The Death of Solitude

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The Death of Solitude
The three pieces of writing I will be discussing in this essay all are concerned with technology and the impact it has on our lives, specifically on our privacy – not just in the literal sense, but on our privacy of thought. Alex Pang’s blog entry “Technology and Solitude” is a response to an article in the Chronicle Review by William Deresiewicz, and is mostly comprised of quotations from that article. Michele McCormick’s piece “We’re Too Busy For Ideas” appeared in a 1993 issue of Newsweek, and aims to shed light on the effects a newly-purchased walkman has had on the author’s thought process. Sasha Cagen’s blog entry is more speculative in nature, appearing on a website for singles (Quirkyalone) and entitled “Are
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The topic she spoke on, however, “Too Busy to Fall in Love” is hardly the stuff of serious academic debate.
“Are Our Phones Robbing Us of Solitude” seemed to me to be blaming technology with complete disregard to the fact that it is completely self-inflicted. Yes, mobile phones mean that we are never truly alone but that can be remedied by simply turning them off. This faux-philosophizing about a non-issue is something that I found actually kind of grating. I got the impression that the entry was written more for women than for men, and this sort of “feminized” writing is something that I find off-putting and even patronizing in a way; is it really necessary to include this sentence, for example: “we spoke about many ways in which we distract and busy ourselves, making it hard not only to fall in love, but to fall in love with the world: with flowers, passing babies, urban architecture”? I was discussing this article with a friend of mine; I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that annoyed me so much about it and she suggested it was because the implication behind Cagen’s words was “you can’t get a man because you’re too busy living on the Internet”. The words “pretentious” and “hipster” also came up. Pang, on the other hand, quotes Deresiewicz on Technology “taking away” our privacy: “Though I shouldn't say taking away. We are doing this to ourselves; we are discarding
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