The Power of Conversation: Preserving Human Connection in a Digital World
Technology has not only changed what we do; it has changed who we are, with dramatic impacts on how we work, learn, and think about the world. But how have our new lives of continual connection changed one of our most basic human interactions--namely conversation? Sherry Turkle examines how technology shapes modern relationships, both in personal and professional life, seen through our growing tendency to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. If we recognize this "Flight From Conversation," we will reclaim richer lives at home, in public life, and even at work where the roles of mobile technology and social media have been so widely praised. Many people believe that because we've grown up with the Internet, the internet is all grown up. But we are in the early days of what the Internet has done to shift our social and cultural lives, and Turkle is optimistic that there is plenty of time to change how we develop and use our devices to build the kinds of personal and work relationships that are most productive. In particular, she argues there is time to reclaim conversation. Without conversation, we shortchange ourselves in our relationships with each other and in our relationships with ourselves, in our capacity for self-reflection. In our work, we face a paradox: a new regime of always-on communication isolates us in new ways that compromise innovation, collaboration, and leadership. Turkle believes now is the time to change our relationship with our devices and with ourselves for a more reflective, fulfilled life.
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Facebook. Twitter. Second Life. “Smart” phones. Location-aware services that tell us where our friends are. Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere. We turn to new technology to fill the void, but as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. In a surprising twist, relentless connection leads to a new solitude.
Sherry Turkle has explored our lives on the digital terrain for nearly fifteen years. Drawing insights from her book, "Alone Together" (Basic Books, 2012), she presents the power of these new tools to dramatically alter our social lives and our business productivity.
Turkle explains businesses’ need to reassess the usefulness of some old virtues in today’s hyper-connected corporate cultures--in particular, deliberateness and solitude. Questioning whether we’ve edged ourselves into a paradox, Sherry challenges audiences to address such questions as: What are costs of hyper-connectivity? Are people overloaded connecting but not communicating? How have we bought in to the "myth of multitasking"? Does multitasking keep our brains on a "high," but deteriorate our performance in each of our tasks? And how does this new always on, always connected state affect our ability to think, to be creative, and to innovate?