Posts Tagged ‘conversation’

Quote of the day: CONVERSATION

October 8, 2015

CONVERSATION

Conversation is [Sherry] Turkle’s organizing principle because so much of what constitutes humanity is threatened when we replace it with electronic communication. Conversation presupposes solitude, for example, because it’s in solitude that we learn to think for ourselves and develop a stable sense of self, which is essential for taking other people as they are. (If we’re unable to be separated from our smartphones, Turkle says, we consume other people “in bits and pieces; it is as though we use them as spare parts to support our fragile selves.”) Through the conversational attention of parents, children acquire a sense of enduring connectedness and a habit of talking about their feelings, rather than simply acting on them. (Turkle believes that regular family conversations help “inoculate” children against bullying.) When you speak to people in person, you’re forced to recognize their full human reality, which is where empathy begins. (A recent study shows a steep decline in empathy, as measured by standard psychological tests, among college students of the smartphone generation.) And conversation carries the risk of boredom, the condition that smartphones have taught us most to fear, which is also the condition in which patience and imagination are developed….

Our digital technologies aren’t politically neutral. The young person who cannot or will not be alone, converse with family, go out with friends, attend a lecture or perform a job without monitoring her smartphone is an emblem of our economy’s leechlike attachment to our very bodies. Digital technology is capitalism in hyperdrive, injecting its logic of consumption and promotion, of monetization and efficiency, into every waking minute.

–Jonathan Franzen, reviewing Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation in the New York Times

sherry turkle

Quote of the day: CONVERSATION

June 21, 2010

CONVERSATION

A good relationship comes down to conversation and sex and good manners, I suppose. And if you can continue your conversation and your bawdiness and your good manners for more than ten years, then you’re doing awfully well. Conversation is the truest barometer in a relationship, and when you’re not moved to open your heart to your lover, something’s wrong that needs fixing. We all know that. And yet it’s a fabulous gift, true conversation. The world is full of cant and rote and reflexive chatter; good talk is pure gold, and it’s what lovers need from each other.

— Garrison Keillor

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