Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle; published 2015 by Penguin Press
Do you ever feel anxiety when you don’t have your cell phone with you? Have you seen these pictures of people staring at their phones, ignoring the life happening right in front of them—ignoring each other? Have you seen crowds at a concert where more people are interested in “sharing” the experience than in, well, experiencing it?
A couple days ago I was in the car with my mom, and we were fascinated by the crazy wind swirling leaves all around us. It was nothing special—just a particularly blustery day. Without even thinking, I whipped out my phone and started recording, then shared it on my Snapchat story. Why? Who cares? Did anyone watch it? If anyone did, why should they care? There’s no reason to. So why did I feel compelled to share it?
Moments like these are explored in Sherry Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. She frames her discussion with the analogy of Henry David Thoreau’s three chairs: 1 for the self, 2 for others, and 3 for society as a whole. Continue Reading