Samuel: Because communication via computer is usually conducted privately and anonymously between people who would o...

Eugene on July 31 at 05:01PM

Why not A?

Why not A? The correct answer is E and it is one I eliminated early on.

2 Replies

Eugene on July 31 at 05:21PM

Tova does not seem to be arguing that computers hurt social life, or replace it in any way. Whereas Samuel believes they are replacing and always hurting people's social life, this led me to believe that they were disagreeing about whether or not computers were a negative or irrelevant in affecting people's social lives.

Shunhe on August 1 at 03:35AM

Hi @EugeneC,

Thanks for the question! Remember, when we’re working on these kinds of questions, we have to be able to say that one disagrees, and one agrees. So let’s take a look at what’s going on here. Samuel says that computer communication’s usually private and anonymous, so it gets rid of, and not creates, lasting communal bonds.

Tova then says that actually, Samuel assumes that computer communication replaces intimate forms of communication, but actually, it replaces asocial/antisocial behavior.

So are they disagreeing about (A), the fact that a general trend of modern life is to dissolve the social bonds that formerly connects people? Well sure, we know that one of them thinks computer communication does this, and the other doesn’t. But based on what we know from the passage, can we equate computer communication with a general trend of modern life? That sure might be something that’s going on in the real world, but that’s not something we can import into this stimulus. And that’s why (A) is wrong here.

(E), on the other hand, tells us that if people weren’t communicating via computer, they’d likely be engaging in activities that created stronger social bonds. Samuel would say yes, since people would otherwise interact in person to create those bonds. And Tova would say no, since it’s the asocial/antisocial behavior being replaced by computer communication. So this is going to be something they disagree about, and (E) is the correct answer.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.