Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

I was talking to a friend at a party and answering a question she had asked, when I noticed that her eyes dropped down to her phone. I could tell she wasn't listening anymore, and so I stopped mid-sentence to see if she would notice, and she didn't. The phone had won out, and I actually moved away and she still didn't notice.

Reclaiming Conversation focuses on how technology and the ubiquitous phone is causing us to turn away from each other and avoid face-to-face conversation. In a very methodical way, Turkle discusses how our attachment to phones reduces (or eliminates!) the time we spend alone with our thoughts, and this decreases our own ability to self-reflect on our thoughts and feelings. She goes on to describe how our preoccupation with phones affects family life, friendship, romance, education, and work. Unfortunately, she spends much less time on what to do about our lack of connecting through face-to-face conversations.

A very thorough and fascinating look into the phone culture of today.

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