essay is a brilliantly compiled work of literary genius that ensnares the perception of today’s youth being consumed by social networking. He does this with references to the sociological importance of one’s self developed during the romantic movement; then goes on to compare them to the his own theory that the “self” has lost significance in this day and age due to social networking. Deresiewic refers to a teenager’s cell phone bill stating that the adolescent had sent over 3,000 text messages from his cell phone in the matter of one month; this means that he had sent a text message once every ten minutes.
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It is this dependence that has forced both myself, and Deresiewic to find our society’s addiction to technology to be utterly repulsive. When the culture we establish demands that every teenager must have a cellular phone, and must use texts to keep in contact with friends that live mere minutes away just supports how our dependency on technology has been stretch to an unhealthy level. My point is best solidified by analyzing Deresiewic’s quote “Not long ago, it was easy to feel lonely. Now, it is impossible to be alone. Not long ago people had the grace of being able to live in a state solitude; now it is near impossible to find even a single moment in their day when they are alone. In Clive Hamilton’s essay entitled “Kick Back and Endure Being Bored and Uncomfortable” Clive casts light upon the otherwise shadow bound, insidious effects technology has on the average American family. Clive uses examples of children getting their own personal televisions in their rooms or the family car, as a way to identify that parents now lack both the time, and the patience to deal with their children’s boredom.
I concur with Clive’s statement when he says “They put televisions sets in their bedroom, which surely should be regarded as a form of child abuse”, because I too feel that parents oversaturate their kids with influences of television to the extent that our generation has can consider the TV set one of their parental figures. As Clive Hamilton’s essay progresses he goes on to provide an example of a family sitting down at a diner for a meal but the children are too engrossed in their cellular phones to even communicate with the other members dining with them.
While provided this example I am consumed by Hamilton’s tone of sheer disgust as he comments “why [do] they have children if they have nothing to say to them over dinner. ” In conclusion to me reflecting on Hamilton’s essay, I would like to note that I found his essay to have a sense of vigor and passion but lacked the proper literary tools to fully capture my attention. Overall, Hamilton, Deresiewic, and I share the same conclusions concerning the topic of interacting via technological means, in that it is more of a destructive asset of our culture rather than a positive addition to our society.
Too much attention is given to our desire to never be alone with our own thoughts in this day and age. This in turn leads people to have no sense of self unless it is somehow justified through our social interactions. We, as people, have gone from the thought focused on in the romantic era, and best quoted by Clive Hamilton, “He may have put his neighbors off, but at least he was sure of himself.
Those who would find solitude must not be afraid to stand alone”, to the notion that being alone means you suffer from some kind of social, or anxiety disorder; and it is this kind of thinking that fuels our addiction to social networking. Youths do not want to go a single day without updating their statuses on Facebook to alert their peers to exactly what they are doing. Adults provide young children with their first catalyst into technology by being too busy to spend time with their child and introducing them to television from the time they are in diapers.
In conclusion, us, humanity, society, and even as individuals, have lost what it truly means to be just that, an individual, and I fear that if something is not done to relinquish the control electronics have on our daily lives we will end up as socially neurotic, constantly anxious, sociopaths that constantly hide behind a brightly light screen to voice their thoughts instead of using our ability to look at someone in the eyes and carry on a conversation.
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