What’s wrong with having a conversation? 

A lot, according to Sherry Turkle, author of the new book, “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age.”

For starters, conversations take place in real time and we can’t always control what we’re going to say.  Some can be difficult to have and can get loud and unpleasant.  Texts, emails, postings let us present the self as we want to be.  They allow us to delete and edit.  Our technology gives us control.

Turns out human relationships are messy and demanding.  🙂

And we clean them up with technology.

But when we do, says Turkle, a media scholar and MIT professor who has spent the last three decades studying the impact of the digital culture on ourselves and our relationships, we shortchange ourselves and sacrifice our decision making and our relationships. We are letting technology take us places that we don’t really want to go.

So how can we use technology to make this life one that we love without sacrificing our relationships?

Check out her TED talk “Connected, but Alone”  below for more.

Go to Minute 7:30 for Steven Colbert’s profound question about what defines a “real” conversation.

Hear Turkle’s “prophetic” comment about “Siri” becoming our best friend in Minute 12, reinforcing our unvoiced fear that no one is listening to us and that no one really cares.

If you believe that having a conversation leaves you “exposed” go to Minute 12 for how technology makes us even more “vulnerable”.

Go to Minute 14 to learn how being alone and cultivating a capacity for solitude can actually help us form stronger connections with others AND

Skip to Minute 16 for some ideas of how we can develop a self-aware relationship with technology that will help us and bring us back to our “real” lives.

And if you liked this talk, catch her on Google Talks by clicking here.


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