Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Talk To Me!

Sherry Turkle reflects on the ever-diminishing presence of simple, person-to-person conversation in our lives, which is in danger of becoming yet another casualty of the smart phone era in which we live. Here's an especially cogent bit:
FACE-TO-FACE conversation unfolds slowly. It teaches patience. When we communicate on our digital devices, we learn different habits. As we ramp up the volume and velocity of online connections, we start to expect faster answers. To get these, we ask one another simpler questions; we dumb down our communications, even on the most important matters. It is as though we have all put ourselves on cable news. Shakespeare might have said, “We are consum’d with that which we were nourish’d by.” 
And we use conversation with others to learn to converse with ourselves. So our flight from conversation can mean diminished chances to learn skills of self-reflection. These days, social media continually asks us what’s “on our mind,” but we have little motivation to say something truly self-reflective. Self-reflection in conversation requires trust. It’s hard to do anything with 3,000 Facebook friends except connect.
That's an excellent insight (and one that I consistently try to emphasize during my day job). Read the rest of the piece here.

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