Essay on Liking is for cowards, go for what hurts

7 July 2016

“Liking is for Cowards, Go for what hurts” is an essay written by Jonathan Franzen who is an American novelist and writer of essays. This essay is based on the speech he gave at Kenyon College in the state of Ohio in USA. And in May 2011 it was published in The New York Times. What this essay is about is, is the differences there are between the love people have for consumers technology and real life.

“Liking” probably comes from the social website, Facebook, which is mentioned as ”commercial culture’s substitute for loving”, and shows the obsession with the smartphones, internet and other things that helps the construction of our facades, an obsession that probably is more dangerous than its good. Some of the things that damage us are the emotions and feelings, and these are quite capable of making a lot of people scared, and because of this they would rather hide behind the screen, where they hide themselves from to the world and its problems.

Essay on Liking is for cowards, go for what hurts Essay Example

He believes that people wants the consumer technology, is because that it might give them some different methods to keep them happy without asking for anything more, but it will give you everything which is in contrast to relationships with people you might love. There are plenty of good quotes to look at, for example “To speak more generally, the ultimate goal of technology, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes (..

) With a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self”, this means that technology will replace the requirement of our presence in the world. Jonathan Franzen’s method of catching the eye of the audience is very interesting and quite creative. He talks about his Blackberry phone in such a way that it might have been his girlfriend, this way of talking makes it very catchy and relevant for the younger generation, because many of them have known “love” and they know their technology.

He speaks about how he used to feel about the smartphone and how he feels about them now and he is using many of the same descriptions I would if I where to describe my connection to technology. A very fine example on this could be “Over the years bloom had faded from our relationship (.. ) I’d developed trust issues and some doubts about my Pearl’s very sanity” normally it is not very normal to talk about your smartphones sanity, as it happens to be nothing more but a smart little piece of technology which doesn’t have any sanity.

His love story between him and his Blackberry goes on for a few lines and after that he changes to a bit more serious tone. If you take Jonathan’s age into account which was about 50 by the time he held the speech, you could end up expecting a dull and very old fashioned language but this is not the case which is quite good for the younger part of audience. His use of words like “sexy” “cool” and “techno” helps him keeping the younger part of the audience captured simply because these words are words that young people could and quite possible use in their everyday language.

The message that Jonathan wants to give is actually quite clear: Liking is a lie to but also an ingredient in creating this other side of ourselves and that we are afraid that if we don’t get “likes” we aren’t loved by others. It also means that if we open ourselves a bit and let some experiences from the real life in we could end up with a quite good result. I do believe that he wants to make sure that people understand that love is not something that should be lived out through the internet or your smartphones.

On the internet we can make up a fake personality which could be the perfect example of a narcissistic personality that just isn’t real. One day you will have to give up this fake personality and get out in the real life and face some rather difficult choices that just aren’t between some materialistic things. Some day you want and you will end up committing yourself to the real you and the relationship that you have had with your smartphone just isn’t going to last even though that you have “wasted” tons of time on it.

The truth is that people are too afraid of being rejected and other side effects could follow them in their pursuit for love. Jonathan actually gives a couple of examples that are quite good, like breakups or death. But the truth is that pain hurts and that the pain of the heart hurts a lot more but it won’t kill you. To be honest I must agree with Jonathan because that I have grown up in a generation that more or less can’t function without their lovely pieces of technology. For my generation networks such as Facebook is the perfect place for creating false personalities in order to appear cool.

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