“The flight from conversation” – fantastic opinion piece

25Apr12

Have read and keep rereading this great article from Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and MIT professor who wrote a piece in the NY Times called “The flight from conversation”. Read it here

Is it ironic that I first wanted to tweet of send it to Facebook?

So much of this resonates with me.

I haven’t even started reading the comments, 307 and counting- but just wanted to make some comments of my own here.

“Being alone together” …..I have actually noticed this at the last couple of bookgroups I have gone to. Someone gets out a mobile to check something, and then suddenly there are loads of mobiles out, someone takes a photo, another person looks at photos or comments on the type of phone, someone else is checking something on Google and then we are all together alone, or at least on lots of separate little groups…but not part of the larger conversation, which is why we are here. I am not suggesting that in a group of ten women meeting that you cannot have separate conversations, but the mobile phone, “let’s find a YouTube clip for that” kind of thing is really distracting. We don’t seem to be having those conversations that we used to have?

And email. A lot of my job is email. A lot of it. My work is over campuses-three states and oneterritory-and a lot of what I do is email. But some of my work is better over the phone, in person, on a videocall. Email seems to put it into one big messy soup, and these days I often have to make the very conscious decision – how best to have a conversation about this particular matter? Email is part of the solution. But only a part of it, and sometimes people (including me) use email instead of having those harder conversations. Having said all that- I woke up today to a wonderful, heartfelt email from a work colleague/friend. Being email, I have read and reread a couple of times, because it is just lovely having the record of her thoughts!

The line “texting and email and posting lets us present the self we want to be” – which can later edit or delete…….retouch!

Anyway….there is no need for me to paraphrase the piece. Read it

This article also reminds me of Mark Pesce’s TEDxCanberra talk  a few years back – which was essentially -when you are connected and in your device….look up and connect.

30 April update – more on this piece…

The downside of digital life: disconnection – in Read Write Web … “Ultimately, it’s up to the end user to figure out how much, or how little, they’re going to let technology build or tear down connections”

Now everyone is connected: is this the death of conversation? – Guardian

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