For the Picture, Symbol, Icon module, we got given another brief that ties into the new theme of connectivity. Part of this brief is asking me to write and design a magazine article on my thoughts and findings around the idea of social connectedness. This is a subject area that really interests me, and I think that having already read a couple of books on the subject over this summer will really help me to write this article. I think that technology and social media in particular are really impacting the relationships in our lives and lessening the extent to which we connect with each other because they form a barrier to proper conversation. In “Reclaiming Conversation”, Professor Sherry Turkle discusses the effects that technology is having on our lives, both the obvious and the more obscure. Reading the book kind of surprised me because so much of what Turkle said was something I see in my everyday life. It changed my relationship with technology and especially my phone, because it inspired me to distance myself from it in order to be more deliberate with where I focus my concentration. I realised that most of the time I spent scrolling through Twitter and Instagram was wasted, I didn’t even really know why I spent so much time on these social media platforms, maybe I was bored, but half the time it was a subconscious action that I didn’t realise I was carrying out. I think in the time between when I read the book and now, I’ve kind of forgotten this and I’ve been less deliberate with when and why I use my phone. I think the angle I want to tackle the subject of social connectedness from is this way that by being more connected online, we’re becoming less connected with each other. People are more lonely than ever, with all these ‘friends’ online but no one in real life to have a proper, meaningful conversation with. Just having a phone sat turned off on the table can influence what you talk about, you subconsciously acknowledge that fact that you could be interrupted and therefore you don’t have as deep a conversation than you would if you didn’t have a phone with you. We don’t even realise its happening. How many times have you been talking to someone and then they pull out their phone, suddenly what you’re saying is irrelevant, what’s on their phone is more important it seems. I know I’ve been guilty of being both people in this situation, all of us have. But the way it makes you feel when a phone becomes more interesting to someone than what you’ve got to say isn’t nice. We shouldn’t be making each other feel this way. When did a screen become more important and interesting than another human being?