Thursday, July 7, 2016

FAMILY GOOGLING by Mark Tjarks-Deleting Trump’s Twitter and other Internet stories

By Gini Chang
Gini Chang
The Internet is an extremely useful resource for me and for everyone else who is reading this. We all benefit from it with our computers and phones, Tweeting and Instagram-ing, even if many of us-including me- don’t exactly know how the internet works. 


Last year, the Republican party’s Presidential nominee Donald Trump stated that in order to stop terrorists from recruiting Americans he wanted to “see Bill Gates and...talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up”. Despite saying that, Trump has continued to use his Twitter account to voice his opinions on current events and spar with other political figures. 

Overall, the efficiency of the internet has changed more than just modern politics. Now there are YouTube stars who earn money just by being popular, there are Linkedin accounts that headhunters can sift through when searching for someone to fill a job vacancy, and the average every day person can share text as well as pictures to update their social networks about what’s going on in their lives. 
My favorite Food Network star's snapchat
Not only can everything be shared with anyone at anytime, but everything that is shared also leaves a record. In fact, our private information is easily accessible, we shared it ourselves, and that can be a little scary sometimes. It’s no surprise that there are privacy issues and updates every once in a while on giant networks such as Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat-a mobile phone app that allows users to send each other pictures that supposedly disappear in ten seconds. Even those pictures, believed to be gone, are saved in Snapchat’s database and 2 years ago, 200,000 of those photos were leaked. 

However, that hasn’t stopped the 1.65 billion Facebook users and 433 million LinkedIn users from broadcasting their personal information for the public to see. I bet that with just my first and last name, anyone reading this can find my Facebook profile at the very least. The immediacy with which one can access information is terrifying at times, but also incredible.


Mark Tjarks’ play, Family Googling, is about 17 years old Becca who is having dinner with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend, and her mother’s old friend. Becca’s mother has many concerns about her attachment to her cell phone and her new girlfriend (emphasis on the girl). But Becca has no concerns, and though her eyes never leave her phone, she is constantly paying keen attention to the adult conversations going on around her. She is so interested, in fact that she begins to use her phone to learn more about the past of her dinner guests, keep up with the conversation, and engage more with the people around her. However, Family Googling isn’t just about the Internet or the information that can be easily accessed, it’s about the very human relationships that exist as they always have, despite the changes that have been created by technology. 

Worried about your privacy settings? Or maybe have some tips for people like me who still have no idea what the Internet is? Comment below or tweet us at @RiantTheatre (so then we will be able to find you) and come see Mark Tjark’s Family Googling at the Strawberry One Act Festival on Saturday, July 16th at 1pm; Sunday, July 17th at 3pm; and Thursday, July 21st at 7pm at St. Clements Theatre: 423 West 46th St, NYC between 9th and 10th Ave.

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