Theoretical Context

For my video installation I wish to explore my own personal feelings of technophobia and also the feeling of being left behind in a world that is quickly upgrading. After watching the Sherry Turkle Ted Talk ‘Connected, but alone?’ I realised I am not the only person who thinks our obsession with technology (particularly iPhones, tablets and social media sites) is problematic. Turkle comments on how initially she had expected the virtual world to help us find out more about ourselves and one another, however we are denying people out side of these virtual worlds our attention. She notes how we use methods of connecting to other people to fill the void during times of un-interest or despair. Email, Facebook etc. allows us to edit what we are writing, so it is difficult to know what is a true representation of a person or false, meaning we are not learning about each other and not having genuine conversations in real time. I believe that this may have effects on our real life and that people’s identities in online life may begin crossing over in to their own life, for example I have often witnessed friends exaggerating daytime occurrences in a Facebook status, which leaves me to question whether they are trying to just impress others or make their life seem more exciting for personal gain.


Television screens and computer monitors are an escape route from the real world for most people. Although most people will encounter images or writings that may disturb or upset behind a screen at some point, the fact that these are being shown to us from television studios, unreal settings, articles and stories automatically makes us feel that the real world is a separate dimension to what is behind a screen “although viewing the world through a screen may not provide the same satisfaction as ‘really’ being there, it also alleviates the worry that something non pleasurable will occur” (Brosnan, M). Although this is suggesting that technology could be used as a method of reducing anxiety, I also think this is perhaps a problematic outlook, as certain people will only accept life problems when they are happening in real life in front of them. However there may also be people who will take everything they see or read in the media literally. For example often news stations will recycle and exaggerate stories from other media and a biased opinion on a matter is shown, I believe that if a person viewing struggles to shape their own opinion on a matter they have seen or read about a jaded view point is formed based on what they have been told from behind a screen. If what is being shown to the viewer is problematic this could inflict the feelings of fear and paranoia of the outside world upon them. With the rise of the Internet and the idea that everyone has a voice on the web has meant that it is easier to share news stories, whether this is by posting and sharing your opinion on something you have just read on the internet, or blogging your own version of a news story again shaping your own opinions. Although this may seem like a process of freedom of speech, people are constantly basing their own opinions on other people’s opinions and instead of factual information being shown we are often just reading re-generated, one-sided view-points. I believe that this will once again have an influence on what we are saying in real life.

Brosnan, M (1998). Technophobia:The Psychological Impact of Information Technology. New York: Routledge. p151-153.


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