The Flight From Conversation

Turkle is on the ball in this article, if somewhat vague in specifics. As social monkeys, we are consumed the need for connectedness, or in this case, a facade of it. Our conversational and analytical skills atrophy because there is an imbalance. I believe in the mistaken drive to be heard, many end up diluting their message or being consumed in self-importance. Nowadays, many people talk a lot, but they are saying less and less – some of the people who I know are the most active on networks like Facebook / Twitter, are about as interesting in person as cardboard boxes.

“When people are alone, even for a few moments, they fidget and reach for a device. Here connection works like a symptom, not a cure, and our constant, reflexive impulse to connect shapes a new way of being.

Think of it as “I share, therefore I am.” We use technology to define ourselves by sharing our thoughts and feelings as we’re having them. We used to think, “I have a feeling; I want to make a call.” Now our impulse is, “I want to have a feeling; I need to send a text.”

So, in order to feel more, and to feel more like ourselves, we connect. But in our rush to connect, we flee from solitude, our ability to be separate and gather ourselves. Lacking the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people but don’t experience them as they are. It is as though we use them, need them as spare parts to support our increasingly fragile selves.”

The Flight From Conversation


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