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Reclaiming Conversation

The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
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Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivityand why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don’t have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.
We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents’ attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work, we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online, we only want to share opinions that our followers will agree with – a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.
The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: these days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.
But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures.
Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human—and humanizing—thing that we do.
The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other. 

Penguin Publishing Group; October 2015
352 pages; ISBN 9781101617397
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Reclaiming Conversation
Author: Sherry Turkle
  • News
Forever elsewhere - The Hindu
Sat, 13 Aug 2016 04:08:02 -0700
The HinduForever elsewhereThe HinduThis reminded me of what Sherry Turkle wrote of in her book Reclaiming Conversation, The ...
Reclaiming Conversation: Sherry Turkle Launches A Movement To Take Back Talk - Forbes
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 13:52:43 -0700
ForbesReclaiming Conversation: Sherry Turkle Launches A Movement To Take Back TalkForbesThanks to a simple, yet effective, ...
Book review: "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age," by Sherry Turkle - The Denver Post
Sat, 10 Oct 2015 23:30:33 -0700
Book review: "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age," by Sherry TurkleThe Denver PostYou're ...