Reclaiming Conversation In Today’s World

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Many have wondered what it would be like to experience a change in communication from face to face to digital conversation. Sherry Turkle and several others have witnessed this happen within the past thirty years. Within the past two weeks, citizens of the United States of America have experienced an incredible change in their lives because of the coronavirus. All of the going out of your house and having face to face conversations that we are used to has ended due to quarinitine. It is very doubtful that we will experience another pandemic like this again. During this time in quarantine, we could figure out how to reclaim our conversation skills that we have lost over the past thirty years.

Sherry Turkle wrote a book called Reclaiming Conversation the Power of Talk in a Digital World. Throughout this book, she gives many different scenarios in which conversations within people have changed. She says, “We miss out on necessary conversations when we divide our attention between the people we’re with and the world on our phones.”(Turkle, 2016) This is very true because almost every teenager today has a cell phone with some kind of social media on it. When they get a notification they are tempted to open their phone to look at it and completely exclude the real world. Sherry says, “The psychologist Jonathan Schooler demonstrated that ‘mind wandering’ is a stepping stone to creativity.” (Turkle, 2016) This statement is very true because when children and adults are connected to the internet at all times through devices their minds will never wander because when they get bored they will surf the web. Sherry Turkle gives another example of how we have lost our ability to have a conversation when she says, “While young people today don’t want to talk on their phones, they can’t stop talking about what is on their phones. (Turkle, 2016) If you were to walk by a middle school lunch table there is a very high chance that the children will be talking about a new Tik Tok dance or somebody’s Instagram post. Where as if children did not have phones they would be talking about sports or hunting instead of social media. With these examples of how conversations have changed, there is one simple solution to fix it. People need to get rid of their technology and social media. But, in today’s world everything depends on technology and it would be very hard to get rid of it all. Turkle says, “This is our nick of time and our line to toe: to acknowledge the unintended consequences of technologies to which we are vulnerable, to respect the resilience that has always been ours.” With limitations on how much we could use devices daily, everyone could regain their lost conversation skills.

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While most of the world is in quarantine, not a soul is supposed to leave their homes. This hinders our conversation skills because if nobody can leave their homes, then nobody can interact. For example, before quarantine started I used to always hang out with my friends and socialize. But now, I am not allowed to leave my house. The only way I can interact with my friends is by using technology. Turkle says, “Solitude doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of activity. You know you are experiencing solitude when what you are doing brings you back to yourself.” (Turkle, 2016) This is very true because while we are in quarantine, we can do several things around our homes that will bring us back to ourselves. Since quarantine has started, I have acquired interest in a new hobby, weightlifting. During the day when I am weightlifting, I have time to be by myself and can think with no distractions. This is helping me reclaim my lost conversation skills, but since we are quarantined I can not use these skills to talk to anyone.  


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