Divided attention has become an explicit norm as people shift their focus back and forth between communication devices such as mobile phones and the present companions in the event there is a lull to strike a conversation. Fully present to each other, we tend to listen as well as developing the capacity to empathize, as observed by Turkle in her book Alone together: why we expect more from technology but less from the human being. In these days, we find ways around conversation and the current generation would rather communicate electronically rather than having striking a conversation on a one on one platform (Turkle, 150). This has not only resulted in poor communication skills but lack of total knowledge of expression to the current generation. Throughout this book, Reclaiming Conversation Turkle cites disturbing statistics, which is eye-catching: it is found that average American adults will check their phones after every six minutes; this is alongside the teenagers who send an average of one hundred texts in a day (Turkle, 21). The most common and more insidious is that online communication makes human being to feel more in charge of the time as well as self-presentation than conversing to one another. Thus, the assumption of the technology in communication presents an opportunity to edit what we want to say. Turkle begins as he attests that she did not see even a television until late in 1950 when she was a freshman in high school when she and the father watched in a store window, a shadowy, black and white images in an electronic device. Before that, she had spent her life interacting with books, newspapers, people, and nature. Today, no one graduate from the college knows a world that does not have computers, television, communication devices, and robots of varying sophistication.
Reclaiming Conversation is thus a chance to step back for a moment whole reconsidering the enormity as well as the pervasiveness of the change within the technological platform we now enjoy. In a twist of events, our cell phones, and the devices designated to help us in communication is doing just an exact opposite because they impair our ability to connect with others on an emotional level. In the first two chapters, Tukle employs a quote from David Thoreaus Walden in structuring her argument. Thoreau wrote, I had three chairs, one for solitude, the second and the third were for friendship and society respectively. Turkle explains her argument that just as Thoreau needed the three symbolic chairs, we also need the same social structure to help us communicate effectively (Turkle, 22). However, the cell phones are directly damaging our capacity and effects to for an engaged conversation, she suggests, and our ability for friendship and social connection is at stake. In the first chapter, Turkle deposes that dates are significant, texting emerge in the mid -the 1990s, and the interactive web 2.0 came at the turn of the century. Facebook was launched in 2004 within twitter coming into existence in (2006 Turkle, 22). This, therefore, translates that an individual aged thirty and slightly over thirty, have so far lived most of their lives in a world of constant and instant connectivity. This fact crucially suggests that the subsequent generation and the current approaching adulthood, has known no other world apart from the world full of technology.
The general thesis of Turkles argument in her book is that Human values, as well as humane activities, are threatened by electronic gadgets is thus accurate to her assertions. She explains how the real face-to-face conversation is rapidly vanishing like a mist on a bright morning. Her shock supposedly emerged from seeing an old woman who apparently had lost a child talking to a robot baby seal, which was designed to comfort her. She accepts that we have solved the problem of taking care of the old but created a problem at the same time because the real conversation has been exchanged with technology. Interestingly, children are driven into a form of autism by the use of phones (Turkle, 25). One typical study reveals that about 40% decline in the markers empathy among college population, most of it occurred within the last ten years. Indeed, most of her young interviewees find it an enormous challenge to project themselves into the mind of another. In their teen years, they realize that conversation is boring, inefficient, and quite challenging to maintain. Thus, they prefer texting even if they are within the same room. This has finally led to courtship freak show when the apps like tinder and teenager flicks are within a button tap. This has created the risk of conversation approach to be removed with the spectacle being the central theme of this book (Turkle, 26). In spite of all, Turkle remains optimistic that there is still time to make the corrections. When children are sent to camps, where there is no gadget, empathy, and conversations rejuvenate for few days. The book highlights detailed list of what we must do such as taking time to be quiet, being wary of our phones, creating sacred time for conversations as well as learning from arguments
Turkle, Sherry. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. , 2015. Internet resource.
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. S.I.: ReadHowYouWant, 2011. Print.
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