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Technologies and Human Life in Alone Together and Bumping into Mr. Ravioli

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Technology nowadays is playing a major and unique role in everyone’s lives. Technology has both positive and negative effects on the people all over the world. Cell phones, I pad, laptops, etc. made the human’s life more efficient, but it has a negative side also. Nowadays, we have so many ways of communicating and connecting with our loved ones. We can use these easy and quick ways to interact with others like phone messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc. But the problem here is that we have become too reliant on technology or social media. Everyone, whether it’s a student, a businessman or a doctor, everyone is dependent on technology. Sherry Turkle, in her essay Alone Together talks about the relation between human beings and technology such as robots. The author also examines the concept of authenticity in her essay and she tell us how technology such as robots can replace humans to give us less painful and an excellent relationship with no heartbreaks and fighting. Apart from technology, there is a world of imagination also. Humans have a unique power of imagination. We humans have an ability to think about something which doesn’t exist. It can be a person, an event or any other fantasy. Adam Gopnik in his essay Bumping into Mr. Ravioli explains this idea of imagination and he also tells us about his daughter’s creative mind filled with imagination. In his essay, Gopnik provides a look at a modern American lifestyle, the life of the New Yorker. Turkle explains the impact technology has in our personal lives and people nowadays are so busy with their work and technology that they don’t have time to spend with their closed ones.

Adam Gopnik’s daughter Olivia, a young three-year-old girl growing up in New York, creates an imaginary friend, Charlie Ravioli, who she calls him as “Mr. Ravioli”. Her creative thinking illustrates the idea of imagination. Mr. Ravioli is always busy, he is never free to play with her. Olivia is just a three-year-old, so she doesn’t have a busy schedule like his parents and his seven and a half year old elder brother Luke, who Gopnik thought “might be the original of Charlie Ravioli” and he “has become a true New York child, with the schedule of a cabinet secretary: chess club on Monday, T-ball on Tuesday, tournament on Saturday, play dates and after-school conferences to fill in the gaps” (Gopnik 154). Olivia created this imaginary friend like his brother, as she wishes to have someone with her playing and interacting with her when she is alone. From his daughter’s creation of an imaginary playmate, Gopnik feels that nowadays people are so busy with their work and technology that they don’t have enough time to spend with their close and loved ones. Communicating through technology has made our relationships less understanding and with less sharing of feelings or expressing emotions. Through Technology, we are losing our authenticity. Turkle also talked about the idea of authenticity and she said: “Authenticity for me, follows from the ability to put oneself in the place of another, to relate to the other because of the shared store of human experiences; we are born, have families, and know the loss and the reality of death. A robot, however sophisticated, is patently out of this loop” (Turkle 267-8). Authenticity in this means that we can relate ourselves to the living creatures because we can share human experiences like expressing feelings of loss of death or feelings of happiness with them. For a better relationship with anyone, we should not lose authenticity and should always be sharing feelings with person rather than on technology.

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The key to a real relationship is authenticity, which means being true to one’s self and to others about who one really is. Authenticity shows that two individuals have a mutual feeling for each other, but when one chooses to connect digitally, he/she can lose the authentic aspect of the relationship. In Gopnik’s essay, he talks about how “we build rhetorical baffles around our lives to keep the crowding out, only to find that we have let nobody we love in” (Gopnik 158). When Gopnik mentions “rhetorical baffles”, he means that by texting, email, fax, video chat, etc. he wants one to understand that people are building a barrier between themselves and their loved ones. Whether or not it’s intentional, that barrier is keeping those important people out of them lives. Gopnik also mentions “keeping the crowding out”. Every day, the number of people a person can meet would be so overwhelming that one might feel pressured and stressed. Electronic devices relieve some of that stress with the boundary that they create. With this boundary, on one side are the people in which one wants to keep close to and on the other side are people in which one wants to keep a distance from. Unfortunately, this can also result in ones loved ones being caught on the wrong side of the barrier. Similarly, Turkle believes that humans use electronic devices to keep one another at arm’s length. When Gopnik mentions “rhetorical baffles”, one might believe that he is talking about the boundaries that Turkle mentions when she says that, “As we instant-massage, email, text, and Twitter, technology redraws the boundaries between intimacy and solitude.” (Turkle 272).

In comparison to Bumping into Mr. Ravioli, Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle elaborates how imaginative thoughts serve as mechanisms that allow certain possibilities occur. These thoughts are desires one wishes could or could have happened, a part of human existence and an experience of reality. Imagination ultimately constitutes a large part of who we are that is stemmed off from one’s imagination and creativity, creating all individuals unique from each other. Gopnik’s essay pinpoints the communication through emails, texts, faxes, and tablets. Charlie Ravioli and the traveling mindset can be linked by imposing a new grid of interest through the work force of productivity, establishing connections along the way. Adam Gopnik points out that people occupied by work are always struggling to have fewer responsibilities and more time to do more work. Even though she is only three, Charlie Ravioli is what attracts her, so she decides to call him, however, he is always too busy. In Gopnik’s essay; he states, “She sighs, sometimes, at her inability to make their schedules mesh, but she accepts it as inevitable, just the way life is” (Gopnik 153). Charlie Ravioli plays an essential role in Olivia’s life, which makes it her personal grid of interest. This quote is significant because at a certain age, she understands the concept of being busy and obtaining a daily routine. She makes use of the phrase “accepts it as inevitable, just the way life is,” to enhance that everyone is busy. The connection between the two quotes connects their different outcome of interests.

So, at last I will say apart from technology, there is a world of imagination also. Individuals can differentiate humanity and fantasy through imagination. It allows one to make original choices, fluctuating thoughts from originality to creativity. Sherry Turkle tells us about the connections between technology such as robots, and human. In her essay, Turkle explores the idea of authenticity and how robots can offer humans better relationships as well as a better life. Adam Gopnik, illustrates this idea of imaginative thinking and its value through the act of being creative as a young child. One-way thoughts can run through one’s mind are solely influenced by different art forms in life.

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