Monday, May 3, 2010

Fauxting and Anticipatory Disengagement

My pal Bonnie recommended this piece by Boston Globe guest columnist Charlotte Steinway, a college student-spokesperson for the so-called "be-everywhere-now generation."

Steinway's piece decries a tendency of some college students to practice anticipatory disengagement with the aid of personal media devices, hoping to avoid the ambiguity of face to face interactions. The editorial even describes the art of "fauxting" -- fake-texting to avoid real conversation.

Here's an illustrative quote: "In an age where hookups, breakups, and makeups are increasingly initiated via text or online, the social dynamic of face-to-face interactions has changed drastically and in some cases disappeared entirely."

Before pledging to engage folks she passes on campus in a more direct manner, Steinway drops a cite to Erving Goffman who describes the pressure produced by our social demands to recognize each other when we'd prefer to stay in our personal bubbles. An act of will, Steinway says, is required to turn the tide of isolation.

Yet the question remains: Where is the will?

Read the entire piece: When you’re only text friends

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