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Reclaiming Conversation

The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Written by: Sherry Turkle
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
2 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity - and why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.

Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over 30 years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we don't have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.

We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents' attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online we want to share only opinions that our followers will agree with - a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.

The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: These days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: Conversation is the cornerstone for democracy, and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.

But there is good news: We are resilient. Conversation cures.

©2015 Sherry Turkle (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Low-key urgency flows steadily beneath Kirsten Potter's appealing interpretation of this important audiobook about our diminishing ability to connect with people in intimate ways. Her clear phrasing, full of texture and sonority, makes listeners want to hear every syllable and comprehend every idea." ( AudioFile)

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A repetitive conversation

A page worth of material expanded into a book. Important and useful observations but repeated ad nauseum. A competent reading is the saving grace.

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  • Nick Winkelman
  • 25-02-20

Hope & Despair

If you care about the future of humanity, then I suggest you read this book.

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  • K. Goldschmitt
  • 14-06-16

Better as a TED talk or podcast

I found this to be a very repetitive book with a few really compelling points. Turkle seems to buy into the premise that Autism is about a lack of empathy in her statements that our love for technology is turning the next generation into a bunch of autistics. The same goes with her statements about engineers as administrators. I find that and her comments about 'normal' social interactions to be off-putting. What I like is the evidence she provides that our addiction to our devices are making meaningful connection more difficult. And I will also implement some of her suggestions as a friend, partner, teacher, and colleague.

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  • Natalie
  • 10-01-19

Powerful

This is such an interesting listen for anyone who is lamenting the growing disconnection during our digital age. I came to it as I want to study Sociology from Technology Communications viewpoint and I'm a big fan of Professor Turkle. I found this book easy to digest and pleasant to listen to, eye-opening, and head shaking at times too. Very glad to have purchased it.