Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity - and 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 30 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 want to share only 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.
©2015 Sherry Turkle (P)2015 Penguin Audio
"Low-key urgency flows steadily beneath Kirsten Potter's appealing interpretation of this important audiobook about our diminishing ability to connect with people in intimate ways. Her clear phrasing, full of texture and sonority, makes listeners want to hear every syllable and comprehend every idea." (AudioFile)
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"So good, I had to stop listening."
I thought I was buying an audio book about conversation (hints for conversation starters at parties, etc.). That was my mistake. This book details how families, parents, teens, young adults are so distracted by phones and apps that they can't have a face to face conversation. I liked hearing how families are dealing with the digital onslaught.
Couldn't take it anymore. It is a long book and I really didn't want to hear anymore about families and couples that fight, eat dinner, spend time with each other while constantly being on their phones. I hate to see it in real life and so found it too irritating to listen to for the whole book.
I have not.
I can't believe families have fights on text, group text apps. I am worried about us.
Ugh. In a way I guess I am glad to know this info, but I really wish I didn't.
"Powerful - and a bit scary."
I really enjoy listening to Dr. Turkle's books. I think a lot about the loss of conversation in our society, and what may result. If you do as well, give a listen.
"Well worth reading"
Very timely very thought-provoking and everyone under 30 and over 30 should read it. While it gets a little repetitive at times, its main points are extremely important at this point in our existence. Finding the balance between relationships with real people and using our technology for our good is not an easy task
"Most important book of our age"
Literally the most important book of our age. Very worthwhile. But it for all your friends and family. Talk about it. Teach, converse.
"Very important conclusions in an unpalatable form."
Listening was a challenge. I think the topic is vitally important but the author's attitude toward alternative views was too disdainful and condescending. I will persist and listen through to the end hoping I can carry forward some of her arguments without the tone of infinite certainty.
Couldn't finish it. Too boring. Horribly repetitive. Wasted hours hoping the author would say something new, but no luck.
"Awesome Book!.. I really enjoyed this Audiobook!."
Will change the way look at your phone & hopefully change the way you are most likely letting your phone decrease your ability to communicate effectively in our relationships
"Better as a TED talk or podcast"
I found this to be a very repetitive book with a few really compelling points. Turkle seems to buy into the premise that Autism is about a lack of empathy in her statements that our love for technology is turning the next generation into a bunch of autistics. The same goes with her statements about engineers as administrators. I find that and her comments about 'normal' social interactions to be off-putting. What I like is the evidence she provides that our addiction to our devices are making meaningful connection more difficult. And I will also implement some of her suggestions as a friend, partner, teacher, and colleague.
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