New York Times Bestseller: Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivity—and how we can reclaim conversation
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has studied digital culture for over three decades. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we are fleeing from conversation. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents’ attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when no one is looking up from their devices. Online, we share opinions that our followers will agree with—a politics that shies from real conflicts and solutions.
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. The case for conversation begins with the importance of solitude and self-reflection, which are both endangered. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves.
But there is good news: we are resilient. Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.