In 2012, Sherry Turkle, a psychologist, did a conference about being connected and alone at the same time. We can say that these words are complete opposites. However in our new daily lives, they stick together. You are going to ask me: how is it possible?
First of all, let me expose to you the changes that occurred in our habits, and in ourselves. In less than a decade, internet took an overwhelming place in our lives. We are always on our smartphones, looking for something new, to connect, to follow, to share, as if our existence is depending on it. We are so into it that we fail to remember the people that surround us and focus on the virtual ones. For example, when we gather with some friends, we neglect having fun and enjoying a real conversation with our friends. Most of us are focused on taking picture to share them on Facebook, or showing off on these social networks. We are trying to show a fake identity to the word. Yet, our true personality is being tainted by the fake one, without even noticing it.
The consequences of this phenomenon are very troubling. We start to have issues relating to ourselves. “Who am I? And why am I acting this way?” These are question we won’t be able to answer anymore. We are losing the ability to communicate with ourselves. And that’s because we never communicate with others. Some of you will not believe me, because you spend your time tweeting, “facebooking”, “smsing”. I consider all of that a pure illusion.
Undeniably, it is a fantasy of companionship without the demand of friendship. In this world, we are alone, yet, alone together. We chose to stay connected, because this technology gives us the feeling to always be under the spot light, and makes us feel important. When people “like” or “comment” a status we feel like we did something, we moved people. ”I share therefore I am”. Even though in the end, we are nothing. Just another avatar, in the middle of a crowd, talking and trying to make a point.
We prefer to send an inbox, than call the person. We are afraid of the human contact. We do not want the word to see into our intimacy. We became so fragile and so lonely, that we hide it with a virtual mask. In consequence, we are always alone, in our own solitude, trying to connect. For example, whenever I walk back home, I find a friend to speak with over the phone, so I won’t find myself without my thought. We are terrified with the idea of being lonely, and confronting our situation.
In the end, if you ask me, are we connected more than ever, but also alone more than ever? I think we are. And we know we are. What about we dear Parisian? Are you connected, or alone?