Monday, April 2, 2012

Are we tethered to the digital technology?

“Adults fell stressed by new responsibilities to e-mail, a nagging sense of always being behind, the inability to take a vacation without bringing the office with them, the feeling that they are being asked to respond immediately to situations at work, even when no response might be preferable or when a wise response requires taking time, time that is no longer available” (Turkle, p.10).

Due to rapid development of digital technologies, people have the ability to response quicker than before. At present, people have multiple communication devices to reach others, emails, phone calls, voice-mails, instant messages, and other ways to communicate immediately. I agreed with Turkle that the digital technologies make adults feel stressed by the responsibilities to response immediately. Every time I went to a place without internet, I fell stressed and always kept thinking if I missed any important emails or news. Do you also think you are tethered to the digital technology? I think we are depending so heavily on the digital technologies today, but what will be like if we back forward to the society with less digital technologies? Are you still going to feel stressed because you can’t communicate immediately?


  1. Recently, one of my friend who is working as an intern in one marketing company told me that their company is giving every employees an iPhone. They were all happy and surprised by the company's generosity at the beginning. But months later, they realized that equipping the employees with smartphones was just another way of tethering them! Now, everybody felt more compelled to reply clients' email in time and to check office updates every single minute. Technology brings more stress to people's lives when workplaces are using it as a way to "connect" with the employees.

  2. I agree. Sometimes I do feel really pressured to respond to emails at work instantly... But often times when people demand a quick response - giving a plan of action - my initial ideas aren't always the best. Answers/plans I can give later usually are more well thought out. I find when working with adults I can usually just tell them that I understand their concern/feelings and will give a timeline for when I will have an issue addressed. Maybe (like we discussed last week) we need to keep making people (even at work) feel connected but train ourselves to push back making commitments to action.