Review: Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on lots of conversations, Turkle argues for more face-to-face interaction. Valid and important points, but a bit too much fluff (i.e. Anecdotes of Turkle speaking with “seventeen year old senior Thomas who etc etc”). The first 50 pages with the Case for Conversation pretty much make the point. Maybe my high need for cognition and my bias against qualitative research.

“Reclaiming conversation: speaking and listening are skills that can be taught. They take practice” (p14).

For most of us, our exercise in conversation wil not be at device-free summer camps. Most of the time, we’ll reclaim conversation by working to protect sacred spaces, spaces without technology, in our everyday lives. With more experience away from our devices, we’ll develop a better sense of when we need solitude and when we need to give each other undivided attention (p318)

Even a silent phone disconnects us; changes what we talk about, keeps conversation light (p21); Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality (2012) Andrew K. Przybylski, Netta Weinstein http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/1…

Empathy gap; Study found a 40% drop in empathy among college students in past 20 years (p21, p171): Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis (2011) https://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/eob/…

Rule of three: when with a group at dinner, check that at least three others have their heads up, before you check your phone (people going in and out of conversation).

“We are not as strong as technology’s pull, weird little pressure”. And: a dull moment is never necessary. “Technology gives us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship”

From conversation to connection. “Interruption is not experienced as an interuption but as another connection”‘(p37).

Thoreau, 3 chairs;
1 solitude (self)
2 friendship (friends and family)
3 society (social world)
Turkle introduces fourth chair: “conversations with machines” (think Siri)

P272 Radnor managers are asked “Did you have the sense-of-purpose conversation in performance reviw?” It’s a box that has to be checked.

P221 optimal MOOC video lecture is 6 minutes http://blog.edx.org/optimal-video-len…

P318 Clifford Nass compared the parts of the brain that process emotion to muscles- they atrophy if not excercised but can be strenghtened through face-to-face conversation. https://psmag.com/is-facebook-stuntin…

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Later toegevoegd; I forgot my phone

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