It all started with this article from the weblog Mockingbird. I was fascinated by the shared Colbert Report video featuring Sherry Turkle, an M.I.T. professor and author of Alone Together. Watching that video led me to her TED talk…

So interesting! Below are just a couple of notes and small snippets from the TED talk that I want to remember…
Sherry Turkle describes three gratifying fantasies in which our devices in our pockets are changing our minds and hearts. They are …

  1. that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be.
  2. that we will always be heard.
  3. that we will never have to be alone. (this being central to changing our psyches)

She goes on to say … “Being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved. And so people try to solve it by connecting. But here, connection is more like a symptom than a cure. It expresses, but it doesn’t solve, an underlying problem. But more than a symptom, constant connection is changing the way people think of themselves. It’s shaping a new way of being.”

All I know is that this ‘new way of being’ is making me feel more alone. So with great hope (and open ears) I leave you with three steps from Sherry Turkle …

3 Steps on how to develop a more self-aware relationship with our devices, with each other and with ourselves …

  1. Make room for solitude (see it as a good thing, not a problem)
  2. Create sacred spaces for conversation.
  3. Listen to each other (including the boring bits).

Alright, off to the library. I apparently have a date night with this book!

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