How many text conversations have you had today? And how many real conversations have you had today? Would you rather stay at home on your computer/phone watching TV or go out to a social event to meet new people?
Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who studies our relationship to technology, recently gave a TED talk – “Connected, but alone?” that relates to her new book “Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other”. She speaks about the pervasive issue we are all familiar with, but do not want to confront or resolve. It’s the fact that technology is making us lose our ability to truly communicate with one another and with ourselves.
Sherry poetically explains, “It’s when we stumble, hesitate, or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other… We have the greatest chance of success if we recognize our vulnerability that we listen when technology says it will take something complicated and promise us something simpler.” Technology promises us simplicity, control, and the possibility that we’ll never be alone again.
But Sherry explains that in effect, technology actually makes us more lonely than ever before. Before I get too far into it, just watch this 20-minute talk. Mute the TV. Stop texting, tweeting, FB’ing, and pinning.
I wholeheartedly support Sherry’s solution: learning to accept solitude. Thus, learning to accept ourselves so that we can make mistakes, move forward and make conversation. Coincidentally I think this supports the idea behind the benefits of meditation, which Oprah showed us last week.
So take the time to shut everything off and listen to yourself. Maybe you’ll find something to say that doesn’t require a like or RT.