Sherry Turkle with S. I. Salamensky TechnoTalk: E-Mail, the Internet, and Other "Compversations"
For so me people, life on the screen provides what Erik Erikson would have called a "psychosocial moratorium" similar to the identity development that occurs in adolescence. Although the term "moratorium" implies a "time out," what Erikson had in mind was not withdrawal. On the contrary, the adolescent moratorium is a time of intense interaction with people and ideas. It is a time of passionate friendships, experimentation, and significant experience. "Moratorium" refers not to a hiatus in experience but rather a hiatus in the consequences of that experience. Ouring this time one's actions "don't count." Freed from consequence, experimentation becomes the norm rather than a brave departure. Consequence-free experimentation facilitates the development of a "co re self," a personal sense of what gives life the meaning that Erikson called "identity."