Over the past few weeks, we have uncovered many different and interesting topics related to technology and its impact on society. Through personal readings and in class discussions, I have learned a lot about the various perspectives on these issues. One particular topic that caught my attention came from one of our last parlor discussions, the topic of divorce. I think we were originally talking about the “Romance” chapter of Turkle’s book, and how we thought online dating might be beneficial or detrimental to the future of relationships. Apparently, almost half of marriages these days started online, and someone else brought up the fact that divorce rates are also at about 50%. In my opinion, and I think the class consensus as well, a big component of marriages and relationships falling apart so often is the “bigger, better” culture we live in. We see it emphasized constantly in society that we shouldn’t settle, we deserve the best, and there’s always another option out there. When this is drilled into our heads, it’s no wonder that the common inclination is to give up when the situation gets tough. And with technology so prominently surrounding us, the other options are easy and convenient, glaring in our faces.
I am particularly interested in the topic of failed relationships and marriages, possibly technology’s role in its disintegration, stemming from my own personal experience. Just this month, my brother is going through the process of divorce. As my only sibling in a reasonably close family, I felt a distinct emotional connection to his process, from the wedding to the divorce papers. And when the news became more public over the fall last year, I heard from more and more people about their own experiences with divorce. As it turns out, it was extremely common among every circle. It also connects with my other classes, as I’m a Sociology minor. Many courses in that department seek to explain the process of relationships, marriage, and family. Obviously, this is a topic I’m very interested in learning more about.