Technology Final [Mumford]

Many things are on the mind of a 13 year old girl. You are changing a lot, and feeling uncomfortable, and unrecognized pressures from social media doesn’t make it any easier. Insecurities are masked by fake smiles plastered on a pixelated screen. Everything is perfect if you make it look like it is, right?

It’s strange how one person can be more than one person. It’s like they have multiple personalities, because they wear different masks in real life and on the internet. Jumbles of plastic and metal have such small gravitational mass, but can change the minds of people so greatly. Instagram pictures are the glue that holds their fragile ego’s in place. Texts are the bullets they shoot, but they don’t have to see the impact. Snapchats are the masks of power that they wear, but based in insecurity, not in confidence.

When a boy teases you it means he likes you. That’s what we are taught. So was I supposed to take it as a compliment when he said I was a preppy rich bitch? And find worth in myself when he told me I was a piece of shit? It was the first time I had ever seen the f word when he sent it to me. If this happened to me now, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But at the time, I couldn’t have been more hurt. Once a friend, he was taking out his insecurities on me by overpowering me, and I let him. I didn’t have any confidence, and I fully believed him. I think that boys and men are being taught to have fragile masculinity. Anything that threatens their “manhood” is responded to with aggression, disgust, and rudeness. Maybe he felt too “soft” because he had a crush on me, and the only way he knew how to deal with it was to assert his dominance. He was raised to be too insecure about himself to treat me as an equal, and I was raised to find my confidence in the opinions of boys. 

The mind is a weird thing. The conscience works so well when we can see the pain that has been inflicted, but through a screen we get an easy escape and aren’t forced to face the consequences of our words. Especially at 13, he never would’ve said that to my face. Technology allows a disconnect from emotion, and in transitional times in our lives when we feel out of control, it gives newfound power and control seemingly without much consequence. Society raises young teens with insecurities, and technology allows them an easy out: projecting onto others. Without it, problems would still exist, however we would be forced to face them head on instead of overcompensating through cyberbullying. The mind is also a picky rememberer. I can still picture the faces he was making in those Snapchats, and see the grammatical mistakes weaved into his insults, yet I would have a hard time telling you what I had for lunch last week. Traumatic experiences are burned in the brain a little more than day to day things. At that time in my life, the words he said to me were the end of the world. I replayed everything he said over and over, and they became who I thought I was. Although mine was an isolated experience, many aren’t. It’s curious that something made by life that doesn’t have life, can take it away. And even more curious is that we are often too ignorant to acknowledge the harm until it is too late.

One thought on “Technology Final [Mumford]

  1. This is a good choice for a formative experience to analyse. Be thinking about the ways the human and technological aspects of the situation interact. To what extent is this a problem of technology, and to what extents is it a human problem that would take a different form with different (or no) technology?

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