Quoted: on tech and talking — or not really talking — to one another

“I can’t, in restaurants, not watch families not talking to each other. In parks, I can’t not watch mothers not talking to their children. In streets, I can’t not watch mothers texting while they’re pushing their children.”

Sherry Turkle, MIT professor, longtime tech scholar and author of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.” (Did she see the “I Forgot My Phone” video?) Turkle is working on a new book about reclaiming conversation. What she’s found so far: We’re talking all the time, whether online or off. But always-on communications, or the competitive nature of social media — “that’s not conversation,” she says, and besides, real conversations give us permission to sometimes be dull. And: “Nobody’s talking about anything except what’s on the machines.”


Photo from Marin Independent Journal archives


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  • turtle_avenger

    Every generation has had a version of how Mommy and Daddy didn’t pay enough attention to me. These statements make it sound like we used to have such deep and meaningful relationships before technology. That is simply not the truth.

  • Karen Shelton Freyer

    This technologically oriented generation cannot even hold a decent conversation nor, it seems, are they interested in doing so. Gone are the days when respect was shown for one another by actually listening to what someone was saying. We were brought up to turn off the television when we had guests come over and there were no distractions at the dinner table. It’s really sad.