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Extended Audio Sample Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sherry Turkle Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 thirty 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 only want to share 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.

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. The most human and humanizing thing that we do.

The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In a time in which the ways we communicate and connect are constantly changing, and not always for the better, Sherry Turkle provides a much needed voice of caution and reason to help explain what…is going on.”

    Aziz Ansari

  • “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. She helps the author make the point that in this digital age too many of us have lost our ability to sense how others feel by indulging in the soothing but profoundly numbing addictions we have to our devices. Potter’s attention to the flow of these ideas compels listeners to really think about Turkle’s heartfelt invitation to stop our slide into emotional isolation by having the frequent eyeball-to-eyeball conversations we need to really understand each other.”

    AudioFile

  • “‘Only connect!’ wrote E. M. Forster in 1910. In this wise and incisive book, Sherry Turkle offers a timely revision: ‘Only converse!’”

    Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

  • “Digital media were supposed to turn us from passive viewers to interactive participants, but Turkle reveals how genuine human interaction may be the real casualty of supposedly social technologies. Without conversation, there is no syntax, no literacy, no genuine collaboration, no empathy, no civilization. With courage and compassion, Turkle shows how the true promise of social media would be to reacquaint us with the lost of art making meaning together.”

    Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock

  • “To reclaim conversation is to reclaim our humanity. We all know it at some level, and yet how satisfying to find our hunch proved right: Turkle shows us that to love well, learn well, work well, and be well, we must protect a vital piece of ourselves, and can. What an important conversation about conversation this is.”

    Gish Jen, author of Typical American

  • “It is a rare event when a single book presents both a compelling indictment of one of the more insidious effects of technology on our culture and an immediate, elegantly simple antidote—all the while providing a stirring apologia for what is most important about language’s power to move us, to expand our thoughts, and to deepen our relationship to each other. Once again, Sherry Turkle seeks to preserve human qualities that are eroding while we are always ‘elsewhere’: empathy, generativity, and mentoring our young.”

    Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, Tufts University

  • “A timely wake-up call urging us to cherish the intimacy of direct, unscripted communication.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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