Turkle takes this conclusion to the next step and believes that the network, more than merely arresting development, tempts the developing person into narcissistic ways of relating to the world.
Editing Ones Identity
Elaborating on the developmental concerns for today in a chapter entitled, No Need to Call, Turkle highlights several concerns about the texting culture. With communication as it stands, the phone call has been placed in a new category: emergencies only. One sixteen year old said, “The phone, it’s awkward. I don’t see the point. Too much just recap and sharing feelings. With a text…I can answer on my own time. I can respond. I can ignore it. So it really works with my mood. I’m not bound to anything, no commitment…I have control over the conversation and also more control over what I say” (Turkle, 2011, p.190). Interview after interview in the research demonstrated the same sort of responses. The raw moments, where no editorial buffer is afforded, are avoided whenever possible. This may explain the phenomena when so many sit across from each other while looking down at their phones for a majority of the time they are “together.” It is a retreat to a safer place. The internet is a place where identity can be edited; a conversation is not. One interviewee, who Turkle called Audree, said, “In texting, you get your main points off; you can really control when you want the conversation to start and end.” Audree went on to explain that phone calls are not like that because they take skill to end, “when you have no real reason to leave…It’s not like there is a reason. You just want to. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to learn.” Turkle applies the problem to identity development saying, “Feeling unthreatened when someone wants to end a conversation may seem a small thing, but it is not. It calls upon a sense of self-worth; one needs to be at a place where Audrey has not arrived” (2011, p. 191).Download Article 1K Club