Essay Two: Social Media & Intimacy
“We face a flight from conversation that is also a flight from self-reflection, empathy, and mentorship.”—Sherry Turkle
“One concern, though, is that some social skills may not develop as effectively when so many interactions exist online. We learn how we are and aren’t supposed to act be observing others.” —Maria Konnikova
In “The Empathy Diaries ,” Sherry Turkle analyzes the effects of a loss of empathy, and considers the extent to which conversations offer a way to push back against that loss. Maria Konnikova similarly analyzes the ways in which technology has affected our relationships. Konnikova has concerns that our use of technology and social media may be diminishing our Dunbar Number, and our ability to create intimate, real connections with each other For this assignment, you will apply the arguments by Turkle and Konnikova in order to analyze the effects of technology on intimacy. Using specific concepts and details from “The Empathy Diaries” and “The Limits of Friendship,” write an essay in which you analyze the effect of technology and/or social media on intimacy. Are there aspects of online friendships Konnikova doesn’t appreciate (that you do)? How do children learn how to be social? Why does that matter? What role can or should technology plan in our everyday lives? How does social media affect our ability to empathize with each other? What does it mean to always be connected?
Further questions to help you explore:
Questions for further consideration (use these to help you brainstorm; you should not try to answer every question):
· What is the relationship between technology and intimacy? In what ways does technology help and hinder intimacy? Are there places online where you can be more authentic? Is our online presence always curated? Why might that matter?
· Who is the target audience of these essays? What do these authors hope to convince us of? In what ways do their ideas work together to make a commentary on the ever increasing role of technology in our lives?
· What is the Dunbar Number? Is this a valid way of looking at relationships? Why or why not?
· What does intimacy have to do with empathy? Connection?
Formatting and Requirements:
· Your essay should:
· be 4-5 pages in length (at least 1250 words)
· be typed in Times New Roman font, double-spaced with 1-inch margins (on all sides)
· include your name, my name, class and date in the upper left corner of the 1st page
· Format your essay according to MLA guidelines
· You must use specific details from both readings and from your selected source to support your argument. At least one paragraph must have a connection between both essays (that is, a direct quote from Turkle and from Konnikova). You should not need to use any additional outside sources for this assignment. If you find it necessary to include ideas or information from additional sources be sure to clearly cite them and include them in your Works Cited.
Criteria for Evaluation:
· Argument: Argument/thesis directly and fully answers the prompt; is clearly stated early in the paper; is original, compelling and logical, avoiding absolute claims
· Evidence: Appropriate amount of relevant, accurate, and justifiably interpreted quotation. Quotations are thoroughly introduced, explained, analyzed, and connected to argument. Possible counter-arguments are considered.
· Organization: Paragraphs maintain argumentative focus, exclude extraneous information, appear in a logical order, and transition smoothly. Introduction sets forth argument and goals of essay. Conclusion opens up avenues for future research.
· Audience: Consistent, academic tone. Appropriate amount of contextual information, anticipating audience questions. Addresses significant issues and makes them important to audience.
· Grammar and Format: Errors in grammar, spelling, and usage limited or non-existent. Correct MLA format, including proper quotation citation.
For Writing Assistance:
· See me during office hours for help with specific questions regarding your essay
· Visit the FAU Writing Center for in-person writing assistance. http://www.fau.edu/UCEW/
· For online writing information, visit the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)