Sherry Turkle, who holds a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard, is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology and the director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of nine books, including The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (1984), Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995), and Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (2015), from which this excerpt is taken. Hes work has also been published in the New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired magazine. She has received a Guggenheim fellowship and a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Turkle argues that while tech-nology enables communication it also encourages a flight from conversation — we accept mere connection rather than sustained en.a. – conversation and the em th dev ed b
interactions. Turkle argues for reversing this trend, seeing conversation as a talking cure for the isolation that inevitably results from cold connections via technology, returning us to modes ol relating that contribute to personal development and to the health of the public sphere. Turkle offers an overview of this argument in “The Empathy Diaries,” presented here. which serves as the introduction to her book. She explains the impetus for this project. which originated in part with a visit to a middle school in which the faculty were concerned that the students were making only superficial connections with their peers. She turns to nineteenth-century author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, whose use of three chairs in his isolated cabin on Walden Pond worked as a model for the “virtuous circle” (p. 382) 01 conversation. Turkle explains that the ubiquity of technology has removed us from this circle and offers suggestions on how we may return to it in order to better connect to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us.
1111. TAGS: ddolescence and adulthood, conversation, empathy, relationships, science grid technology, social media CONNECTIONS: Appiah, Chen, Epstein, Gilbert, Jamison, Klosterman, Konnikova, Ma, Paumgarten, Provan, Singer, von Busch, Watters, Yoshino
The Empathy Diaries
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Why a book on conversation? We’re talking all the time. We text and post and chat. We may even begin to feel more at home in the world of our screens.Among family and friends, among colleagues and lovers, we turn to our phones instead of each otherke readily admit we would rather send an electronic message or mail than commit to a face-to-face meeting or a telephone cal1.44 This new mediated life has gotten us into trouble. Face-to-face conversation is the most human and humanizing—thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy.
Review Turkle’s essay.
Identify 2 -3 passages (text areas of the essay that you will use for quotation) where she explains how technology disrupts “connection” Cite the passages on this forum in MLA format.
Then, use them to discuss whether or not this has been your experience of technology as well? If not, how would you form a counterargument to her text?
Now, find a classmate with the same or differing experience(s) and respond to their post. PEER RESPONSE DUE: 1/27 Peer Responses must include 50 words of analysis, following netiquette guidelines from the syllabus, and connect back to the text.
Identify 2 -3 passages (text areas of the essay that you will use for quotation) where she explains how technology disrupts “connection.”
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