Dawn of the Planet of the Sea Turtles

05 November 2018 Comments Off on Dawn of the Planet of the Sea Turtles

ARASH ASHRAFNEJAD (EE/IV) arash.ashrafnejad@ug.bilkent.edu.tr

Have you ever thought about what our social media–saturated modernity has turned the new generation into? I’d say there is a striking similarity to sea turtles.

Let me start by telling you the life story of these miraculous creatures.

The baby turtles have a pretty rough start to begin with, as they have to avoid many obstacles to survive to adulthood (less than one percent of those who hatch from the eggs deposited on the beach make it to their 20s as breeding adults). As they emerge, they desperately try to get to the water to avoid predators like crabs, gulls and raccoons. But as they start their lonely journey surfing the oceans, they face even bigger enemies, like seabirds, sharks and even human beings’ fishing nets.

If they make it to their 20s, they return for the first time to their birthplace for the mating season. Now, the lone male survivors have to awkwardly compete for the breeding females. After mating, the fertilized females go to the beach to lay their eggs.

Now, let’s get to the part where I explain why I believe in the human–sea turtle metamorphosis mentioned above.

In our modern society, we have access to a great many smart devices that can connect us to the internet – and this is the case from a very young age, as if we had been born with them to enable us to surf the web the way turtles are born with flippers to surf the ocean. But what is the problem in the “real” world that we’re running away from?

The problem is that everybody loves to be heard and but doesn’t want to listen. So we desperately run away with our “flippers” to plug ourselves into social media platforms to talk about ourselves, since our smart devices allow us to reach more of what is out there (just as turtles’ flippers allow them to swim faster). As a result, we consider the world we live in as just a limitation, because we constantly have to disconnect from our favorite world to be able to live (the way turtles have to come to the surface to breathe).

However, when we finally manage to reach the social networks we so desperately desire, we sooner or later realize that the online world is far from ideal. We have to face many issues: violations of privacy, cyberbullying and unhealthy comparison with others, to name but a few.

We can see that the more “social” we get on social media, the lonelier we become in real life (like turtles when they dive into the ocean to explore deeper waters). Of course, the reason for this isolation is that relationships on the internet are superficial, which is, I think, because people don’t care about each other online (since they don’t want to listen!).


As a result, the by-product of this modernity is socially inept adults who crave intimate relationships but become quite asocial due to the fact that we’ve gotten to a point where our relationships are completely dependent on these sites.

So for meeting new partners, we turn to online dating platforms like Tinder, which usually results in exhausting, dissatisfying and awkward sea-turtle sex!